Rice Cooker Coconut Rice – Platings + Pairings

This Rice Cooker Coconut Rice is fragrant, fluffy, and easy to make with a touch of a button. The mild coconut flavor is delectable, making this simple side dish perfect for curries, stir fry, stew, and more. Rice cooker, Instant Pot, and stovetop directions included.

Cooking rice in coconut milk isn’t anything new. It’s a common practice throughout Southeast Asia, India, the Caribbean, East and West Africa, and Central and South America because the rice is decadent and goes with almost anything. 

Learning how to make Rice Cooker Coconut Rice at home is foolproof, especially with a rice cooker doing most of the work. It begins with plain jasmine rice, which is steamed with coconut milk and broth instead of water. After a few minutes, you’ll have a simple side dish that’s slightly coco-nutty and fluffy.

Anything goes when it comes to serving coconut rice.

Pile it next to comforting curries, stews, stir fry, and more. It’s particularly delicious with my Butternut Squash Curry and Butter Chicken!

Here, you’ll learn the basics of cooking classic coconut rice in a rice cooker. This convenient kitchen appliance eliminates the margin for error, meaning no more undercooked chewy rice or overcooked mushy rice!

🛒 What is coconut rice made of?

  • Jasmine rice – This is a long-grain white rice deeply rooted in Thai cuisine. For true coconut rice, jasmine rice is non-negotiable. The final taste and texture will be different if you use another type of rice.
  • Coconut milk – Use a can of full fat coconut milk for the best results. 
  • Chicken stock – In order for the rice to absorb the coconut milk, it needs to be diluted slightly. Chicken stock works well and adds a savory element to the coconut rice. If you’re planning on making sweet coconut rice, use water instead of stock. 
  • Shredded coconut – Unsweetened! This gets fluffed into the hot cooked rice, making it extra rich and creamy. 
  • Cilantro and lime – For garnish. Substitute fresh parsley or sliced green onions if you aren’t a fan of cilantro.

📋 How to make coconut rice in a rice cooker

A rice cooker is the most efficient way to cook foolproof coconut rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker, head to the FAQs section for Instant Pot and stovetop directions.

Rinse the rice

First, rinse your rice in a mesh strainer under cool running water until the water runs clear. Add it to the rice cooker along with coconut milk, chicken stock, and a generous pinch of salt.

Rinsed rice in strainer.

Cook in the rice cooker

Program your rice cooker to cook on the “quick” or “white rice” setting. Refer to the equipment manual for instructions specific to your model if you need to.

When the timer goes off, remove the lid and let the rice sit in the pot undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.

Fluff and serve

Finally, fluff the coconut rice with a fork and stir in the shredded coconut and fresh lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy! 

Fluffed coconut rice in rice cooker.

🌟 Tips and tricks

  • Always rinse your rice. The natural starchy coating on the grains can make them taste gelatinous or gummy if they aren’t rinsed properly.
  • The easiest way to rinse rice is to let the grains sit in a bowl of cool water for about 20 minutes.
  • Not using jasmine rice? Then the cooking time will need to change. Check out my Rice Cooker Rice Guide for tips on cooking other rice types, including brown, basmati, risotto, and short-grain sushi rice.
Coconut rice in dome shape in bowl with chopsticks next to rice cooker.

🍽 Serving suggestions

Coconut rice is the perfect side dish to pair with dishes from around the world. Take your pick of any of these flavor-packed options:

Thai-inspired

Indian-inspired

Chinese-inspired

Mexican-inspired

Fluffed bowl of coconut rice.

ℹ️ FAQs

I don’t have a rice cooker. Can I make this in the Instant Pot instead?

Yes! Add the rinsed jasmine rice, broth, and coconut milk to the pot and seal the lid closed. Set the steam valve in the sealed position. 
Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining steam. 
Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the shredded coconut and fresh lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Can I make coconut rice on the stove?

Yes! If you do not have a rice cooker or pressure cooker, cooking coconut rice on the stove is always an option. 
To do so, add the rinsed jasmine rice, coconut milk, and broth (or water) to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. 

How do I make sweet coconut rice?

Cook the rice in coconut milk and water instead of chicken stock, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white sugar. You can serve sweet coconut rice for dessert or with fresh fruit, like mango or pineapple.

Can you overcook rice in a rice cooker? 

It’s very unlikely. Most rice cookers have the technology to detect when the rice has absorbed as much liquid as possible, indicating that it’s cooked just right before automatically turning off. 

Why is my coconut rice mushy?

This likely means that the rice is overcooked and has absorbed too much water. 

How do you fix soggy coconut rice?

Draining any excess liquid in the rice cooker should help the coconut rice taste less soggy.

🕕 Storing and freezing

Store the extra coconut rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 4 or 5 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy leftover coconut rice, the easiest way to reheat it is in the microwave in 30-second intervals. If the rice doesn’t seem as creamy as before, stir in a splash of coconut milk or water to loosen it up.

Close up overhead shot of bowl of coconut rice next to small bowl of coconut.

​​Did you make this coconut rice recipe?

If you loved this rice cooker recipe, I would appreciate it if you gave it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Overhead shot of bowl of coconut rice with chopsticks.

  • 2 cups jasmine rice (rinsed)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 ⅔ cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional:

  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • Combine rice, coconut milk, chicken stock, and salt in a rice cooker.

  • Cook on “quick” setting or white rice setting.

  • After the cook time is up, allow the rice to sit for 5-10 minutes.

  • Stir in the shredded coconut and, if desired, the cilantro and lime juice.

  • Enjoy!

Instant Pot Directions: 

  • Add the rinsed jasmine rice, broth, and coconut milk to the pot and seal the lid closed. Set the steam valve in the sealed position. 
  • Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining steam. 
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the shredded coconut and fresh lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Stovetop Directions: 

  • Add the rinsed jasmine rice, coconut milk, and broth (or water) to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. 
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the shredded coconut and fresh lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

🍚 More helpful grain guides

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