Perfect Coconut Ginger Rice - balanced, aromatic rice recipe perfect for a gourmet weeknight side.
This rice recipe is not just about making great unique coconut rice but also provides guidance on how to make the perfect rice - advanced flavor with a light, fluffy texture with individual rice that does not stick together and is easy to chew.
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.
COCONUT RICE INGREDIENTS
- Long grain rice
- Coconut oil
- Garlic cloves
- Coconut milk
- Kosher salt
Rinse the rice thoroughly in a bowl using cold water and drain using a fine mesh sieve. Do this repeatedly until water runs clear vs. the chalky white you'll see initially.
Bring a large saucepan to medium heat and add oil heating until it begins to smoke some. Add the garlic for a quick saute (2 minutes), stirring frequently.
Increase the heat then quickly cook the ginger (30 seconds).
Stir in the rice, lime juice, water, coconut milk, and salt. Bring the rice to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until the rice absorbs the liquid (15-20 minutes).
Remove the pan from heat. Remove the ginger and discard, then allow the rice to rest, undisturbed for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add cilantro, taste and season additionally with salt if need.
COOKING CONSIDERATIONS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN PERFECT 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, "doing a common thing uncommonly well is a wonderful thing."
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 evaporate so easily and quickly that absorption is impacted.
Saute 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 it's 1 ¾ 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 a 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.
MORE RICE RECIPES
Making Coconut Ginger Rice
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- 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
- ¾ 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.