Coconut Basil Rice

This rice is a step up from basic coconut rice and is a fab­u­lous side to any Asian-style dish. The recipe makes 5–6 cups of rice which works well for my large fam­ily, and still leaves me some left­overs that I gladly eat all by itself. It’s easy, addict­ing, and might just replace every other rice you make.

Coconut Basil Rice

Yield: makes approx. 8 2/3 cup servings


  • 2 cups bas­mati or jas­mine rice
  • 2 table­spoons unsalted butter
  • 2 table­spoons brown sugar
  • 4 gar­lic cloves–minced or pressed through a gar­lic press
  • 1 tea­spoon kosher salt
  • 1 (8oz.) can pineap­ple chunks or tidbits–drained, reserv­ing the juice, and chopped (I avoid crushed. It seems that more of the core is used, result­ing in tougher bits of pineapple)
  • 1 (13oz. approx.) can coconut milk–divided, sav­ing out 1/4 cup to fin­ish off rice (Get a decent qual­ity brand that has lit­tle or no water added. Thai Kitchen is what I usu­ally use, and it’s pretty widely avail­able. I also hear that Whole Foods brand 365 Organic is a good choice.)
  • water (in what­ever amount that added to the milk and pineap­ple juice, adds up to 4 1/4 cups liquid)
  • 4 tea­spoons chopped, fresh basil
  • salt and pep­per to taste


  1. Place rice in a sieve and rinse thor­oughly under cold water until water runs clear. This will remove the starch on the outer sur­face of the rice, help­ing reduce the gum­mi­ness of the fin­ished rice. Let the excess water drain off the rice for sev­eral minutes.
  2. Mean­while, shake the can of coconut milk, open, and set aside 1/4 cup. in a large liq­uid mea­sur­ing cup, pour the milk, and the pineap­ple juice reserved from drain­ing the can of pineap­ple. To this mea­sure­ment (should be roughly 1 2/3 cups liq­uid), add enough water to equal 4 1/4 cups liq­uid total. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-large pan on medium heat, melt the but­ter. Add the brown sugar and stir until blended. Don’t cook the sugar and but­ter together or you will quickly get tof­fee, which on its own is delicious–in coconut rice, not so much.
  4. Raise tem­per­a­ture to medium-high and add the rinsed and drained rice. Quickly stir until the grains of rice are coated with the butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Add the milk/pineapple juice/water mix­ture, gar­lic, and salt. Heat until just boil­ing, then reduce heat to a sim­mer and cover. Cook rice cov­ered for 20 min­utes with­out lift­ing lid. After 20 min­utes remove rice from heat and let sit for 10 min­utes with­out lift­ing lid.
  6. Just before serv­ing, add reserved coconut milk, chopped pineap­ple, and chopped basil. Salt and pep­per to taste.




Related posts:

Leave a Reply