Recipe for Coconut Rice [Nasi Lemak]

Learn the best recipe for making Coconut Rice. This recipe does not work in a rice cooker.

Kapi, T, or Me?: Coconut Rice

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Serves 6-8

  • 500 g (1 lb) medium or short-grain rice
  • 400 ml (13 fl oz) canned coconut milk
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • a strip of fresh pandan leaf (optional)


Wash and drain the rice well. In a saucepan with a heavy base and well-fitting lid bring the coconut milk, water, salt and pandan leaf to the boil on low heat, stirring. Add the rice, turn the heat to very low, cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes. If necessary, put a heat diffuser under the pan so the rice does not scorch. When all the coconut milk is absorbed turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for 10 minutes. Turn the rice into a steamer or colander and steam over boiling water for a further 20 minutes, gradually turning the heat down so that the water only simmers. Serve as an accompaniment to dishes such as Beef Rendang , Hot Prawn Sambal , Thai Fish Cakes, Greens with Shrimp Paste, and Balinese-style Fried Chicken.

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