Creamy and flavorful, this Coconut Rice with Pineapple will kick up your side dish game.
This rice dish is a perfect accompaniment to spicy dishes, Asian food, kebabs and stir fry. It’s terrific when you want a fresh taste in a starchy side. No stodgy boring rice side dishes, here!
Coconut Rice basics
The elements of Coconut Rice with Pineapple are quite simple. White rice, coconut milk, pineapple juice, salt and flaked coconut. You might have everything in your pantry already.
I prefer Jasmine or Basmati rice in this recipe. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they’re two different, but similar rice varieties with a fragrant and nutty taste. Just delicious. I frequently buy the yummy Texmati variety from Rice Select.
A 20 oz. can of pineapple will yield all the juice you need (and a little extra for good measure.) You certainly can use pineapple juice from a bottle – or even one of the little 6 oz. cans, just add a little water to make up the difference.
You can chop up the pineapple and add it in at the end if you like. I prefer to serve it on the side.
A bit about coconut milk
There are lots of brands and varieties of canned coconut milk. You can most readily find it in the Asian section of your grocery store. While I’m usually one to choose products with the least amount of additives, if I’m being honest, I prefer coconut milk with gum added to make it creamier.
If you’ve never used it before, coconut milk can look a little weird when you open the can. The white fat separates from the grayish liquid and won’t shake up. If you’re using the coconut milk in an application where you want it cohesive when added to the recipe, simply empty the can into a bowl and whisk it up.
Rinse that rice!
Do yourself a favor when cooking with any white rice (with the exception of a par-boiled rice, like Uncle Ben’s.) Rinse it first!
You can’t see it when it’s dry, but white rice is loaded with starch. Place your rice in a strainer and give it a thorough rinsing, you’ll see the starch run off. Don’t worry, it won’t absorb the water.
To really see the starch, place the rice in a bowl and cover it with cold water for a few minutes, swishing it around every now and again. Give it a rinse through the strainer. If you don’t rinse your white rice, all that starch will lead to gummy cooked rice.
Making Coconut Rice with Pineapple
Easy & simple: Bring your coconut milk and pineapple juice to a boil, stir in your rinsed rice, salt and coconut flakes. Reduce to a light simmer, cover it and leave it alone.
The more you fiddle with rice while it’s cooking, the more starchy and gummy it will be. Period. Just leave it alone to cook, it will love you for it.
If you’re using unsweetened coconut flakes, add 1 Tablespoon of sugar at the beginning of cooking.
What to serve with Coconut Rice?
My Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub is a match made in heaven. You’re welcome. Muwaah.
Coconut Rice with Pineapple
- 1¼ cups white rice, Jasmine or Basmati preferred
- 1 13-14 oz. can coconut milk, unsweetened
- 1 cup pineapple juice, see notes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut, see notes
- In a medium saucepan, bring to up to a boil the coconut milk, pineapple juice and salt.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the rice in a strainer to remove excess starch.
- Add the rice and coconut to the saucepan. If using unsweetened coconut, add 1 Tablespoon of sugar as well.
- Stir once and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover and let cook undisturbed for 15-20 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
- Taste for doneness as well as for seasoning. You may need to add a little more salt, water or time if necessary.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.
- A 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice, drained, yields just over 1 cup of juice – the perfect amount for this recipe. I like to serve the pineapple chunks alongside the meal. You can cut up the pineapple and add it to the rice if you wish.
- You can adjust the amount of coconut as you desire, it’s merely a flavoring, but a good one. If using unsweetened coconut flakes, add 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
- Be sure to let your rice (in any recipe) cook undisturbed after stirring it once initially. The more you fiddle with it, the gummier it will be.