This easy coconut jasmine rice is fragrant, aromatic, and so delicious! It takes just 25-30 minutes to make and it’s make-ahead friendly.
I use Thai jasmine rice and unsweetened coconut milk to make this recipe. The results are fantastic: soft and tender rice with perfectly separated grains, infused with a subtle coconut aroma.
My favorite method for cooking coconut jasmine rice is over the stovetop, but you can make it in a rice cooker or pressure cooker too.
Have you ever tried coconut jasmine rice? You’ll love this tender jasmine rice infused with coconut milk! It’s a great side dish for curries, fish, chicken, and so much more.
The jasmine rice is cooked in rich coconut milk. The flavors are not overpowering at all, but fragrant and aromatic, with subtle coconut tones. It comes out tender and soft – it’s not mushy or sticky at all.
Here’s why I love coconut jasmine rice:
- Texture: The grains are soft, tender and separated.
- Flavor: No overpowering flavors here, just coconut milk infused rice. It’s fragrant, with a hint of nutty coconut.
- Multiple methods: My favorite way to make this coconut jasmine rice is over the stovetop, but you can use the rice cooker or Instant Pot too.
Made with Thai-Style Coconut Milk
Not all coconut milk is created equal. Flavor and consistency vary a lot depending on the brand and type of milk. I’ve tested several kinds of coconut milk, and here’s what I’d recommend:
- Choose Thai-style coconut milk, if possible
- Use canned coconut milk only
- Use full-fat coconut milk. Don’t use light coconut milk, as it lacks flavor.
- Don’t use coconut cream (too thick) or coconut milk beverage
If you can’t find Thai-style coconut milk, feel free to use the regular kind, usually found in the baking aisle.
Different Cooking Methods
Stovetop: This yields the best quality of rice, in my opinion. Fluffy with perfectly separated grains of rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker or Instant Pot, the stovetop is definitely the way to go! Takes about 20-25 minutes.
Rice cooker: The most hand-off method. Just combine everything together in a rice cooker and let it cook. Less liquid is needed for this method. It should take about 20-25 minutes.
Instant Pot: This is the fastest method. Takes about 15 minutes.
You can find instructions for all methods in the recipe card down below. The main method (stovetop) is in the main instructions section, and the other 2 can be found under “notes” within the recipe card.
- Unsweetened, canned full-fat coconut milk: Preferably Thai-style for more intense coconut fragrance. Don’t use light coconut cream, since it’s watered down and lacks flavor. Also, don’t use coconut milk beverage – it usually comes in cartons and contains added ingredients.
- Jasmine rice: It’s fragrant and cooks beautifully, and pairs really well with coconut flavors. If you can’t find jasmine rice, you can use long grain rice or basmati.
- Water and salt
Step 1 | Rinse rice
Rinse uncooked jasmine rice through a sieve with cold water, using your hands to gently swirl it around. Rinsing the jasmine rice will remove extra starch and improve the texture, so it won’t be sticky, starchy, or too wet.
Step 2 | Combine water, milk, and salt
In a medium pot, combine coconut milk with water and salt. Bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Tip: When you open the can, the coconut milk may look separated. That’s normal. Just stir it with a spoon until evenly combined.
Step 3 | Add rice and cook covered
Once it’s simmering, add the rinsed rice and give it a quick stir. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer. Cover with a lid. If needed, stir the rice one more time before covering with the lid. Simmer for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 8-10 minutes, covered. Then, fluff with a fork and serve.
How to Make Coconut Rice in the Rice Cooker
How do you cook coconut jasmine rice in a slow cooker? I get this question A LOT, so I’m writing a dedicated section for it.
First things first, to make coconut rice in a slow cooker, you need a little bit less liquid than what the recipe calls for (about ½ cup less water). Here are the instructions:
- Rinse uncooked jasmine rice thoroughly.
- In a rice cooker, combine 1 (14-ounce) can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 cup water, ¾ teaspoons salt, and the rinsed rice. Mix to combine. Tip: I use a 3-cup capacity (uncooked) rice cooker.
- Press the “cook” button or setting in your rice cooker. It should take about 20 minutes, depending on the brand of your rice cooker.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes in the “warm” setting. Then, fluff with fork and serve.
Substitutions and Variations
These are my favorite variations:
- Saute garlic and shallots in oil before adding the liquid to add extra aromatic flavors.
- Add a touch of sweetness by stirring in some sugar into the cooking liquid to taste
- Stir in shaved coconut for intense coconut flavors!
- Make a pilaf: Stir in cilantro, mango, red bell peppers, or onions.
- Other types of rice: Try regular long grain rice or basmati rice. Stay away from short grain or brown rice for this recipe – it will turn out mushy.
Adjusting for quantities? Simply adjust the ingredients proportionally to make the amount of rice you need. Cut it in half, double it, triple it, etc. It’s that easy.
Pairing and Serving Ideas
I love using this coconut jasmine rice to make Curry Fried Rice! It adds unbeatable fragrance and flavor to the fried rice. Also try pairing it with these dishes:
You could also try serving it with pan-seared salmon or any fish. It goes really well with curries. Try this Thai Red Chicken Curry (by Kitchen Sanctuary).
Use unsweetened, canned full-fat coconut milk, preferably Thai-style for more intense coconut fragrance. Don’t use light coconut milk (lacks flavor), coconut cream (too thick) or coconut milk beverage (contains added ingredients)/
No, it’s too thick.
Rinsing the rice washes away extra starch, which ensures that the rice will turn out tender and soft, but not mushy or sticky.
Regular long grain or basmati rice will work too, but it will lack the distinct aromatic tones of jasmine rice. Don’t use short grain or brown rice for this recipe.
Yes! See instructions under recipe notes in the recipe card down below.
This recipe was published in 2020 and updated in May 2022 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- Use canned, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, preferably Thai-style (I like the Thai Kitchen brand). Don’t use light coconut milk, coconut cream, or coconut milk beverage.
- Rinse the uncooked rice several times with water to remove excess starch. This will prevent the rice from being mushy or sticky.
- Use the right amount of liquid, as listed in the recipe card below, to get the right texture. Please note that if using a rice cooker, you’ll need to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly (see notes).
Easy Coconut Jasmine Rice
- 1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat) - preferably Thai-style, I like the Thai Kitchen brand
- 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¾ teaspoons Kosher salt
- Rinse rice thoroughly with cold water using a colander, using your hands to gently swirl it around. Set aside.
- Stir the coconut milk with a spoon, if needed: When you open the can, it may look separated, and that’s normal. Simply stir it with a spoon until evenly combined.
- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, and salt. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil.
- Then, add the rinsed rice and give it a quick stir. Bring to a boil again and then reduce to a low simmer. Cover with the lid and simmer for 18-20 minutes until water has been absorbed and rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 8-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
- Rice cooker instructions: You need to reduce the amount of liquid for this method (1 cup water instead of 1.5 cups). In a rice cooker, combine 1 (14-ounce) can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 cup water, ¾ teaspoons salt, and the rinsed rice. Cook rice.
- Instant pot instructions: Use the same ingredient quantities listed in the recipe card, no need to adjust. Combine all ingredients. Close lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes and allow a 10-minute natural release. Release excess steam by turning the knob to vent, and then open the lid carefully.
- Use canned, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, preferably Thai-style. I like the Thai Kitchen brand. Don’t use light coconut milk (lacks flavor), coconut cream (too thick), or coconut milk beverage (includes added ingredients).
- Adjust proportionally for different servings. Cut it in half, double it, triple it, etc. It’s that simple!
- Make ahead and storing: Make this up to 2 days in advance. Loosely pack rice in containers and refrigerate. Don’t pack the rice too tight.
- Reheating: Spread and loosen rice in a bowl. Add a few splashes of water and microwave for about 1 minute or until warm.
- Freezing: Freeze in freezer-friendly resealable bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat.
- Jasmine rice: Regular long grain rice or basmati rice. However, it will lack the aromatic tones of jasmine rice.