Coconut Rice in the Instant Pot!

Coconut Rice.jpg

We'll get to the Instant Pot thing in a minute, but first we have to talk about coconut rice, which was an absolute revelation to me.  I had it years ago, but I just don't remember it being this good.  Which it most absolutely is.  Awesomely so.  The coconut milk imparts a creaminess to the rice without actually being creamy, and I can't say that there's a strong coconut milk flavor, but just this lovely background note of coconut deliciousness.  

So yes, I'm very much enamored with coconut rice these days and have been quite productive in my quest to find new dishes to pair with it, knowing full well that it's all about this rice.  Having said that, I will soon be sharing with you one of my most favorite things to share a plate with my coconut rice...something awesome to look at while I eat the coconut rice.

The interwebs are chock full of methods for cooking rice and I can get pretty opinionated about this stuff.   So first off I will tell you that I've never been real happy with the way rice comes out in my Instant Pot.  My rice cooker turns out exceptionally good rice so I gave up the IP as a rice delivery system.  And then I came across this recipe.  And being the sort of really opinionated person who can, at times, be open-minded, sort of, I went with it.  I've made this countless times since then, and every single gosh darned freakin' time, it comes out exactly the same, which is to say... perfect. 

And then, of course, there was the coconut milk, which I'll tell you must be full fat, not coconut milk beverage or sweetened or anything derivative of a coconut milk product or such. It seems that most brands of coconut milk that they sell in the supermarket have stabilizers, added water, etc., so that's hard to avoid.  I like the kind where the coconut cream gets stuck on the top and you have to dump it all in a bowl and whip it all back together.  That kind. 

Update 2-21-18... After fielding a few inquiries from some of you about coconut milk, I have to say that there is very little consistency (or regulation) as to quality between brands.  Cooks Illustrated recommends Aroy-D as an excellent coconut milk, along with Ka-Me, Roland, Chaokoh, Goya and Thai Kitchen brands.  I also like the Geisha brand, which they didn't test.  

And as for the rice itself, strong opinions there as well...it must be rinsed.  There's really no point in making rice if it's not going to be the best rice possible, and rinsing off that starchy stuff will give you fluffy, perfectly separate grains.  It's really a simple step that will totally change your rice game...

IMG_1388.JPG
IMG_6268.JPG
IMG_5517.JPG

And this is how I do it...place a strainer inside a large bowl in the sink and place your rice in the strainer.  Add enough water to cover the rice, swish around with your fingers for about 20 seconds, drain the water from the bowl and repeat this 3 times.  Then set the rice to drain for at least 5 minutes.  Now your rice is ready to throw into your IP and get on with transforming it into our delicious coconut rice.

And if you don't have an Instant Pot, this recipe alone might be worth the investment.  If you'd like to try it stove-top before buying a large kitchen appliance for just one recipe, I get it.  I've provided instructions for that too.  But I've never been able to duplicate on the stove exactly how good this is when cooked under pressure.

So there you are...make yourself some coconut rice and then check back soon for an extraordinary dish to serve with it.  Here's the recipe...

Instant Pot Coconut Rice

Click here for a printable recipe

To make your rice the best it can possibly be, make sure to rinse it first.  I've given you detailed instructions on this in the blog post.  A word of caution... you must use full fat, high quality, canned coconut milk for this.  Read the label as some have water added, which will totally affect the flavor and texture of the rice.  I've included stovetop instructions below, but be advised that the texture of the rice isn't quite what it is when cooked in the IP.  Oh, and coconut milk freezes beautifully.  I just pour it into a jar, stick it in the freezer and it's there for my next batch of coconut rice.

Recipe Adapted from PressureCookerRecipes.com

1 cup Jasmine rice
½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
¾ cup homemade unsalted chicken stock
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Rinse your rice and let drain.  (Refer to the blog post for detailed instructions on this).

Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and salt to the Instant Pot and stir well.  Add the drained rice and stir it all together. Close the lid and set the valve to seal.  Pressure cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.  The floating valve may drop at around 6 - 7 minutes, but don't open the lid until the full 10 minutes have elapsed. Open the lid carefully. 

Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Stovetop:  Rinse the rice as instructed and drain.  Combine the rice, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup chicken stock and the salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork to serve.