Coconut rice, when done well, is an almost indescribably lovely side dish that's ever so slightly sweet and laughably easy and incredibly versatile. Here's how to make it.
Coconut rice can be tricky to cook perfectly. This recipe has all the answers. And it’s actually quite easy. Careful measuring. Exact timing. And—this is the real secret—letting it cook without lifting the lid and then, even after you remove the pot of rice from the heat, don’t uncover it for another 10 minutes. You heard us. No peeking. Not even once! When you finally lift the lid, you’ll be rewarded with fluffy grains of rice, each perfectly cooked and tender and not sticky or gummy in the least, that has a super subtle nuance of coconut and a noticeable richness. It’s a darn good thing coconut rice is so incredibly versatile because this recipe makes an enormous amount. Not that we’re complaining. Nope. We just stash it in the fridge and reheat it all week long.–Angie Zoobkoff
Coconut Rice Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 35 M
- Serves 8
- 3 cups (21 ounces or 595 g) jasmine rice
- One 13.5-ounce can (400 ml) full-fat coconut milk, shaken well
- 13.5 ounces (400 ml) cold water (just use the empty coconut milk can to measure the volume)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1. Gently pour the rice in a fine mesh strainer and place the strainer in a large bowl. Put it under cold running water and gently stir clockwise with a slightly cupped hand, taking care not to break the grains of rice. Discard the water when it becomes cloudy and repeat the rinsing process several times until the water runs clear. (This may take half a dozen rinses. It’s worth it.) Remove the strainer from the bowl and let the rice drain for at least 10 minutes.
- 2. To cook the rice on the stove top, put the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in a heavy, 3-quart pot and stir gently to combine. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then cover and decrease the heat to low to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 9 minutes without uncovering the pot. Seriously. Don’t open the pot. Don’t stir it. Don’t peek. [Editor’s Note: If you remove the lid, you allow precious heat to escape. This in turn throws off the whole timing of the rice and will result in undercooked rice and then you’ll wan to blame us when really it was your own darn fault. Resist temptation. Don’t do it.] Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow it to absorb any residual moisture in the pot. Taste the rice and, if it’s still a touch underdone and firm, cover the pot and let it rest for an additional 5 minutes. To cook the rice using a rice cooker, put the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in a rice cooker and stir gently to combine. Cook following your rice cooker instructions. When the rice is done, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow it to absorb any residual moisture in the cooker. Taste the rice and, if it’s still a touch underdone and firm, replace the lid on the rice cooker and let it rest for an additional 5 minutes.
- 3. Serve the coconut rice warm. Extra rice can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 6 months.
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