A bowl heaped full of fragrant Thai Jasmine coconut rice.


Thai Jasmine coconut rice is a favourite Thai dish. Have you tried making coconut rice by substituting coconut milk for water and following your usual method? That might be good enough for everyday, but if you want to experience this dish at it’s best try this recipe. I recommend using good quality Jasmine rice with the simple addition of sautéed onion, it elevates this dish to heavenly.

Rice is rice, right?

Wrong, definitely wrong. All rice is gluten free but all rice is not equal. There are many types of rice and if you are cooking with what some might call cheap rice, or worse yet parboiled rice, you are missing out. Jasmine rice, sometimes called Thai fragrant rice, is a long grain variety of rice that comes from Thailand. It has a soft, sticky texture when cooked and a mild fragrant taste. For me it is simply delicious rice cooked plain or dressed up as coconut rice.

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Tips for Cooking Perfect Rice

Many people cook rice on the stove or in a rice cooker with no trouble at all. I do mine on the stove. But some people complain their rice doesn’t really turn out that great. To me there are only two possible problems. You are not using good rice, or you don’t like following rules. The art of cooking is knowing which rules not to mess with. To cook perfect rice every time follow these general rules.

  • use 1 part rice to 2 parts liquid
  • bring liquid and rice to a boil with the lid off
  • simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes, no peeking

Buying, Storing and Using Canned Coconut Milk

Cans of Gluten Free Coconut Milk
Gluten Free Coconut Milk -photo credit Jim Little

Coconut milk is now readily available at large grocery stores so you don’t need to make a special trip to an Asian market. But at Asian markets the price is generally quite a bit less so I stock up when I’m there.

To learn more about the differing percentages of fat (written on the label) check out my blog post I titled, Canned Coconut Milk. In it I also wrote about how to use coconut milk as a dairy free option for whipping cream.

KITCHEN TIP – Shake the can vigorously before opening, to combine the solids at the top with the liquid. I find this easier than whisking it after the can is open.

Get The Tools

You don’t need anything more than a pot to make rice, that’s how I cook mine. If I was buying new I like the pots with lids you can see through, that’s what my mom has. My sister swears by her rice cooker because it keeps the rice warm until she’s ready to serve it. If you have an Instant Pot on the counter I guess that’s another way to cook rice. Just find the way that works best for you.

Everyday to Gourmet

For an everyday version of this coconut rice I will make all kinds of changes. I’ll use up an open can of coconut milk and simply substitute water to make up the full amount of liquid I need. I often skip the onions too but the finished dish is never as good. So when I’m entertaining I follow all the steps, make no substitutions and I know it’ll be the best gourmet version of Jasmine Coconut Rice.

In the comments below let me know if you have any tips for making coconut rice.

More Thai Recipes

More Thai Recipes
More Thai Recipes from Everyday Gluten Free Gourmet

A Travel Tale – Thailand

From time to time I write a travel post for my friend Sue over at Travel Tales of Life. This is the one I wrote about our trip to Thailand many years ago.

Thai Red Shrimp Curry

Thai Red Shrimp Curry
Thai Red Shrimp Curry -photo credit Jim Little

Thai Jasmine Coconut Rice

The secret to delicious Thai Jasmine coconut rice that tastes like what you've had in a restaurant is the sautéed onions.
Author: Cinde Little
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: thai
Keyword: Thai Jasmine Coconut Rice
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup finely minced onion
  • 1 cup Thai Jasmine rice
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk* (or 1 can plus enough water to measure 2 cups)
  • ½ tsp salt


  • chopped cilantro or toasted coconut


  • Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion until slightly browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook for 1 minute stirring to coat all the grains of rice.
  • Add coconut milk and salt to the pan, stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and transfer to serving dish. Garnish with chopped cilantro or toasted coconut if desired.


* Read the label on the can. 60% coconut extract makes rice that is a little too creamy for me, 24% coconut extract is perfect. Pay close attention, repeat your favourite recipes and decide for yourself.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • Leona Hawryluk says:

    Absolutely delicious. Cinde is a charming and gracious host. So much fun and delightful. I will be making this recipe a lot in the future.

    • Cinde Little says:

      Thank you Leona! It was great to meet you in person and always fun to cook with like-minded people. I’m glad you found so many new Thai and Vietnamese recipes you want to repeat.

  • Joanne says:

    This was such a great recipe. In past attempts I was always missing the sautéed onions. This has made all the difference. Coconut rice was so tasty

    • Cinde Little says:

      This is like a best kept secret! Those sautéed onions transform this dish and I think we could have made a double recipe. Not a single rice grain left in the bowl. Thanks for bringing your group for an in person class. It was a fun night!

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