Coconut rice is a dish typically associated with Thai and Indian cuisine.
You’ll need very few ingredients to make delicious coconut rice, and you won’t need much time either. In just 20 minutes, you can end up with restaurant-style rice on your plate, and it won’t be gloopy and clumped together, but light and fluffy instead.
You can serve coconut rice with a range of curries, stir-fries, seafood, and fish dishes.
Making coconut rice in a rice cooker means you’ll enjoy a set-and-forget method of creating gourmet rice at home, with a divine interplay of floral, nutty, and starchy notes.
Southeast Asian cuisine uses jasmine rice. This white rice is long-grained and native to Thailand. With a floral scent and a slightly sticky texture, the grains of jasmine rice are thicker and shorter than those of basmati rice.
Now, before we show you how to cook coconut rice like a pro in your rice cooker, a few simple pointers to help you get the most out of this fragrant rice.
I. Some Simple Tips for Getting the Most Out of Coconut Rice
- Rather than the watery refrigerated coconut milk that comes in cartons, instead look for canned coconut milk. This has the texture and consistency you need for great coconut rice. Make sure you thoroughly shake up the can before you open it, too. This will mix up any of the thick cream that has separated from the liquid.
- Always rinse your rice. This will remove all the surplus starch. While this is not always necessary when you’re cooking white rice, coconut milk is much thicker than water, and this can turn your rice into a thick and gluey mess if you don’t properly rinse it first. All you need to do is rinse your rice until the water is reasonably clear. You will not get it completely clear, so don’t fret.
- Once you’ve rinsed your rice, you should then allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Essentially, this gives the grains of rice a jump start and will ultimately get the rice cooked quicker, so this step is not a waste of time.
- When you’re making coconut rice in a rice cooker, you’ll need less liquid than normal. Rather than using a 1:1.5 ratio of water to coconut milk, opt for a 1:1 ratio, with water and coconut milk in equal measure. This will eliminate the gluey texture that can otherwise blight homemade coconut rice.
II. How to Make Coconut Rice in a Rice Cooker
Now, the first thing you need to do if you want to whip up some coconut rice in a rice cooker is to grab some simple supplies.
What You Need
- Thai jasmine rice (2 cups)
- Water (2 cups)
- Full-fat coconut milk (1 cup)
- Kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- Dry sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut (2 to 3 tablespoons)
What To Do
Here’s all you need to do to make lip-smacking rice cooker coconut rice:
- Gather up all your ingredients. Add the coconut milk, water, salt, and the shredded coconut to the rice cooker.
- Stir all the ingredients well using either a wooden or plastic utensil to avoid damaging your rice cooker’s non-stick surface.
- Cover the rice cooker and set it to cook.
- When your rice cooker flicks into warming mode, you should give the rice another 10 minutes to finish steaming. This will give you the fluffiness you need, along with a pleasant stickiness characteristic of this Thai rice.
- Fluff up your rice using some chopsticks. If you notice any of the shredded coconut is now up on the surface, just stir it back into your rice.
- Add salt to taste and serve – if you’re stuck for ideas for serving, we have some hints for you down below.
III. Storing and Freezing Coconut Rice
As long as you put it inside an airtight container, rice will be safe in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze rice. The best idea if you do this is to portion the rice out into single servings so you don’t need to try breaking up frozen clumps of rice.
When you’re ready to eat it, defrost the rice in the microwave, and then reheat it using a pot. Adding some liquid – water or coconut milk works – will help to rehydrate your frozen rice.
IV. Serving Coconut Rice
Coconut rice is a staple of Southeast Asian food, as well as in Caribbean cuisine.
Here are some recipes that lend wonderfully to this fragrant form of jasmine rice:
- Jerk chicken
- Veggie curry
- Chickpea potato curry
- Southern Thai chicken
- Thai marinated chicken
- Pineapple chicken skewers
- Thai chili and basil chicken stir-fry
Imagination is your only limitation, so get creative and let us know if we missed out your favorite coconut rice recipe.
1) Why should I bother rinsing rice before cooking it?
Rice is an extremely starchy grain. If you don’t rinse it before cooking, it can easily become sticky and mushy. To avoid this, pop your rice into a wire sieve under cold running water. Wait until the water runs almost clear and it’s ready to cook. At this point, most of the starch will be gone.
2) What are pandan leaves?
Pandan leaves are used to enhance the flavor of many Thai dishes. If you can’t find any pandan leaves, try some kaffir lime leaves to impart a very similar fragrance. All you need to do is loosely knot the pandan leaves. This breaks them up and releases the flavor into your coconut rice for an authentic Asian extravaganza.
3) How much cooked rice does one cup of dry mice make?
Rice more than doubles in size when cooked, so you’ll get 2 to 3 cups of cooked rice from a cup of uncooked rice.
4) How can I prevent my coconut rice from going mushy?
Again, by rinsing it. If you follow the steps above, you’ll get rid of all the starch in the rice before cooking it. The other way you can stop rice from going mushy is by allowing it to steam for a further 10 minutes once it’s cooked. This helps to absorb any excess water and fluffs the rice up wonderfully. Use a fork to separate the grains of the rice before serving.
5) How much coconut rice should I use per person?
Use half a cup of cooked rice per person if you’re making sides, and a whole cup of cooked rice per person if you’re rustling up a main dish.
6) Why do I need to use more water when I’m cooking rice on the stovetop rather than in a rice cooker?
Rice cookers need less liquid because they are sealed units. This prevents the liquid from evaporating during the cooking process like it does in a pan on the stovetop.
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