What's Inside: Follow 4 simple steps to make perfectly cooked coconut rice in a rice cooker, making your life easier.
Have you ever found yourself in a rush making dinner, burning your coconut rice on the stove because you were busy and didn’t have time to check it?
You feel frustrated and hungry, so you call takeout.
What if I tell you there is a solution for this, a magic kitchen appliance that will help you put dinner on the table effortlessly and with minimal supervision? A rice cooker.
Check out this article on other kitchen appliances to simplify your busy life.
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Coconut rice or arroz con coco is a dish that pairs with Caribbean, Indian and Asian dishes.
In Panama, We serve coconut rice with seafood in different presentations, fried, in garlic sauce, or with stews. You can find other ingredients in coconut rice, like arroz con guandú y coco, using pigeon peas and coconut rice and beans.
My grandma used to cook coconut rice on the weekends to enjoy with some fried fish and tajadas on the side and a tomato, lettuce, and onions salad. Traditional cooked coconut rice is done on the stove and sometimes in firewood, giving it a smoky flavor.
The sugar in this recipe gives an excellent taste but is not sweet. This simple but flavored side dish is just what you need to feel comfort food in all its greatness.
Let me show you the 4 simple steps to cook this easy coconut rice on busy days using a rice cooker. It’s as simple as dumping the ingredients, pressing the cook button, and making your happy dance.
No babysitting. Enjoy doing other things while you wait for the rice to be done. The perfect side dish recipe for busy home cooks like you!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: follow a few steps for perfectly cooked rice using a rice cooker every time.
- Simple: made with pantry ingredients but full of flavor.
To make this recipe, you’ll need the following:
- Long-grain rice: wash it before you cook with it, this is the key to fluffy rice.
- Full-fat coconut milk: Use the canned and unsweetened coconut milk. The boxed beverages does not have the same consistency and will not yield the right result.
- Sugar: you can use whichever sugar you have, white or brown.
You’ll have the complete measurement of each ingredient on the recipe card below.
As for utensils, you’ll need a rice cooker, a liquid measuring cup, and a spoon. If you don't have a rice cooker, check out my favorite one below.
📝 How To Make Coconut Rice In A Rice Cooker
Let's follow these 4 simple steps to cook this easy coconut rice.
- Mix the water and coconut milk in the measuring cup. The amount cooked in this recipe is 1 cup which will serve about 3 servings.
- Add the rice, liquid mixture (coconut milk and water), salt, and sugar into the rice cooker's inner pot and mix all the ingredients.
This rice cooker has been my favorite meal prep gadget for years! The rice comes out perfectly every time. Plus you can cook other foods too.
- Close the rice cooker, press the “rice” or cook button, depending on your rice cooker model, and let it do its job. It’ll take about 20-25 minutes to cook.
- Once the rice cooker is done cooking, wait 5 minutes so that the rice can absorb any remaining liquid. Then open your rice cooker and fluff up the rice, serve it with your favorite protein, and enjoy!
For specific flavor combinations, you can check out the servings suggestion section.
- The trick for fluffy coconut rice is to wash the rice. Rinsing the rice will remove any excess starch and help avoid clumping when cooking.
- Before opening your coconut milk can, shake it well to prevent any separation of the milk and coconut water.
- If you see white pieces on the rice once cooked, it’s ok fluff it and serve. These are coconut pieces that were not mixed but it’s ok to eat.
- You can also cook it using an instant pot or the stove.
- Use coconut milk, NOT coconut cream. If you have coconut cream, you’ll need to dilute it with water. I have bought coconut cream instead of coconut milk a few times. Try using ½ cup of coconut cream, and the rest liquid will be water to form the 1¼ cup of liquid needed to cook the rice.
Meal Prep Tip: Cook 5 servings for each person on Monday, then serve on individual meal prep containers or separate portions and freeze for later. (check the instructions below on how to freeze it).
Storage & Reheating
Fridge: Store in an air-thigh food safety container once it cooled, about 20 minutes. It’ll last in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Freezer: Once cooled, separate into smaller portions (1-2 cups), then add it to a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag and place it in the freezer for about 3 months. If using a bag, remove all the air from it to prevent freezer burns. To consume, thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
Reheating: Heat a microwave for 2-3 minutes or until piping hot if it’s a smaller portion. If using a pot on the stove, add 1 Tablespoon of water per cup of rice. Cover and bring it to low heat and let it steam until hot or for about 5 minutes. Preferably, reheat the serving needed, no more than that.
Only using coconut milk will not work, since it's thick, and the rice needs water to absorb during the cooking process. For this reason, there is always water in coconut rice recipes.
Yes, you can adjust the recipe for the amount of rice you are cooking. For each cup of uncooked rice, add ¾ cup of full-fat coconut milk, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ cup of water and follow the same cooking directions. Cooking more is a great meal-prepping tip.
🔖 Recipe Variations
- Want to add more flavor? Sauté some onions and garlic and add them to the rice before cooking. About ½ onion and 1 garlic clove for 1 cup of uncooked rice.
- Once cooked, add a handful of chopped cilantro and a few lime zest and juice of ½ lime for a cilantro lime coconut rice.
- Enjoy beans? Add 1 can of rinsed and drained beans like pigeon peas (guandú), red kidney beans, or red beans, and follow the same cooking directions.
- Love spicy foods? Add a pinch of chili flakes before cooking.
🍽 Serving Size and Suggestions
Serve it with whole fried fish, shrimp in garlic sauce (Camarones al ajillo), fried ripe plantains, and simple lettuce and tomato salad.
It pairs perfectly with chicken curries, beef dishes with sauces, and any seafood. Also, you can enjoy this flavorful dish with a side of kidney beans plus your favorite protein.
1 cup of raw rice yields about 2-3 servings depending on your diet. Aim for 1 cup of cooked rice per person.
Other Recipes You'll Love
Next time you find yourself in a rush for dinner, skip using the stove, take out your rice cooker, and cook coconut rice. Perfect every time!
If you tried this easy coconut rice in a rice cooker recipe or any other recipe at Nashi Food, don't forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! We love knowing about your cooking experience.
Coconut Rice in Rice Cooker
- 1 cup long-grain rice, washed
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened, canned
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- Mix the coconut milk and water in the measuring cup.
- Add the rice, coconut milk, salt, and water to your rice cooker, and mix.
- Cover your rice cooker, press the “Cook” button, and let it do its magic. Once the rice is cooked, you’ll see that the keep warm button remains on.
- Once it’s done, turn off the rice cooker, open it, fluff out the coconut rice, and it’s ready to be served.
- Use canned and unsweetened full-fat coconut milk. Before opening, shake well to prevent any liquid separation.
- If you have coconut cream, you’ll need to dilute it with water. I have bought coconut cream instead of coconut milk a few times. Try using ½ cup of coconut cream, and the rest liquid will be water to form the 1¼ cup of liquid needed to cook the rice.
- The trick for fluffy coconut rice is to wash the rice. Rinsing the rice will remove excess starch and help avoid clumping.
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