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Rice is one of those perfect sides that can elevate any dish it’s paired with. Adding coconut shreds and light coconut milk gives this dish the right amount of flavor and texture to take your meal to the next level. Better yet: it can go with any number of dishes. I love it with Cuban black beans, plantains, and avocados.


6 Servings
(1 serving = 1 cup)
  • 2cup
    long-grain rice
  • avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1
    onion, chopped
  • 3
    cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2cup
    shredded coconut
  • 2cup
    light coconut milk (or 1 14 oz. can)
  • 2cup


  1. First, rinse the rice thoroughly by placing in a sieve and rinsing with cold water. Rinse until the water becomes clear. (You can also do this by placing the rice in a bowl, filling with water, and rinsing until the water is clear.) Set aside for later.

  2. Place two tablespoons of avocado oil in a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat. Once smoking, add the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with some salt. Cook until the onion has softened (about 5 minutes).

  3. Add the rice and coconut shreds. Stir so that everything is mixed. Toast in the pan until some of the coconut shreds start to brown slightly (about 5 - 8 minutes).

  4. Add the coconut milk and 2 cups of water, making sure all the rice is evenly covered. Add a tsp and a half of kosher salt, or until the liquid tastes like a salty coconut sea. Cover, and reduce the temperature to low. Keep covered for 15 minutes, or until the rice has soaked in all the liquid.

  5. When done, take off the heat. Serve and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  1. As I was developing this recipe, I tried using both coconut flakes and shredded coconut. To be honest, I liked it both ways, but shredded coconut isn’t as chewy and is slightly easier to toast.

  2. I much prefer light coconut milk, as it’s not as rich and fatty as regular coconut milk. You can also use vegetable stock instead of water to make this richer.

  3. With any rice dish, the sky is the limit in terms of whatever else you decide to add. For instance, adding some cilantro will make for a picturesque dish sprinkled with green.

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Recipe by

Rachel Zorn Kindermann


I'm a plant-based eater and food writer dedicated to making cooking and plant-based eating approachable and fun! I'm the creator of Samosas and Mimosa... Read More

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