Coconut Rice Recipe

Coconut Rice

Lets just say a well-respected local newspaper contacts you and says, “Hey, we’d like include you in a food story we’re doing. You’ll be creating a meal and we’ll be shadowing you while you shop and cook. You’ll be one of five chefs we’ll be profiling. Can you create a dish write a recipe and be ready tomorrow?”

Wow. Me?! Sure!

No problem at all. I’ll just create something simple like Seared Sea Scallops with Mango Melon Salsa and Coconut Rice. Its not fancy, its not complicated. Just let the fresh, in-season ingredients shine through. An easy recipe that anyone at home can create. Nooooo problem. Ha! I can cook this dish in 30 minutes. Piece of cake.

Except for one thing. I’ve been spoiled by my rice cooker. I don’t know how to make jasmine rice without it. The water measurements, timing and technique are totally different. I mean…I’ve never ventured outside of the ‘one-finger-push-button’ technique of the rice cooker.

I know. I’m spoiled, sheltered and stupid.

I undercooked my rice in front of the mighty food critic, Brian Ries. I watched him chew chew chew gulp cough. He was brave and polite – but I think I saw him pop a couple of Tums behind my back. He also scribbled notes on his little notepad. It probably read, “lets not call her again.”

How could I, a Chinese cook, mess up RICE of all things?!?! Thats totally sacreligious and I might as well be disowned by my “peeps.” “Ahhhh….Jaden-grasshoppa….Confucious, Buddha and Jackie Chan all very much upset. We meditate and pray for your awakening.”

Thank goodness that the scallops were perfectly cooked and the salsa was refreshing. I’ll post the photos next week when the paper publishes the article. Of course I had to go home immediately and make the rice properly in a pot just to prove myself a worthy citizen of the Chinese race.


Perfectly Cooked Coconut Jasmine Rice without a Rice Cooker

Servings: 4-6 as side dish Prep Time: Cook Time:


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well
1 1/2 cups good, thick coconut milk (shake can to mix well before opening)
1ย  1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes


Heat butter a medium sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Turn heat to high, add rice and stir until all grains coated evenly. Add coconut milk and water. Stir. When boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat but do not open lid. Really, no peeking! Let sit for 10 minutes. While rice is cooking, toast coconut flakes on a dry skillet over medium high heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning, remove from pan as soon as coconut is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

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Comments 62

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  4. Fernanda

    Its the perfect coconut rice. I am chef and lived in the caribbean for a long time and this is my favorite recepie!! Tkuu for sharing.

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  6. Monica Martin

    Followed these directions precisely except cutting the recipe in half for my husband and I. I did add 1/4 cup of sweetened coconut before simmering. Turned out really good. I was impressed with myself because I never really cooked anything like this before. I actually used Basmati rice instead because I had gotten other recipes for coconut rice but decided to go with this one but only had Basmati rice. I have never really cooked Asian dishes or Jamaican. I cooked Jerk Chicken with this and it was absolutely fabulous! Spiciness of the Jerk chicken and sweetness of the coconut rice was a perfect balance. Thank you! P.S. I had no issues of burning or anything. If you simmer on low in a good pan thats non stick you shouldn’t have any issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Monica Martin

    I forgot to add. I don’t even own a rice cooker. I have always cooked rice on the stove so I dont know any better way. I might look into a rice cooker though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Al

    If I use a rice cooker how would I change the recipe? Do I cut down on the amount of water.


  9. Shef

    I tagged this recipe on my Meal Share Plan site so that my readers may try it! It was a great addition to a Caribbean fish stew we had! Thanks!

  10. Stacia

    Love it. Made this several times. I don’t make any other rice. Iron skillet work awesome

  11. Ineisha

    Hi so today I made the rice and it came out so salty. I could honestly cry lol. But I love the color the brown sugar gives the rice.

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