Fragrant and aromatic jasmine coconut rice, the perfect addition to any Asian style meal. The rice is cooked in coconut milk and topped with toasted coconut flakes for extra sweetness and texture.
Rice was a staple at the dinner table almost every night in my family growing up. I don’t prepare it as often at home now, but it’s a welcomed comforting treat. One way to make this simple and wholesome grain, even more, delectable is to infuse flavors into the liquid during cooking that rice easily and happily takes on.
The ingredients commonly used in Thai cuisine such as sweet and delicious coconut milk is perfect for adding into the fluffy white grains of rice. I decided to use long grain rice that is often used in Asian cooking for this aromatic jasmine coconut rice recipe. It will undoubtedly become one of your favorite side dishes!
Jasmine rice is a long-grain rice that originates from Thailand. It has a nutty aroma and sticks slightly together when cooked. When I was little, I would see my family wash the rice grains before cooking in cold water by rubbing the grains together creating a rhythmic sound. They drained the water, then wash until the water ran clear. This helps to remove any dirt and excess starches remaining on the outside of the grains. I found it also to give a cleaner flavor to the cooked rice, and it has become something I do every time, not to mention it reminds me of the Chinese traditions in my family.
I use coconut milk and a little hint of sugar for sweetness to infuse the flavors of the liquid into the fragrant jasmine rice. You could always add a little bit more sugar if you like your rice to be a bit more on the sweet side. However, I found that if I top the rice with toasted coconut flakes, it enhances the natural sweetness and coconut flavors that have been added to the rice.
The extra crunchy texture makes these tender grains of rice out of this world! I like to serve this rice with any Asian or Carribean dishes, like my Tahitian Mahi Mahi with vanilla sauce or Thai chicken vegetable curry.
What is the difference between brown and white rice?
Rice is a staple in many cuisines around the world, from short, medium and long grain varieties, providing different texture experiences with this versatile seed from the plant Oryza sativa. Once each grain of rice is removed from the outside husk, the structure that is left is brown rice. Because the brown rice is composed of the bran, the germ, and the endosperm, many of the nutrients and fibers remain and provide additional health benefits when consumed. To create white rice, the whole grain brown rice is parboiled and milled to remove the outer bran layer and germ, and what is left is the characteristic polished white rice grains (the starchy endosperm). Depending on how much starch (amylose) and protein is contained in each granule, determines the texture of the rice. It can be gummy and sticky like those short grain varieties (think sushi rice), or fluffy and separate like jasmine rice in this coconut rice recipe. (Source: Cooks Illustrated – Science of Rice)
Aromatic Jasmine Coconut Rice
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
- 13 1/2 ounces coconut milk, (1 can)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted sweetened
- cilantro, (optional for garnishing)
- In a fine mesh colander, rinse jasmine rice with water until water runs clear. Drain well and set aside.
- Bring coconut milk, water, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 18 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Let rice stand for 5 minutes.
- In a medium-sized nonstick pan, toast shredded coconut flakes over medium-low heat until flakes are lightly golden brown on both sides. Shake pan constantly to prevent coconut shreds from burning. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
- Fluff rice with a fork, portion out rice and sprinkle with toasted coconut and cilantro.