Are you looking for ways to add more flavor to your rice recipes? If so, you can count on RiceSelect® for culinary advice. One of the best ways to enhance your rice dishes is by using coconut. The sweet and slightly nutty flavor it has makes a great addition to a number of meals, but it helps to know the right ingredient combinations. Read on as we guide you through our tips and tricks for enhancing rice meals with coconut. That way, you’ll learn how to use it and what to use it with, a simple yet effective way to elevate your chef game!

How To Use Coconut in Cooking

First, let’s look at some of the different uses of coconut in cooking.

Coconut Milk - This milky white liquid comes from mature coconuts and makes a delicious addition to various dishes for a slight extra creaminess and sweet flavor. It’s often used in curries.

Coconut Sugar - As a delicious sweetener with a coconut tang, coconut sugar works well with baking recipes and makes a great alternative to brown or white sugar.

Coconut Water - This clear liquid that’s found inside coconuts makes an excellent ingredient in smoothies and cocktails, but can also be consumed on its own as a sweet and refreshing drink.

Coconut Flakes - These sweet and delicious flakes are also known as shredded coconut, although when the latter name is used, they’re usually smaller. You can use coconut flakes as toppings to sprinkle over desserts, yogurts, salads, or even oatmeal dishes.

Coconut Oil - A sweet alternative to your regular cooking oils, coconut oil can be used in various recipes when baking, frying or sautéing. The flavor it adds is sweet but subtle.

Coconut Rice Recipes with Fruity Flavors

You can use coconut milk to cook this tantalizing Thai street food recipe - Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut. Depending on the amounts served and the mood your taste buds are in, you can have this dish as a snack, dessert or even breakfast.

For a Caribbean-inspired dish that's packed with flavors and bustling with bright colors, see our Coconut Quinoa Jerk Chicken Bowl Recipe. Here, you’ll need both coconut oil and coconut milk to cook up some flavorful coconut quinoa to combine with an array of mouthwatering ingredients.

Chef Tip: How to Flake Coconut

First, use a vegetable peeler to remove the brown skin. Then, rinse the white coconut meat in water. You can then use the same peeler to cut the white part into small flakes. Finally, dry the flakes in the oven for a few minutes.

Remember that there’s no such thing as cooking too much rice! After all, it’s always better to have cooked too much than too little. That’s because, not only will you have what you need for everyone at the table, but you can also use what remains to cook up a bunch of delicious dishes with leftover rice!

Coconut Cake Recipes

Cooking with coconut also gives us an opportunity to make delicious little cakes. With a combination of coconut flakes and coconut milk, you can prepare this Coconut Rice Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe - a fantastic dessert with sweet and creamy flavors to wow your guests!

And if you’ve got some coconut oil in the kitchen, another cake option is this Carrot Quinoa Cupcakes Recipe. These sweet and fluffy little bites are topped with a cream cheese frosting for a small and addictive cake that also contains our RiceSelect® Tri-Color Quinoa!

Coconut Curry Recipes

Indian food lovers will already be familiar with coconut flavors in popular curry dishes. One worth trying is this Panang Chicken Curry Recipe. This Thai-inspired dish uses RiceSelect® Jasmati® White Rice along with a whole bunch of tasty ingredients enhanced by the taste of coconut milk.

What happens if you combine Asian cooking techniques with Italian arborio rice? Find out by checking out this incredible Curry Risotto with Baked Salmon Recipe. This fusion dish gives you curry with a completely unique twist, one that is bound to impress those around the table.

Quick Tips for Making Curry

  • Use garlic, onion, and ginger. These three ingredients are common in traditional Indian curries and for a good reason - they give curry recipes that extra kick.

  • Fresh spices are better. To know if they’re fresh, you can simply smell them. The stronger the aroma, the better! But if the smell has gone, that probably means the flavor has too.

  • Add tasty toppings. This is optional, but in some curry dishes it makes a huge difference! Possible toppings include fresh coriander, plain yogurt, and coconut flakes, but you can also try tomato, onions or cucumber slices.

Asian-Inspired Recipes with Coconut

There are a great number of Asian recipes that make fantastic use of coconut - from flavorful fish to succulent shrimp and rice recipes!

Sinigang Beef Bowl with Coconut Jasmati® Rice

This indulgent and savory Sinigang Beef Rice Bowl served with coconut Jasmati® Rice is Chef Jordan Andino'ssignature dish at his restaurant, Flip Sigi.

Shrimp Salad with Bangkok Rice Recipe

Add exotic flavor to your menu with this Thai-inspired Bangkok Rice and Shrimp Salad using aromatic Jasmati® Rice, basil and coconut milk.

Toyomansi Glazed Cod with Coconut Garlic Jasmati® Rice Recipe

Learn how to make this incredible dish created by Chef Jordan Andino! Roasted Toyomansi Cod is served over a bed of coconut RiceSelect® Jasmati® Rice for a meal bursting with...

Coconut Rice Pudding Recipes

Who doesn’t love a good rice pudding at the end of a meal? We know they make wonderful desserts, but with a hint of coconut, they only get better! Customize exactly how creative you want to get with these irresistible desserts:

Tasty Topping: This Rice Pudding Recipe includes sweetened coconut grated into little flakes for a sweet dessert topped with raisins.

Tropical Treat: But for a rice pudding with a tropical twist, one that uses coconut milk and coconut rum, try this Tropical Rice Pudding Recipe. Rich in sweet coconut flavors, this dish is ideal for a hot summer night, but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy it all-year-round!

Sweet and Zesty: With coconut milk and a sprinkle of coconut flakes for garnish, you can also make this Jasmati® Coconut Lime Rice Pudding Recipe. This creamy dish also comes with the fruity flavor of lime zest to give it an extra special tang.

After trying your hand at a couple of the above recipes, you’ll never look at coconut in the same way again! Long gone will be the days of seeing it as just another fruit that grows from a tree. As something that can enhance a wide range of rice meals, it has way more to offer!

For more original recipe ideas, as well as culinary tips and tricks to up your home chef game, be sure to keep visiting our blog.