Coconut rice in the rice cooker is the best way to make light and fluffy coconut milk rice! With a subtle flavor of coconut and shredded coconut mixed in for texture and sweetness, this simple coconut rice recipe creates a great side dish that will complement a variety of meals!
If you’ve ever enjoyed Thai coconut rice from your favorite Thai restaurant, you already know it’s a surprisingly delicious side.
Five ingredients are all you need to make your own simple coconut rice at home, and we promise it’s just as tasty!
Elevate your favorite Asian dishes by swapping plain rice for this great side dish. Unsweetened coconut milk transforms white rice, giving it a fluffy texture and a mild coconut flavor that goes so well with main courses that have an Asian flair.
Why this Recipe Works
This simple rice recipe couldn’t be easier. A handful of ingredients are all you need. And the beauty of making coconut rice in the cooker is that you can set it and forget it!
Our Rice cooker coconut rice is:
- easy to make and a low-effort side dish
- sweet, tender and fluffy rice with a slight coconut flavor
- a nearly foolproof recipe thanks to the rice cooker!
The Ingredient List
You will only need five ingredients to prepare our rice cooker coconut rice. Unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in a can, not a carton) is the secret ingredient here. It adds a lovely richness and light coconut flavor to the rice.
Make sure that you use light or full fat coconut milk and not coconut cream as it contains too high of fat content and will make your coconut rice turn out oily.
To make coconut milk rice in the rice cooker, you will need:
- Jasmine rice
- canned coconut milk
- sweetened shredded coconut
If you’ve ever made rice in a rice cooker before, you’re well aware that it’s a nearly foolproof way to make absolutely perfect rice.
Whether it’s brown rice, Basmati rice or another long grain rice, the rice cooker works its special magic to give you tender, moist, non-sticky rice with the best texture.
Fortunately, it’s simple enough to use the magic of the rice cooker to create delicious coconut rice with that same perfection. And the cooking process is so easy!
Here’s a look at the steps involved, but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card.
Measure the rice into your rice cooker pot. Wash rice with cold water until the water is clear and not foggy. This is important as it helps remove excess starch.
Drain rice, cover with cold water, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Drain again.
Add the coconut milk, water, and salt to the rinsed rice. Stir to combine. Set the rice pot in the rice cooker and close the cover. Turn on the cooker and select the “white rice” option. Let it cook for about 30 minutes.
Open the cover, add the shredded coconut to the pot and fluff the rice, stirring it with a spatula to distribute any remaining moisture. Serve the coconut rice immediately or close the rice cooker lid and select “keep warm” until it’s time to serve.
Tips for the Best Results
- Not all rice cookers are created equal, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific rice cooker you’re using. Because of this, the cooking time might vary a tad, but it should take about 30 minutes.
- Rinsing the rice will remove any starch or dust from the grains. If you skip this step, your rice will turn out gluey.
- Soak the rice for 15 minutes as this gives the rice grains a head start absorbing the water (the secret to fully-cooked and fluffy rice!). This step helps eliminate any crunchy, uncooked rice in the pot once the cooking time is up.
- A mix of water and coconut milk is crucial. Do not use only coconut milk because it’s much thicker than water, and the rice will not absorb moisture properly.
- For perfect coconut rice, use the rice-to-liquids ratio of 1:1. That ends up being 1 cup of rice to 3/4 cup of coconut milk + 1/4 cup of water.
- Do not substitute a can of coconut cream for the can of full-fat coconut milk because it contains too much fat, and the rice will be oily.
- Store any leftover coconut rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also make pork fried rice or shrimp fried rice with the leftovers.
What to Serve with Rice Cooker Coconut Rice
Enjoy this easy coconut rice recipe with a variety of Asian-inspired dishes, from Thai curry to teriyaki and stir fry! The sweet flavor of the coconut rice is neutral enough that it’s a great addition to nearly any main course, but it’s especially delicious if you want to counter the heat of a spicy dish.
Here are a few of our favorite main courses to serve coconut rice with:
- Yellow Thai Coconut Chicken Curry
- Asian Teriyaki Meatballs
- Thai Chicken Larb Salad
- Cedar Planked Salmon with Thai Chili Sauce
- Thai Pork Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Miso Glazed Sea Bass
- Sous vide tri tip
- Baked arctic char
Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:
Imperial Rice is a tasty, cheesy casserole with Cuban roots. This delicious dish is fit for a crowd and is perfect for large gatherings and special occasions. Cuban chicken and rice is comfort food everyone will enjoy!
Easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice has bold Mexican flavors and comes together with ease! Only 10 minutes of active prep time is required and the Instant Pot takes care of the rest.
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- 2 cups (400 grams) Jasmine Rice
- 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water or coconut water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Measure the rice into the rice cooker pot and rinse the rice in cold water until the water is clear (about 3-4 rinses). Drain the rice, cover it with cold water, and soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Add the coconut milk, water, and salt to the rice and stir to combine.
- Place the rice pot into the rice cooker unit, close the cover, turn on the cooker, and select “White Rice” option.
- The rice will cook for about 30 minutes, then will switch to “Keep Warm”
- Open the cover, add the shredded coconut, and fluff the rice, stirring with the serving spatula to distribute any remaining moisture.
- Serve immediately or close the cover and keep warm until needed.
- Not all rice cookers are created equal. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for your particular rice cooker.
- Rinsing the rice will remove the starch or dust from the grains and keep the rice from being gluey.
- Soaking the rice for 15 minutes gives the rice a head start in the absorption phase, and the rice will be fully cooked and fluffy when finished. This step eliminates any crunchy, uncooked rice.
- Do not use only coconut milk because coconut milk is thicker than water and will not absorb the rice properly. Adding water or coconut water helps the rice absorb the liquid better.
- For best results, use light or full-fat canned coconut milk.
- Do not use canned coconut cream as there is too much fat, and the rice will be oily.
- You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut in this recipe. A little sugar will enhance the flavor of the coconut, but if you find sweetened coconut too sweet, you can use unsweetened coconut and a pinch of sugar.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.