Coconut Rice

My earliest experiences with rice led me to believe that {instant rice + water + 5 minutes = done}. Later experiments with parboiled rice revised that equation to {pouch of rice + 90 seconds = done}.  While those certainly are acceptable equations for rice, and quick ones at that, there are many other formulas that one can use so that {rice + liquid + time = done}.

I had a roommate from Portugal who made a fantastic baked rice dish.  It required no stirring and no fussing.  Rice, water, and onions went into the oven and came out perfectly cooked.  I regret never getting her to write it down for me.  Maybe if I ask the Googley, I can find something similar to G’s Baked Rice.

In the meantime, I continue to conduct the occasional experiment to see what kind of rice goodness I can create in my kitchen.  The latest equation involved jasmine rice and coconut milk.  I wouldn’t exactly say this produced outstanding rice.  If the scale I’m using to evaluate the results is 1 (boil in bag mush) to 10 (Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice….my absolute favorite), Coconut Rice is a solid 3 or 4.  It’s easy enough to prepare but the rice tends to get thick and gummy.  Maybe if I had rinsed the rice before putting it in the water my grains wouldn’t have stuck together quite as much.  Or maybe something like basmati would have been a better choice to use instead of jasmine.

So as a side dish on my dinner table, Coconut Rice doesn’t really make the cut.  But with a few adjustments, I could see this being the base for a great Coconut Rice Pudding as dessert.

Coconut Rice

Adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 (14 ounces) can light coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the salt and rice and stir until the rice is completely coated with the oil.  Stir in the coconut milk and water.  Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is tender.  Add the lime juice, taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Serve garnished with minced cilantro.

{printable recipe}

11 thoughts on “Coconut Rice

  1. this is interesting, i never knew coconut rice could be savory, i’ve always paired it with mangos for dessert and that’s it.
    i always wash my rice before cooking, until the water runs clear. i’ve been told that i’m washing out the nutrients or whatever but it’s the way my grandmother taught me and no amount of harassing from anyone will get me to stop. (gma has that kind of power over me…)
    maybe you could reduce the amount of liquid to keep it from sticking?

    1. Welcome to the savory side of coconut rice Lan. I think I will try rinsing the rice next time…gma knows a thing or two. Although sticky like this would be great with some mango and just a hint of sugar for dessert.

  2. I think you need a rice cooker–it does a perfect job every time with no fuss or supervision involved. We use ours at least every other day, and I don’t know what I’d do without it!

    1. If only I had room for a rice cooker I would probably buy one. Maybe the kitchen in the next house will be a little more generous with the storage space.

  3. Rice, my dear friend rice. As an apprentice chef, when the funds were uber tight, my bro and I would see how creative we could get with the rice. Rice with different ingredients, like tuna, Chilli sauce and when things were dire, a splash of balsamic vinegar. They didn’t have the pre packaged stuff back then.
    Love the Coconut, simple and tasty.

  4. I like the properties of butter for making rice not stick! 🙂

    I make a lot rice pilaf. Toast Orzo in butter, stir in rice & coat w/butter. Add liquid, boil, reduce heat, simmer till absorbed. Never sticky.

  5. One of the staple foods in South India! And I love it over any other rice. We use fresh coconut scrapping..coconut milk sounds exciting…less work 🙂

    1. Sanjeeta I imagine it is far less work to open a can of coconut milk than it is to actually scrape the coconut ; ) But I have a hunch that yours tastes way better than mine.

  6. Delicious stuff. Made it to go along with some grilled chicken and veggies, with a touch of pineapple salsa on the side. The rice was so good and easy…I have to admit this is my first venture away from instant.

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