We make coconut rice at least once a month. It is Cora's favorite way to have rice, and I must admit, I'm a pretty big fan myself! There's just something amazing about this creamy rice, with flavors of ginger and garlic, that make it hard to resist! Most recipes for coconut rice are sweet, with sugar added. If you have not yet converted to loving savory coconut recipes, come on over! This recipe has no added sugar, which not only makes it healthier than a typical coconut rice recipe, but it also allows the heartiness of coconut to shine through.
The Trinity of Asian Aromatics
Where onions, celery, and carrot are considered "the trinity" by most chefs, I think onions, ginger, and garlic are the Trinity of Asian cooking! We will use this version of "the trinity" for the foundation of this savory coconut rice. It is important to use fresh ginger root for this, as dried ginger has a completely different flavor than fresh, and in my opinion, is better for sweet dishes. I prefer fresh garlic too if you have it. Saute your onions, ginger, and garlic in a medium-sized saucepan for a couple of minutes. Doesn't it smell so good?
I forgot to add in the ginger before taking this picture. Whoops! This recipe can be made without ginger, but it is even better with it!
15 Minutes to Creamy Coconut Rice
When I add in my rice I like to saute it for a minute or two as well, before adding in the liquid. This isn't critical, but I think it adds a nice layer of flavor. Next, add salt, coconut milk, chicken broth (water can be substituted - it just won't be quite as flavorful) and shredded coconut. Once the liquids begin to boil, give it a quick stir, cover the pan, and reduce to low heat. Then walk away for 15 minutes. You can work on preparing the food you will be serving with the rice, or go scroll your social media feed, but don't lift that lid for 15 minutes. Once that time is up go back and turn the stove off.
The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Rice
You may be tempted to dive in at this point. It does smell so good! But restrain yourself for another 10 minutes, as it isn't quite yet ready. Leave the lid on and let your rice rest. Magic happens during those 10 minutes of resting, as the steam continues to cook the rice on the top without overcooking the rice on the bottom. The end result is perfectly cooked, tender but not mushy, rice all throughout the pan. Grab a fork, give the rice a gentle toss, and you have perfect, fluffy, creamy, savory coconut rice!
This is a favorite side dish for our Air Fryer Honey Sriracha Salmon. You should try them together!
Savory Coconut Rice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ small white onion (about ½ cup)
- 1 inch ginger root, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- green onions (optional)
- cilantro (optional)
- Finely dice white onion and ginger root. Chop or press garlic.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they just start to soften.
- Add rice, coconut milk, chicken broth, salt, and shredded coconut. Turn to high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn stove off and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff rice, portion, and garnish with green onions and cilantro, if desired.