Perfect Coconut Rice (with a Secret Ingredient!)

How to make PERFECT coconut rice every time! A quick and easy, versatile side dish for curries, soups, bowls, and beyond! Just 3 ingredients and 1 pot required.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup jasmine basmati, or long grain white rice (or sub brown rice* — see notes)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk canned
  • 1 cup water or coconut water for more intense coconut flavor
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic cane sugar* optional for sweet rice — leave out if using coconut water
  • 2 Tbsp desiccated or unsweetened shredded coconut optional // for more coconut flavor and a bit of texture
  • FOR SERVING optional
  • Finely minced cilantro
  • Lightly toasted coconut flakes


  • Add rice, coconut milk, water (or coconut water), sea salt, sugar (optional), and desiccated or shredded coconut (optional), to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Ensure it’s simmering and not boiling or the rice can cook too quickly.
  • Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender — about 20-25 minutes (will depend on type, size, and freshness of rice). Drain off excess water if there is any (there shouldn’t be).
  • I like to turn off the heat, remove the lid, fluff with a fork, put the lid back on, and let rest for 10 minutes so the moisture redistributes to prevent mushy rice. Taste test and add additional salt if desired. This rice is delicious alongside curries, soups, bowls, and more! Option to garnish with cilantro and lightly toasted coconut flakes.
  • Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little oil or water until warm.


*Brown rice results in a less fluffy, slightly nutty result. It’s still delicious but isn’t classic.
*Find our Instant Pot version here.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with unfortified rice and without optional ingredients.
*We enjoyed the taste without sweetener but think most people would prefer it.
*We tried maple syrup but felt the flavors were not complementary — not sweet enough at a small amount, and when enough was added to achieve the right sweetness, it tasted like a dessert, not a savory dish.