I did have a bunch of other recipes I wanted to do this month, but it didn’t seem right to do elaborate recipes while people are stuck with the stuff in their pantry. Going on grocery runs this month is like going to dim sum in an Asian community on Sunday morning. Just straight up crazy. A lot of things are sold out. There are long lines. People are everywhere. One of the first things that are selling out at the grocery stores right now is rice. And it’s easy to understand why. It’s a pantry staple, and it has a long shelf life. But in general, rice has no flavor. It usually takes on the flavor of something else you pair with it. So I wanted to show you how to make it a little bit more flavorful. That’s where this coconut rice recipe comes in.
Where does coconut rice come from?
Coconut rice is a staple dish of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, India, Indonesia, and India. That is the coconut rice I know. The first time I ever had coconut rice was here in SF at a restaurant called Farmhouse Kitchen. While it sounds like an American brunch place, it’s actually one of the best and most traditional Thai restaurants in the Bay Area. Their version of coconut rice is one of the best I have every had. There is also a version that comes from Latin America – arroz con coco. The cooking method is very similar to their Asian counterpart, but sometimes, they add raisins.
You only need 5 ingredients for this dish, all you can probably find in your pantry.
- Jasmine rice – Jasmine rice is the type of rice that results in the best coconut rice. However, you can use any type of long grain rice. I have tried making it with medium grain rice, and it still tastes good!
- Coconut oil – Toasting the rice grains before cooking them locks in the flavor of the rice and gives it a slight coconut flavor. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, feel free to substitute with butter or any type of oil you have.
- Water – Distilled water works well for this recipe.
- Coconut milk – This is where the rice gets most of its coconut flavor. I would use a full fat coconut milk to get the best flavor.
- Salt – Brings out the flavor of the coconut rice. Any kind of salt should work.
Making my coconut rice recipe
This dish should take you about 30 minutes to make and goes with almost anything. First rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Next toast the rice in coconut oil for 1-2 minutes in a medium-sized pan. Add in the water, coconut milk, and salt. Stir and bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling, bring it down to a simmer. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes covered. The rice should be done once the rice grains are cooked through and the liquid has evaporated. Optional: squeeze some lime juice over the rice. Serve and enjoy!
Below are a few links to recipes you can eat with coconut rice.
Tips on how to make the perfect coconut rice
- Use long grain jasmine rice for the best results – I would highly recommend using long grain jasmine rice to make this dish because it yields the best results. As mentioned, I’ve made this with Nishiki medium grain rice, and while it was good, it didn’t have the best texture.
- Rinse your rice – The key to making any kind of good rice is to rinse it before cooking it. Rinsing it removes starch from the surface of the rice which can make it gummy when you cook it. It also allows it to absorb some water during this process which helps cook it evenly.
- What happens if I add too little or too much liquid? – Sometimes when you are cooking the rice, it can look a little soupy or too dry. I have definitely had both of these issues before. Here is what I do in both situations. If you added too much liquid, I would remove the lid so more water can evaporate as the rice cooks. If you added too little liquid, I would add more water.
Did you make this Coconut Rice?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
- Toast the rice in a medium-sized pan with coconut oil for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the water, coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
- Simmer with the pan covered for 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked through and the liquid has evaporated.