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Brown Coconut Rice with Cilantro

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Coconut milk, brown rice, coconut flakes, fresh ginger and cilantro are combined to create this simple side dish, perfect to accompany many Thai dishes.

Coconut milk, brown rice, coconut flakes, fresh ginger and cilantro are combined to create this simple side dish, perfect to accompany many Thai dishes.Brown Coconut Rice with Cilantro

The flavor of the coconut milk is subtle, and pairs perfectly with Sweet and Fiery Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa, Tilapia with Coconut Curry Sauce, Thai green coconut curry shrimp, to name a few. The photo above is the rice topped with the mango salsa from the Sweet and Fiery Pork.

You can also make this with white rice, which is usually my husband’s preference. For a healthier option, stick with brown rice. I’ve played around with several brown rice varieties and Jasmine works best (I was out so I used short grain). If using white, reduce the water to 1 cup and reduce the cooking time. If you wish, you can add a touch of sesame oil which I often like to do. The flaked coconut is optional but I like the subtle sweetness it adds to the dish.

Brown Coconut Rice with Cilantro

4.67 from 3 votes
Coconut milk, brown rice, coconut flakes, fresh ginger and cilantro are combined to create this simple side dish, perfect to accompany many Thai dishes.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese
Coconut milk, brown rice, coconut flakes, fresh ginger and cilantro are combined to create this simple side dish, perfect to accompany many Thai dishes.
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 /4th


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice, brown jasmine, basmati or short grain works well
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk, Thai Kitchen
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 2 tbsp sweetened grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp cilantro


  • In a medium sized heavy pot, add coconut milk, rice, water, ginger, garlic, salt and coconut; bring to a bowl over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, keep covered for 10 more minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork; toss with cilantro.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /4th, Calories: 206 kcal, Carbohydrates: 35.1 g, Protein: 3.1 g, Fat: 5.4 g, Saturated Fat: 3.2 g, Sodium: 154.3 mg, Fiber: 1.8 g, Sugar: 1.3 g


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59 comments on “Brown Coconut Rice with Cilantro”

  1. I have extra-long grain brown rice; will that be a problem? Should I start the rice off with the water for 10 min before adding the other ingredients? I usually cook this type of brown rice in the rice cooker with a 2:1 ratio water to rice and it comes out perfectly.

    BTW I LOVE the site and the cookbooks! What a find.

  2. Thai delight! The recipe was AMAZING!! We used regular coconut milk (what we had on hand) and it was sublime. Cheers! 

  3. Thai delight.. This recipe was AMAZING!! We used regular coconut milk (on hand) and it turned out luscious and paired perfectly with our pineapple salsa Mahi Mahi!  Cheers! 

  4. Avatar photo
    Barnett Frankel

    I’m deathly allergic to cilantro! Tastes like sweatshops smell. Tossed with scallion greens instead.

    One star off because of the noxious weed!

  5. So, on your recipes, are Smart points the same as freestyle points? Or how do we convert them? I apologize in advance if this has been answered multiple times elsewhere. I can’t find the answer.

  6. Avatar photo
    Anissa Allbritton

    Hi, Gina! Thinking of making this for a dinner party tonight. Have you ever done it in the Instant Pot? Was just wondering if it would take the same amount of time as regular brown rice or whether having the coconut milk in there changing the timing somehow (I am relatively new to the IP and still figuring those timing issues out)? Thank you!

  7. Pingback: Chicken Curry | The Pantry Portfolio

  8. Mine is cooking right now and I can't wait! I added a handful of dried currents instead of the flaked coconut.

  9. Made this tonight and it it's wonderful! It's very aromatic and has a wonderful texture. I added a dash of ground cardamom before cooking, because I serverd it with your Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala. My can of Lite Coconut Milk contained 1-3/4 Cups. I increased the Brown Basamati Rice to 1-1/4 cups and also increased the Coconut milk to 1 1/4 cups. That left me with 1/2 cup coconut milk to use in the Tikka Masala in place of the cow's milk. I just did that to use the remainder of the coconut milk. Try both recipes – they are a delight and your house will smell wonderful!

  10. I'm making this tonight with the pork and the mango salsa, but when I put it in the WW recipe builder (I do that to save the recipes so I can find them easily later) I get 7 Points Plus per serving? Why is that? 18 PP for the brown rice (4.5 per serving), 4 for the lite coconut milk (1 per serving) and 5 PP for the shredded coconut (1.25 per serving). That gives 6.75 PP per serving which the recipe builder rounds up to 7. Am I missing something or did you omit an ingredient when you were calculating the PP values in the recipe builder? Even if I leave out the shredded coconut, it's still 6 PP's per serving…

  11. The flavor of this was delicious but my rice came out mushy 🙁 I make rice all the time and have never had this problem…I even tried cooking for an extra 10ish minutes to let all liquid absorb and it was still like mush…the fiery pork was amazing though 🙂 any suggestions as to what i could have done wrong?

  12. Made this tonight with your Blackened Salmon and Mango Salsa. I made it with quinoa instead. To answer the other posts on tips for using quinoa, I reduced the water to 1 c. instead of 1 1/4 c. because in my experience, quinoa tends to get a little mushy if you have too much water. It was still a very thick concoction, the quinoa wasn't as fluffy as when you make it with just water, but we all liked it.

  13. Avatar photo

    I made this last night and it was such a hit! I'm making it again for some friends tonight. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I am terrible at making rice. I don't know whats wrong with me. I made a cup of rice and it was garbage. So I remade quickly with Quinoa. My guests loved it.

    I made with the pork Fiery Sweet Tenderloin and it was a great meal!

  15. Could i just make this with the coconut milk and water???? Would it be too bland?? HELP PLEASE! I'm making this tonight!

  16. This was yummy, and smells great – I only had a teaspoon myself, but my 3 year old at a bowl of it, along with your curry shrimp recipe. Thanks!

  17. Wow–ww friendly arroz de coco! Can't wait to try this as all we eat is arroz de coco as we're also Colombian!

  18. I also made this with the sweet and fiery pork. I used Jasmine rice. In order for it not to be pasty you need to use 1 cup of water or let it absorb all of the liquid. It took about 35 min for mine to turn out okay. You may need to let it simmer longer…?

  19. I made this tonight with the sweet and fiery pork. I used basmati rice , but it came out very pasty. The only thing i did different was double the recipe. Any idea what i may have done wrong? Roseanne

  20. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I'm glad you all liked this.

    I always keep my Ginger in the freezer. I actually grate it frozen. It lasts longer!!

    I wouldn't bake this.

  21. Avatar photo
    Leanne @ Around the Table

    This looks really delicious! I bet it would be great with quinoa as well!I have some coconut milk in my pantry. Might need to be making this!