Fluffy, light and delicious, this easy Coconut Rice recipe is made on the stovetop and enhanced with coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger. A vegan, gluten-free side dish in 30 minutes.

bowl or coconut rice garnished with chives and chive blossoms, served with lime wedges.

Coconut rice is a fragrant base for bowls, grilled tofu or meats, or a tasty side dish with fish and seafood. Tender jasmine rice is infused with coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and lime leaves. Rich, coconut flavor with warm undertones of ginger, and bright citrusy accents from the lemongrass and lime leaves. The coconut milk enriches the rice making each bite satisfying yet not overly heavy. The rice remains light and fluffy in texture, making it a delightful side dish for any main course, particularly those with Thai, Balinese, or Vietnamese influences.

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Quick & easy! Only 5 minutes of prep time and ready in 30 minutes!
  2. Aromatic. So many layers of flavor from lemongrass, ginger, and lime leaves.
  3. So versatile! Pair with Southeast Asian, or Caribbean mains.

Coconut Rice Ingredients

ingredients laid out for coconut rice- jar of jasmine rice, can of coconut milk, bag of frozen chopped lemon grass, fresh ginger, and dried lime leaves.
  • Jasmine rice: This type of long-grain white rice results in the lightest, fluffiest texture. Don’t be tempted to use basmati. Rinse the rice for an even fluffier, less sticky texture.
  • Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk. Full-fat or light coconut milk both work, depending on your preference.
  • Aromatics: Lemongrass, ginger root, and makrut (kaffir lime leaves). You can find these ingredients at your local Asian or international market. Use fresh or frozen lemongrass.
  • Optional garnishes: Cilantro, chives, green onions, lime zest, and fresh lime.

How to Make Coconut Rice

Chef’s Tip: Rinsing the rice clears out the excess starch and creates a fluffier, less sticky rice. (Make sure you drain it thoroughly through a fine sieve!)  However, if in a hurry, it is completely OK to skip this step.

Step 1: Combine ingredients. In a medium pot, stir together the drained rice, coconut milk, water, lemongrass, and salt. Add ginger slices and lime leaves if using.

Step 2: Simmer. Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Step 3: Let sit. Turn off heat, keep the lid on, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove aromatics (ginger and lime leaves). Fluff the grains with a fork and serve.

pot of cooked coconut rice.

Step 4: Garnish with cilantro, chives, green onions, or fresh lime juice. Or for a little kick, garnish with a sliced Thai chili pepper!

Serving Suggestions

Coconut rice pairs especially well with Southeast Asian flavors- Thai, Vietnamese, or Malaysian recipes, and pairs well with Caribbean and Hawaiian dishes.


How do I rinse the rice?

Use a fine mesh strainer to rinse under water. Alternatively, you can add rice to a bowl and pour water over top and let it sit before carefully pouring the water out. You can repeat this step several times if you have the time!

Is coconut rice healthy?

Yes! Coconut milk contains healthy fats that can boost heart health and the immune system. The aromatic ingredients like ginger and lemongrass have anti-inflammatory properties and can support digestion.

What does coconut rice taste like?

The fluffy coconut rice has a rich and silky light coconut flavor with essence of ginger. Lemongrass and lime leaves infuse a citrusy, floral aroma.

What is the secret to “not goopy” coconut rice?

Don’t skip the last step! Steaming the rice covered for 10 minutes is key.

Recipe Variations

  • Make it sweet: Add a little sugar or honey to the pot for sweet coconut rice.
  • Make a cilantro lime coconut rice: Add a handful of fresh cilantro leaves and juice from 1 lime to the cooked rice.
  • Make it garlicky: You could add slices of garlic for a bit of pungent flavor to cook along with the rice.
  • Add spices: Turmeric or curry powder are fun additions to try and give a lovely yellow hue.


Store leftover coconut rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Let cool to room temperature before storing. Reheat in the microwave or gently reheat on the stove in a saute pan. Freeze coconut rice for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Add a splash of water when reheating.

bowl of cooked coconut rice, garnished with lime wedges and chive blossoms.

Hope you enjoy this Coconut Rice recipe! Please remember to rate the recipe and leave your feedback, and adjustments in the comments below.



More Favorite Rice Recipes

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Fluffy, light and delicious, this easy Coconut Rice recipe is enhanced with coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger. A vegan, gluten-free side dish in 30 minutes.

Coconut Rice Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


Fluffy, delicious and easy, this stovetop Coconut Rice recipe is enhanced with coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger. A vegan, gluten-free side dish in 30 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed ( *see notes)
  • 15 ounces, 1 can coconut milk (we used full-fat coconut milk but light coconut milk will work too)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, minced
  • 56 thin slices of ginger root
  • optional 6 Makrut or kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium saucepan or pot, stir the rice with coconut milk, water, lemongrass, and salt.  Add ginger slices and lime leaves if using.
  2. Bring to a boil with the lid off. Turn down to a gentle simmer, put the lid on, and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off leave the lid on and let sit for 10 minutes (don’t be tempted to peak!).
  4. Remove aromatics- ginger and lime leaves. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, chives, green onions , lime zest, or a squeeze of lime juice. 


Rinsing the rice clears out the excess starch and creates a fluffier less sticky rice. (Make sure you drain thoroughly through a fine sieve!)  However I don’t find it to make that much of a difference and skip this step when in a hurry.

Jasmine rice is soft, requires less liquid, and cooks quickly. If using a different rice, the liquid ratio may vary, and cooking times will also vary. Always check the package directions and adjust liquid  and timing accordingly. 

Leftovers will keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 days. Great made into fried rice.


  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 198
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 236.7 mg
  • Fat: 13.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. I made this with brown rice, so adjusted the cooking time & liquid amounts. Added some lime zest & juice after it had steamed. Wonderful! Thank you.

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