Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice

This recipe for Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice is an old-school Our Best Bites classic that is pretty much my go-to side dish with any summery, tropical meal.

sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

It’s one of those recipes I just know by heart and always have the ingredients for in my pantry (if you love tropical rice, another delicious standby is our Lime-Cilantro Pineapple Rice!)

I originally posted this recipe over 10 years ago when my 12-year-old looked like this:

and my 14-year-old had little feet like this:


And my 7 year old wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye, as my dad would say.

So now that we all feel really old, let’s eat carbs!

You’re going to need 2 cups of Jasmine or Basmati rice, a can of coconut milk, some water, green onions, a splash of vinegar, a little bit of sugar, and some salt and pepper.
ingredients for sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

Combine rice, water,

adding water to sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

coconut milk,

adding coconut milk to sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

salt, sugar,

adding salt and sugar to sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

and vinegar, in a saucepan and bring to a boil Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

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sweet and savory coconut rice from our best bites

Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice


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4 from 1 review

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Description

This Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice pairs perfectly with anything summery or tropical!


Ingredients

2 cups Jasmine or Basmati rice
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Splash of white or rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
Handful of chopped green onions, plus chopped green onion tops for garnish
Black pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

Serve with any Asian or tropical-inspired food.

Serve with any Asian or tropical-inspired food, like…

Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Awesome recipe. I made it with the spicy honey chicken and our guests went nuts. This is a new favorite. Love it so much! Will make it often. I was wondering about the light coconut milk so thanks for the tip there. I will try it….especially when we don’t have guests and I will be eating most of it! 🙂

  2. We actually love this with the “Indian-spiced pork (except we use chicken)”! So easy and soooooo tasty 🙂

  3. Thanks so much! It was so easy to make, used few ingredients (I had everything in my cabinet), and was super delicious!

  4. DELICIOUS! I actually put all of the ingredients in my rice cooker and it came out perfect! Thanks for the great recipes!

  5. I made this tonight with the chile lime chicken and mango skewers. I did a little experiment as I was wondering how the coconut rice would work with LIGHT coconut milk. There is quite a difference in fat and calories. I made one batch of rice with a 13.6 oz can of regular coconut milk (700 calories, 70g fat) and another with the same size can of LIGHT coconut milk (250 calories, 22.5g fat). There was not a huge difference in the taste or texture of the rice. I did a taste test with my family, two of my kids figured out which was the real deal ( the littlest one couldn't tell) but my husband couldn't tell them apart.

  6. This will go PERECT with the chicken and peanut sauce I am making this week! Looks awesome.

    Think it will cook just the same if I use a rice cooker instead?

  7. Fletch- I think that sounds like an awesome combo! Sometimes mistakes lead to the yummiest things! lol

  8. I actually got this recipe confused with your lime-cilantro rice and added pineapple at the last minute. I thought it made the rice so much more flavorful and added some contrast to the onion and coconut. I'm going to keep this new recipe around for good. We loved it.

    (You all need to add the pineapple to this one. Yummy!)

  9. this will sound like a strange question, but we are heading to Seattle in a month and I was wondering what beach you took those pictures at? I'd LOVE to hit the beach while we are there!
    Oh-and we are having this recipe with our dinner tonight! 🙂

  10. Made this tonight with Curried Peanut Shrimp (via Cooking Light) and it was SO good! It will definitely go into our regular rotation. I used jasmine rice and I wasn't watching it quite close enough so it scorched a bit on the bottom, but even with a few burned bits it was still outstanding! I loved the sticky texture and the flavor of the coconut really came through nicely!

  11. I've never had coconut rice before. I was a little nervous about making it because after living in Japan for a 1 1/2 years I love just plain 'ol rice. But I just made it tonight in my rice cooker and it tastes WONDERFUL!! Thanks again for all your tasty recipes!

    1. Did you have to make any adjustments using the rice cooker? I was wondering about using my instant pot.

  12. I've never had coconut rice before. I was a little nervous about making it because after living in Japan for a 1 1/2 years I love just plain 'ol rice. But I just made it tonight in my rice cooker and it tastes WONDERFUL!! Thanks again for all your tasty recipes!

  13. Michelle–Yep, it's just regular, unsweetened coconut milk. I should make that more clear in the recipe–it would be really bad if someone made it with cream of coconut! 🙂

  14. I love coconut rice. My Thai neighbor used to make it for us all the time. Man I miss them, and not just for the food.

    I have a question. Is it unsweetened coconut milk? I want to make sure I pick up the right thing. We're so having this soon.

  15. Jess–I would imagine that it would be okay. You might want to check the manufacturer's instructions and see if they have anything to say about using coconut milk because it does effect the cooking time slightly. Just keep an eye on things and I think you should be fine! 🙂

  16. I am lazy and use my rice cooker. (I highly recommend those. Fix it and forget it is just my style.) Can I just toss this stuff in there, too? I'm guessing yes, so I'll probably try it.

  17. Jen, yeah, what is that about the gelatinous, gummy texture in Thai ricey food that's so dang good?? We had spring rolls tonight and I was just relishing in how much I loved the spring roll wrapper, which is really weird because texture is normally a huge issue for me.

    Anyway. To answer your question. I. Love. Mango sticky rice. A few weeks ago, our Kroger here had mangoes for .20 apiece and I went a little nuts. Yummmmmmm…

  18. Awe, thanks Erin. We haven't gotten around to begging for votes yet- but we will! lol

  19. I have to try this because I love coconut…
    Have you ever had the sticky coconut rice that many Thai serve as a dessert with fresh mango? The versions I've had are made with a rice that cooks up almost clear and the texture becomes almost gelatinous or gummy (in a good way!).

  20. I will never use regular rice again after using Jasmine rice the last year or so. LOVE jasmine rice.

  21. Ahhh, Seattle. I love those pictures, little M is so cute.

    Okay, I'm going to have to give this rice a second try now that you've provided me with the RIGHT recipe! lol It looks so good- and I love that cute little dish.

    And Memoria- ditto Kate. Seriously just being cheeky with with the man food phrase!

  22. I was at the store yesterday buying ingredients for the Orange Thai Beef Skewers and that coconut milk was calling out to me. I'm kicking myself now for not getting it now, that rice sounds so yummy!

  23. Hope you enjoyed some of the marvelous weather we are enjoying here in the NorthWest!! Off to Seattle tomorrow for a Mariner's game. We eat lots of rice at our house so always looking for a new day to fix it – can't wait to try – thanks!

  24. Ooh! This looks so good. I've made a coconut rice before and it was DELICIOUS. I'll have to try this one.