Side Dish

Thai Coconut Rice

Thai Coconut Rice - Domestic Dreamboat

It’s Spring Break for us here in the Domestic Dreamboat house.

Since this is our first year with a kid in school, it’s also our first Spring Break. We didn’t go anywhere, or at least anywhere exotic. I have been taking time to try and make it fun with a few local outings. First was the Madison Children’s Museum, which is always a favorite for my kids. Then we got donuts and went to Henry Vilas Park and Zoo. And finally, today we made the roughly 1 hour drive to Milwaukee to check out the Domes. Still two more days left, plus the weekend, and I’m out of ideas. I wonder if I can trick my kids into thinking yard work is a fun activity. Probably.
Restaurant Style Thai Coconut Rice

In the meantime, I’ll tell you all about this Thai Coconut Rice. I have been trying to make coconut rice for years. I was comparing it to the coconut rice I had been eating at my favorite Thai restaurants, and was not getting anything like what my restaurants made. Turns out, I was trying to make it too healthy. I was using just a little bit of coconut milk, along with water hoping I’d get the rich coconut flavor I got with my takeout. Nope. Turns out that you need to use a whole can of coconut milk, and no other liquid, to get the perfect coconut rice. And you need to add sugar. And salt. Now you’ve got a coconut rice that you might mistake for takeout.

Restaurant Style Thai Coconut Rice

Now, one step you need to make sure not to forget is rinsing the rice. This is very important not only to coconut rice, but anytime you make any kind of rice. You need to rinse off all the excess starch so your rice doesn’t stick together and get a brown (burnt) film on the bottom. I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to put my rice into the pot of the rice cooker and cover it with water. Then I swish it vigorously with my hand. The water turns milky white, and I drain it off. Then I cover it with water and swish again. I keep repeating this until the water remains clear. I like to do it in my rice cooker pot because it’s black and I can see the color of the water very easily. You could also do it with a dark pot or bowl, or clear bowl over a dark towel.
Restaurant Style Thai Coconut Rice


Restaurant Style Thai Coconut Rice
Thai Coconut Rice
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Making your own coconut rice to accompany your favorite Thai dishes is easy! All you need are a few common ingredients and a rice cooker.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Domestic Dreamboat
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice, rinsed well
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a rice cooker. Start rice cooker. When finished, fluff with a fork and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a rice cooker, stir ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, around 15-20 minutes.


Restaurant Style Coconut Rice Nutrition Info

Thai Coconut Rice Nutrition Notes:

A healthy side dish this is not. Coconut rice is high in fat, particularly saturated fat from the coconut milk it’s made with. I did try to reduce fat by using “lite” coconut milk, but unfortunately, the flavor was not there. I did also try to reduce the sugar content, but wasn’t happy with the flavor. So we’ll say this: leave the recipe as it is without trying to make it healthier, but enjoy a reasonable sized portion of it (approximately 3/4 cup as per above Nutrition Facts, or less).

For a complete Make Your Own Takeout Meal, try this Restuarant Style Coconut Rice with Spicy Thai Basil Chicken. Each dish on it’s own is very good, but they are even better together!

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken


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