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Asian coconut rice: an easy Thai recipe

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 2 people
By Cookist
1 cup
Drinking water
1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk
1 cup
1/2 tsp
For garnishing
Sesame seeds
1/2 tsp
Desiccated coconut powder
1 tsp

Coconut rice is a dish that cannot fail to please. Asian community love their rice and rice preparations! No Asian festive occasion is complete without churning a drool worthy preparation with this humble grain. So don’t be surprised if you find people dishing out many varieties of side preparations and desserts with rice.

I somehow associate coconut and rice with Asia instantly… may be because both these ingredients are pretty much the life line of the tropics! In this endeavor of sharing an Asian rice preparation, I am posting this very simple take on Asian cooking. Though you will find many varieties of cooking Asian coconut rice, this recipe here is a generalized one that can be enjoyed with any Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Malay curry preparation.

So much for the versatility….right?!!

How to make Thai Coconut Rice

Rinse and drain the rice in plenty of running water a few times until the water runs clear. Pour the drinking water in to a large cooking pot or a pan and add the drained rice to it. You may either let the rice soak in water for a couple of hours or continue cooking with the rice without soaking.

Put the pan with the rice over a gas stove and ignite the gas to medium flame. Pour the coconut milk and salt in to the soaking rice and give everything a nice stir. Let the water come to a boil over medium flame.

Turn the gas flame to the lowest, cover the pan and let the rice cook on simmer. You will have to intermittently uncover the pan and keep a check on the rice so that the water does not boil over from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of more drinking water in case the cooking water is drying up too soon.

Once the rice is almost cooked and no more water is visible, turn the heat to maximum and uncover the lid. Let the rice cook until there is no more water bubbling at the top. Turn off the flame and cover the pan with a lid again for 10 minutes. Garnish the rice with sesame seeds and desiccated coconut. Serve the hot rice and enjoy with any Asian curry of your choice!

How to rinse rice

To ensure a light and fluffy white rice, we always remove the surface starch by rinsing the raw grains in a fine mesh colander under cold running water before cooking.

You can also run the beans into a bowl of water, pour in the cloudy water, and repeat the process until the water is clear.

Both approaches require the same amount of water, but we recommend collecting some of the rinsing water in a bowl to check for starch. Keep booking and checking, a small amount at a time, until it's clear.


  • Make sure you rinse and drain the rice very gently and not break or crush the rice grains by rubbing the rice grains too hard. You may consider soaking the rice in water for at least an hour to get a better outcome of the cooked rice.
  • Add a few tablespoons of drinking water to the pan if you find the water to be evaporating fast while the rice is still undercooked. Alternatively, you may also add 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut to the rice while it is still boiling in water. You may also fluff the rice with a fork after garnishing and then serve.

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional information (per serving): 155 Calories, 3.9g Total fat (3.2g Saturated fat, 0.6g Polyunsaturated fat, 1.3g Monounsaturated fat), 0mg Cholesterol, 597.2mg Sodium, 52.9mg Potassium, 26.1g Total carbohydrates (0.6g Dietary fiber, 3.1g Sugars), 2.9g Protein

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