A pantry side dish that tastes like vacation feels.
What is there to say about rice? Seriously. It’s . . . rice. It’s plain. We like it. It is Best Supporting Actor for dishes around the world, from Indian butter chicken to Thai curry bowls.
At least, I thought that rice was mostly Best Supporting Actor, until this coconut rice with fresh ginger came along. It may well upstage your main course.
Coconut rice is a great way to elevate something basic and simple to something, well, still basic and simple, but in a much more satisfying and interesting way. The coconut smells fragrant and makes the rice taste slightly rich, without being heavy or cloying. Fresh ginger adds extra freshness and a light hit of heat.
This rice is very versatile, but would taste perfect with grilled meat, chicken, or shrimp.
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Notes About Cooking Coconut Rice With Fresh Ginger
This is a very easy recipe to make, so there is not much to explain. However,
- Make sure to shake the coconut milk well before you open it. Coconut milk, because of its high fat content, tends to separate and will be very clumpy otherwise. If you forget, that’s ok. It will all come together when it heats in the pot and the coconut solids melt.
- The recipe calls for coconut sugar, which adds a little more coconut “oomph” and gives the rice a nice, light caramel color. But you can easily substitute white sugar 1:1.
- Because of the sugar content, the rice at the bottom of the rice pot may caramelize a little. Once you get toward the end of the cooking time, scrape the bottom and give it all a nice stir. Then cover again and finish cooking.
- Feel free to substitute powdered ginger for the fresh. Reduce the amount of ginger by two-thirds, since powdered ginger is more concentrated.
Coconut Rice With Fresh Ginger
- 2 cups white jasmine rice
- 1 13-ounce can coconut milk, well shaken
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger (peel the fresh ginger before grating)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or plain white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- Garnishes, optional: thinly-sliced scallions, cilantro leaves, sliced hot peppers, large flaked coconut
- Rinse the rice under cold water for several minutes in a colander, or by swishing it around in a pot of cold water, then replacing the water and repeating several times, until the water runs more clearly and looks less starchy.PRO TIP: Rinsing the rice removes some of the excess starch. This will make your finished rice fluffier and not gummy.
- In a medium-sized sauce pot, stir together the rinsed rice, coconut milk, water, grated ginger, sugar, and salt.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until cooked, about 20 minutes, stirring once about three-quarters of the way through, scraping the bottom.
- Fluff the coconut rice with a fork. Serve hot with any garnishes.