This coconut rice recipe is the perfect side dish when you want something different than traditional rice! An easy coconut rice recipe you can make in the rice cooker or even on the stovetop! Goes perfectly with meatballs, chicken, or any Asian dish!
The Best Coconut Rice Recipe
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I almost always prefer the sides of a meal to the main dish. When we went to get barbecue for dinner last week everyone else ordered meat, meat, and more meat. And I ordered a three side dish – brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, and mac and cheese.
If I could, I would really eat just sides for every meal because they are my favorite part of the meal, well other than dessert of course. This easy coconut rice recipe is probably one of my favorite sides ever and is perfect with Asian meatballs and a side of edamame or broccoli.
Coconut Rice Ingredients
One of the best things about this coconut rice is that it only takes a few ingredients! Here’s everything you’ll need to make it – whether you’re making it on the stove or in an Instant Pot.
- White rice – make sure it’s a long-grain rice like jasmine or basmati rice
- Unsweetened coconut milk
- Ground ginger
- Sweetened shredded coconut – optional if you want to add it to the top, we often don’t
How to Make Coconut Rice in a Rice Cooker
There are some things that I just can’t do no matter how many times I try and cooking rice on the stovetop is one of them. It might have something to do with the fact that I get distracted and forget about it but every time I’ve tried cooking rice on the stove, I always end up with burnt rice on the bottom.
And that my friends is why we bought a rice cooker.
We make this coconut rice using our super basic (one button that you switch on to cook) rice cooker, but I’m sure you could cook it on the stovetop pretty much the same way if you don’t have a super fancy rice cooker like ours. It really is probably on my top 10 list of favorite things we eat on a regular basis.
Want to make this rice in an Instant Pot? The instructions and ingredients are slightly different so I’ve created a new Instant Pot coconut rice recipe here!
1 – Rinse the rice.
Rinse the rice in cold water until the water is almost clear. This might take two or three rinses but helps remove the starchiness of the rice.
2 – Add all your ingredients to the rice cooker.
Add everything other than the shredded coconut into the rice cooker. Then you turn the rice cooker on and cook it like you would normal rice. Our rice cooker was a push the button and let it cook. If yours is fancier, follow the instructions to let the rice cook like normal.
3 – Toast the coconut.
If you’re doing shredded coconut, toast the coconut on the stove over medium heat until lightly browned. Make sure to watch it carefully because it can go from browned to burnt in minutes!
4 – Fluff and serve!
Fluff the rice and serve topped with the toasted coconut if you want.
Coconut Rice FAQs
I get a lot of the same questions about this coconut rice recipe, so I’ve included answers to those questions here. If you have more questions, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to respond quickly!
Can you reheat coconut rice?
Yes! Simply store it in the fridge in an air tight container then warm it back up either on the stove at medium heat or in the microwave when you’re ready to reheat. I recommend eating within 3-4 days.
Can coconut rice be frozen?
I’ve never tried freezing this coconut rice but I’d imagine it wouldn’t be great after thawing. It’s so easy to make though that I’d just make a fresh batch rather than freezing and thawing – it’ll probably take you about the same amount of time and effort.
What goes well with coconut rice?
This coconut rice would be great with any of these main dishes!
- Asian meatballs with teriyaki sauce
- Hawaiian pork and pineapple skewers with a sweet glaze
- Balsamic chicken
- Sheet pan teriyaki chicken
- Anything with this easy Thai peanut sauce
Can you make coconut rice in an Instant Pot?
Yes, yes you can! Check out this Instant Pot coconut rice recipe for instructions and slightly different ingredients!
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk cream spooned off and saved for another use
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Rinse the rice in cold water until water is almost clear.
- Mix all ingredients other than the shredded coconut together in the rice cooker.
- Turn the rice cooker on and let it cook just like you would normal rice.
- While the rice is cooking, toast the shredded coconut in a pan on the stove over medium heat until lightly browned. Make sure to watch and stir often to keep it from burning. As soon as it is browned, immediately move the coconut to another dish to keep from burning in the hot pan.
- Once the rice is done cooking, fluff.
- Serve topped with the toasted coconut.
Other Easy Side Dishes
- Easy mashed potatoes
- Broccoli cheese bites
- Cauliflower puree
- Creamy twice baked potatoes
- Sweet corn puree