Perfect Coconut Ginger Rice – balanced, aromatic rice recipe perfect for a gourmet weeknight side.
This post is really about making the perfect rice, but for your benefit I’m slipping in this recipe for Coconut Ginger Rice. It will give you an opportunity to apply what you learn from this post. Though it’s simple to make, it is an advanced recipe in terms of flavor.
I used to think the only way to get that light, fluffy rice was at a restaurant. Then as a wedding gift we received a rice cooker, which I didn’t know existed for home use. It was nice, as I got consistent, high quality rice every time. For me this means individual rice do not stick together and are easy to chew. After a while I realized we didn’t use the cooker too often. Initially it was great, but as I got more skilled and proficient as a cook I started making more unique and interesting rice dishes which were hard to pull-off with a rice cooker. So though they are extremely efficient and effective, rice cookers can be limiting.
Needless to say, my wife and are somewhat minimalists and adopted the principle of The 5, i.e. limiting our possessions across different categories to 5 things. We purged those things used infrequently. Net net, the rice maker went away so I had to either eat out to get perfect rice or figure out a way to make it myself at home. So here we are after much research and many failed attempts, I’ve found a fail proof way to get the preferred texture, taste, and consistency. Thank me later if you prefer non-gummy, no clump perfectly steamed rice.
Full disclosure there will be nothing earth shattering to reveal here. I mean it’s rice at the end of the day. But as my Gramps used to say back in the day, “to do a common thing uncommonly well is a wonderful thing.” Without further adieu here are the key steps to making your own perfect rice:
Rinse the rice
Starch is the main culprit to gummy, sticky rice. Hot, boiling water makes starches bloom and as the rice absorbs the water it expands and connects/sticks to other rice grains. So the trick is to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking. The easiest way is to pull the uncooked rice in a bowl of cold water, shake it around, then strain and repeat a few more times until the water becomes clear.
Type of pot matters
Use the heaviest bottomed pot you have to prevent burning. The tighter the lid the better, as you don’t want the water to evaporite so easily and quickly that absorption is impacted.
Sauté the rice in oil before cooking as a shortcut to soak and rinse method
“Toasting” has two benefits – one it adds more flavor and two oil acts as a lubricant protector preventing grains from sticking.
Make sure the ratio of rice to water is correct
This is an underrated variable, especially given the different types and sizes of rice. Generally speaking I find with short grain rice the ratio is 1:1, but for long grain its 1 3/4 cup of water to 1 cup of rice.
Add salt to your liquid (broth or water) while it’s coming to a simmer.
This vs. waiting til the end will ensure the rice is evenly flavored. Likewise this would be the time to add any other additional flavors.
Let the rice rest before eating
Lack of rest equals unevenly cooked grains, I.e. some mushy, some firm. One trick I learned was to uncover the pan, cover it with dry kitchen towel followed by placing the lid back on. This not only helps create a tighter seal, but the towel absorbs all the excess moisture and condensation poised to drip back into the rice.
Now that you have the steps mastered, let’s apply those skills with some coconut ginger rice.
Coconut Ginger Rice
If you make this quick and flavorful Coconut Ginger Rice please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.
For another perfect rice recipe try this Brisket Fried Rice.
Coconut Ginger Rice
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 1 in piece of ginger peel and sliced into thirds
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 medium limes juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Rinse the rice thoroughly in a bowl using cold water and strain using a fine mesh sieve. Repeat this until water runs clear vs. the chalky white it will be initially.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat the oil until beginning smoking. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium high, add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the rice, lime juice, water, coconut milk and salt, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce to low and cook until the rice absorbs the liquid, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard the ginger, then let the rice rest covered for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add cilantro, taste and season with salt if needed.
Don’t uncover the saucepan or stir the rice during cooking.
If it’s done before you’re ready to serve it, place a folded towel over the saucepan, replace the lid, and set aside. The towel will absorb excess moisture and condensation, helping prevent overcooked and mushy rice.