Easy Coconut Lime Rice is a delicious side dish that pairs well with many Asian or Caribbean recipes. Its mild flavor, slight richness and hint of citrus cool your palate between spicy bites of Jamaican jerk, Thai or curry dishes. Plus, it’s a low-effort way to escape the “plain old rice” (or quinoa, or couscous…) rut.
Of course, because I’m an advocate of a whole-food, plant-based diet, this recipe calls for whole-grain brown rice. (We try really hard to avoid “white food” in our house, though vegan sushi definitely gets a pass.) This recipe is equally good with short grain rice or brown basmati if you want a lighter, fluffier version.
And as the name suggests, Easy Coconut Lime Rice couldn’t be simpler to make! You just swap coconut milk for some of the water when you cook your rice, then add lime zest before serving. Basic to gourmet in a hot-minute!
To keep this recipe relatively low in saturated fat, I like to use light (reduced fat) coconut milk. It has plenty of creamy coconut flavor and richness, without as much of the unhealthy saturated fat you find in whole coconut milk or coconut oil. (I realize there’s A LOT of debate out there about the healthfulness of coconut fat. I defer to NutritionFacts.org on this one—and pretty much all things nutrition.)
If you’re avoiding saturated fat completely, you could skip the coconut milk and add coconut extract to your rice instead. I haven’t tried this, but I imagine about 1/2 teaspoon would be enough. Just use the usual amount of water to cook your rice.
The next time you’ve got a curry simmering on the stove, a spicy tropical main dish on the menu—or your family says you’re ‘basic’ for making the same boring rice again—change things up with a side of yummy, easy coconut lime rice.
Easy Coconut Lime Rice
- 2 cups brown rice (short grain or basmati)
- 1 13.5 ounce can light (low fat) coconut milk, shaken (see notes)
- Pinch sea salt
- Zest of 1 lime
- Optional: Garnish with lime wedges or slices
- Add rice, coconut milk + water (see directions below) and salt to pot or rice cooker. Before cooking, stir to mix in any coconut cream (the thick, white part of the coconut milk). After the rice is cooked, stir in the lime zest and serve.
- For stovetop: To get the liquid amount right, simply add the coconut milk to a large (4 cup+) measuring cup, then add water until you reach 4 cups of total liquid. Place in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, usually about 35-40 minutes (check package for instructions specific to the rice you're using), or until the liquid is absorbed.For rice cooker: To get the liquid amount right, simply add the rice and the coconut milk to the rice cooker first, then add water until you reach the desired amount of total liquid.