Restaurant Style Coconut Rice (Coconut Milk)


  • 2 cups jasmin rice Note 1
  • 400 ml / 14 oz coconut milk full fat or light (Note 2)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tsp white sugar Note 3
  • 1/2 tsp cooking / kosher salt


  • Rinse rice in water until the water runs pretty clear. (Note 1)
  • Soak & drain – Drain rice then soak in water for 1 hour. Then drain in a colander and leave to drain well for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F (180°C fan).
  • Rice in pan – Place the rice in a 20cm / 8" square pan (metal or ceramic). Add pandam or kaffir, if using.
  • Heat coconut milk – Heat coconut milk, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Bake 40 minutes – Working quickly (to minimise heat loss), pour hot liquid over rice, stir quickly to spread rice evenly. Cover with foil then bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  • Rest 15 minutes – Remove the pan from the oven. Take a quick peek to ensure the liquid has been absorbed (tilt pan to check). There will be coconut cream on the surface – that's normal. Rest rice, covered, for 15 minutes. Do not shortcut this!
  • Fluff with rubber spatula. Garnish with toasted coconut, if using, then serve. Marvel at fluffy rice!


1. Rinsing rice – essential for this recipe as the rich coconut milk will otherwise make the rice gluey.
This rice is best made with jasmine rice. For long grain, basmati, medium and short grain rice, add an extra 1/4 cup of water. This recipe is not suitable for risotto or paella rice, or brown rice.
2. Coconut milk – Please use full fat coconut milk so this actually tastes of coconut! The higher then coconut % (check ingredients) the better the coconut flavour. I use Ayam (89%, this is high). Cheap brands can be as low as 30% (the rest is water!).
3. Sugar – some restaurants make the coconut rice a touch sweet with the addition of sugar. Also, higher quality coconut milk is sweeter and richer than cheaper ones. So this is optional. It doesn’t make the rice super sweet, it just adds a subtle touch of sweetness. I almost always include it.