Fragrant, delicious Instant Pot Coconut Rice. Make this side and bring to EVERY potluck and family dinner.
This past summer, I started making Coconut Rice in my Instant Pot. Usually, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to rice. I don’t own a rice cooker and prefer making it on the stove in a pot.
But this Instant Pot Coconut Rice changed everything. EVERYTHING!! Once I perfected the technique, I was hooked. I found myself making it over and over again. It was such an easy and fragrant side. Even leftovers tasted good the next day.
This is not Thai style Coconut Rice which is sweet and sticky. This Coconut Rice is chewy and somewhat firm. The kind of rice that keeps its integrity and tastes great with curries and saucy foods. And can also be served alongside grilled meats and veggies.
Full-fat coconut milk tastes best in this recipe. I’ve tried using “lite” coconut milk and it just doesn’t taste the same. Buy the kind that comes in a can, not the boxed variety that people eat with cereal.
When you open the can, you’ll find coconut creme sticking to the top of the lid. Make sure to scrape off every bit of the coconut creme! Or, vigorously shake the can before opening which will combine the milk and creme together.
Long Grain Rice
I use Basmati Rice because that’s the long grain variety of rice found in my pantry. But any long grain rice will do. Jasmine Rice also works. The key is to make sure it’s not short grain rice.
Short grain rice absorbs water faster so it ends up softer and stickier. All those little grains cling together and make for a very fluffy, tender mouthful of rice.
Long grain rice takes longer and cooks up drier with a denser, chewier texture. That’s the texture you are going for here. A little firm with grains that are separated.
IP Rice Cooking Method
DO NOT USE THE ‘RICE’ FUNCTION ON THE INSTANT POT FOR THIS DISH!!
For some reason, this function makes my rice turn into mush. Instead use the manual function on high pressure for 4 minutes. On my IP, it’s labeled ‘Pressure Cook.’ Also, make sure to turn off the ‘Keep Warm’ function.
Once the rice has finished cooking, manually release the steam. Remove the lid, drape a clean kitchen towel over, then place the lid (loosely) on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, fluff with a fork and serve with a handful of chopped cilantro on top!
Prep the Rice
Asians wash and rinse their rice before cooking. Several times. Until the water is no longer cloudy and murky. This gets rid of all the extra starch that clings to each grain and yields less clumpy rice.
If this sounds odd, that’s ok. When I was a kid, I thought it was odd, too. But trust me. The rice will taste much better this way!
I recommend using a sieve when rinsing the rice, which is easier if you’ve never rinsed rice before. Also, this ensures that all the excess water is siphoned off so the flavour of the coconut milk is not watered down too much.
Instant Pot Coconut Rice
- 2 cups Basmati or other long grain rice
- 1 can Coconut Milk 400 ml/14 fl oz
- 1/4 tsp salt
- handful chopped cilantro optional garnish
- Rinse basmati rice in cold water until the water runs clear. (Very important! Do not skip this step!) Drain and place inside Instant Pot.
- Pour coconut milk into a 2 cup measuring cup. There should be 1 3/4 cup milk. Top with cold water until the liquid reaches the 2 cup line. Add the liquid to the rice in the IP. Add salt. Mix around with fork.
- Secure the lid and set the IP to manual mode, high pressure. Set the timer for 4 minutes. On my IP, it’s labeled ‘Pressure Cook.' DO NOT USE THE RICE FUNCTION!! Also, make sure to turn off the ‘Keep Warm’ setting.
- Once the rice has finished cooking, manually release the steam. Remove the lid, drape a clean kitchen towel over the pot, and place the lid (loosely) on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, fluff with a fork and serve with a handful of chopped cilantro on top.