Coconut Cilantro Rice is a vegan side dish that is almost too good to be true! It's subtly sweet with the fresh flavor of cilantro throughout -- and the pairing possibilities are endless, as it would be delicious with just about everything!
Cooking Rice in Coconut Water
Cooking rice with coconut water is magical, and it's the key to this recipe.
This rice is perfect alongside a spicy chicken dish, and so many other dishes!
I made Baked Coconut Mango Chicken and placed it right on top of it (pictured below), and it was amazing!
It would also be delicious for dessert. I know, you're thinking that might be strange -- but hear me out, because I should know. I might have had a few bites after dinner.
Though not a true dessert, when you're left with just that mango sauce and the Coconut Cilantro Rice, it's a bit reminiscent of Mango Sticky Rice, and is just sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Here is a great recipe for an actual authentic Mango Sticky Rice.
This is essentially coconut water rice. Yep, instead of plain water, the liquid in the recipe is coconut water.
What's in this recipe?
- coconut oil
- cumin, salt
- long grain rice
- coconut water
Coconut water rice is made the same way as most rice dishes, only with coconut water, and it changes it into something unique and interesting. Add spices and cilantro, and oh my! Delicious!
What's delicious with Coconut Cilantro Rice?
- Mediterranean Marinated Flank Steak
- Spicy Cilantro Shrimp
- Broiled Cilantro Chimichurri Sole
- Five Minute Mexican Blackened Salmon
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Spiced Pepitas
Oh, and any bits of rice that stick to the pot would be so yummy. I should know. I ate them. All of them.
It would be a good idea to make a double batch. I should know. I barely had enough to share.
(And yes it does technically serve 4.)
Enjoy every last grain, with whatever you decide to serve it with -- if anything.
Coconut Cilantro Rice Recipe
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup long grain rice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coconut water
- ¼ cup cilantro, washed and dried, finely chopped
- a couple of turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the onions. Coat the bottom of a small medium-sized sauce pot with the coconut oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they're are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and cumin. Add rice and cumin to the onions. Stir to be sure all the grains are coated with the coconut oil, and then sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
- Add coconut water and cook. Add the coconut water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot, and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add cilantro and season. Stir in the cilantro, a few turns of freshly ground black pepper, and serve!
Coconut and rice are a perfect combination! We often make it with kaffir lime leaves, but I love the idea of cilantro! Thanks! Can't wait for the chicken recipe.
Thanks, David! Must be delicious with the limes -- sound like a perfect pairing. 🙂
I absolutely adore cilantro. This would be so yummy with shrimp or salmon!
Oh I would love it with shrimp! Perfect!
Dini @ The Flavor Bender
I love spiced rice! Any kind of rice with lots of flavor - and I definitely looove this! Cilantro is one of my favourite herbs too 🙂 Can't wait to try this next time I make rice 🙂
Thanks so much. Hope yo love it!
This combination is one of my all time favorites!
Thanks so much, Sue! Mine too. 🙂
jacqueline | i sugar coat it!
I grew up with rice being cooked in coconut milk and it has stuck with me. I love spiced, flavoured rice and cilantro is definitely a fave!
Thanks so much, Jacqueline. I've always loved cooking rice in coconut milk and/or water. 🙂
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
The African rice lover in me is doing a little dance about finding your recipe.
Oh, I love that. Let's dance! 🙂
Living semi-rurally with a climate just a tad too cool to allow coconuts I have to buy coconut water in tins - darn it !! Bit have not cooked my rice 'this way' for quite a while, guess what has just been added to the on-line shopping list' ! Am truly looking forwards to being in the tropics again . . . !!!
Being in the tropics sounds lovely about now. 🙂 Nothing like a fresh coconut, right!? Thanks, Eha. 🙂 ~Valentina