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!