I know it doesn’t look like much.

In fact, it looks pretty darn boring.

But would I ever disappoint you with something bland and boring?


Mainly because I’d never eat anything bland and boring. Hence the vegetables.

It looks harmless, but it is dangerous.

I’m telling you, this is not just plain white rice.

It is actually jasmine rice, and until 8 minutes ago I had no idea what jasmine rice was. How did I ever live before Google?

A few weeks ago we were at dinner with our friends Cindy and Nick, and Nick ordered fajitas that came with a sweet, coconutty rice. I only had a bite, but I was hooked. I knew I had to make it.

Next time I would probably add some caramelized onion for even more sweetness. I doubt I’d add pineapple or any other tropical fruit, because I like the simple vanilla-coconut taste. As you know, I also am not a fan of chunks.

In my food or my thighs.

So, while it doesn’t look like anything special, I urge you to make it. Especially if you like your food a lil’ sweet.

Island Rice

1 cup jasmine rice

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 – 1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

contents of 1/2 vanilla bean

1/4 cup finely shredded coconut

1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper

Combine water, milk, and vanilla in a saucepan and add rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until rice has absorbed liquid, about 15-20 minutes. This may depend on the brand of rice you buy, so double check the directions.

Stir in coconut, vanilla bean, and red pepper.

This is basically Mr. How Sweet’s worst nightmare. Sweet food that is not dessert?

He’d rather eat feet.

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56 Responses to “Island Rice.”

  1. #
    Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) — June 10, 2010 @ 4:54 am

    Well, well, well, you’ve done it again! You’ve made another good dish, great!


  2. #
    Gabriela — June 10, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    This looks absolutely amazing. Bookmarking it now…carbs + coconut make such a wonderful combination. I might have to make this tonight if I can get my hands on some jasmine rice and coconut milk!!


  3. #
    Erica — June 10, 2010 @ 5:17 am

    I love coconut rice. It is great on its own or with some black beans mixed in.


  4. #
    Heather — June 10, 2010 @ 5:20 am

    lets talk about these vanilla beans.
    i keep copying down recipes that say “contents of vanilla bean”.
    the thing is, im not quite sure WHERE TO FIND said vanilla bean.
    i know how to cut into one, thanks to many many episodes of Martha Stewart, and probably a few blogs as well.

    I know that the flavor does not compare to vanilla extract.
    not even the PURE vanilla extract, which, is a stretch for me, beause – well – i’m cheap. And when i see the price of the PURE vanilla extract sitting RIGHT NEXT TO the more than half the price and larger bottle of immitation vanilla extract – well cut me up and call me Heidi, suddenly i am all for immitation.

    I’ve gone looking for vanilla beans at the market.
    First I will start in the produce section.
    check near the herbs.
    perhaps vanilla beans are kept by the basil?
    Oh wait- no- they are a BEAN – maybe they would be located near the green beans.
    could i just substitue a green bean? They are the same shape. I could slice it open on the seam, and slide out the contents…
    no. greenbeans are a vegetable. SOMEONE i know would stop being my friend if i substituted green beans or vanilla beans.
    im guessing.

    oh – ok. no vanilla beans in the produce section.
    maybe they are by the baking stuff.
    lets see….
    why doesnt one of these aisle markers read “VANILLA BEANS HERE, YOU IDIOT!”

    cake mixes.
    no back jello cheesecake with oreos on the box….oh my word…this looks extremely easy. I could make this entire cheesecake in the amount of time it is taking me to unsuccessfully search for vanilla beans. maybe i’ll just throw this in the cart…NO! you are on a mission. And you are a “healthy living blogger” you can’t make cheesecake from a BOX! [ ;) ]

    ok… back on track.oh! maybe the vanilla beans would be in a little jar near the spices! You know, these supermarket people are PRETENDING to be type A. I mean – they alphabetize these McCormick spices – but lets face it – some of the placement of certain products (Read: vanilla beans) suggests that perhaps they have no idea what they are doing. It’s like that time I color cordinated my markers and then ACCIDENTALLY put them in the fridge, instead of the craft room (wine may have been involved) or when I decided to organize my DVDs by release date rather than title (wine may have been involved) or my tending to keep every piece of mail i get. in a big box. in my dining room closet. (laziness may have been involved.)

    ok. spice.

    A – allspice.
    i ask you. if i have “allspice” why would i need any other spices?

    alum. what the HELL is alum. that sounds like it graduated from some sort of spice university. what, is this spice smarter than all the other spices?

    anise seed. anise? like black licorice. ICK.

    apple pie spice – now THAT is a spice i can get behind. I wonder if they put pieces of vanilla bean IN the apple pie spice. could it be extracted?

    ok – skimming- skimming- skimming – Cinnamon Sticks! thats similiar to a vanilla bean. maybe. no? skimming – skimming – skimming – Majoram. Majoram? skimming. skimming. skimming. no vanilla bean.

    ok. ok. do not panic. let’s look at the extracts.
    just in case.
    OH! rootbeer! I could make this with rootbeer extract instead of vanilla bean! YES!!! that sounds AWESOME.

    this, my dear, is why I have 7 bottles of various extracts and a list a mile long of failed recipe experiments.


    • Abby — June 10th, 2010 @ 5:32 am

      She’s back!!

      Where can you get vanilla beans?!


      • Jessica — June 10th, 2010 @ 5:39 am

        There ARE in the spice section, in a jar. And cost an arm and a leg. :)

        • Kristina — June 10th, 2010 @ 7:25 am

          I love Heathers Daily Guest Posts on your blog… :)

        • Heather — June 10th, 2010 @ 8:09 am

          oh, goodie. an arm and a leg.

          you know how that makes me feel :)


          (will now be searching for “clearence vanilla beans”. do they expire?)

          • Jessica — June 10th, 2010 @ 8:12 am

            I can’t remember if they actually have an expiration date, but if they are old they do get stale.

  5. #
    Sophie @ yumventures — June 10, 2010 @ 5:24 am

    My aunt makes coconut rice, but less sweet (just made with coconut milk, none of the vanilla, etc) with peas in it. Its to die for. But this sounds amazing, and could possibly be turned into Island Rice Pudding? Yum!


  6. #
    Helen — June 10, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    Sometimes the simplest looking things are the best. I can imagine how delicious this is. The coconut must add a lovely summery flavour.


  7. #
    Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly — June 10, 2010 @ 5:45 am

    That looks wonderful…what did you serve that with?


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2010 @ 6:15 am

      Warm tortillas, shredded chicken & black beans…veggies for SOME people… ;)


  8. #
    Angela @ A Healthy Fit — June 10, 2010 @ 5:46 am

    I have a rice bowl that looks almost identical to the one in your picture! Sweet rice can be so good. There was this Thai place in San Diego that had the best rice dessert. My mouth is watering now.


  9. #
    Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie — June 10, 2010 @ 5:50 am

    I love coconut rice! I could totally eat it for breakfast!


  10. #
    Karla — June 10, 2010 @ 6:03 am

    Oooh I love this! I’m making this for my next pot luck! Looks so easy and tasty! I bet it’d go great with something spicy!


  11. #
    homecookedem — June 10, 2010 @ 6:06 am

    This rice sounds just lovely!!


  12. #
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries — June 10, 2010 @ 6:08 am

    Oh yum. And, that’s all I have to say. I could eat a side of this with your honey ginger chicken tenders!!!!!!!!!


  13. #
    Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks — June 10, 2010 @ 6:11 am

    Awesome! When I was in Thailand we had mangos with this super sweet rice and thickened coconut milk poured over it. I’m totally recreating that with this rice (minus red peppers :P). Now if only I could find good mangos in Wyoming….


  14. #
    Katrina — June 10, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    This doesn’t look boring at all! Sometimes simpler really is better. I’m excited!


  15. #
    Nancy — June 10, 2010 @ 6:17 am

    OMG Jasmine rice is the bomb! That’s all my husband ever wants know. Coconutty, pineapply, mangoy rice is soooo soooo good.


  16. #
    Amber @ Pampered Recipes — June 10, 2010 @ 6:29 am

    Keep the great dishes coming..I need the ideas!


  17. #
    Ashley — June 10, 2010 @ 6:33 am

    Jasmine rice is the best! Only rice my
    mom buys. I’ve always wanted to make coconut rice… Inspired me once again pretty lady!!!


  18. #
    Melanie — June 10, 2010 @ 6:34 am

    Wow, I love this variation of plain ol’ rice! And jasmine rice is definitely one of my favorite varieties.


  19. #
    Mellissa — June 10, 2010 @ 6:49 am

    I love sweet rice, it has such a great texture and flavor.


  20. #
    Wei-Wei — June 10, 2010 @ 7:11 am

    This sounds great! I love rice, but I’ve never really thought about infusing it with flavours. If this wasn’t as sweet without the vanilla, I bet coconut rice would taste reeeeeeally great with Thai curry. :D



  21. #
    Kristina — June 10, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    I love rice. I love anything Island Theme. and I bet caramelized onion would be awesome in this!!

    one of my favorite thai restaurants has a dessert with coconut rice & mango. I know your issues with chunks… but it IS so good… maybe a mango puree… :)


  22. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — June 10, 2010 @ 7:29 am

    i had rice like this once…it was with a super spicy ahi tuna and oh my gosh it was fabulous! i can’t wait to make it :)


  23. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — June 10, 2010 @ 8:33 am

    I have friends that recommended cooking rice in coconut milk before, but I have never tried it. I will have to give it a try, since we do like sweet rice!


  24. #
    Madeline - Greens and Jeans — June 10, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    I think I could trick the boyfriend into eating this one…


  25. #
    Stephanie — June 10, 2010 @ 9:23 am

    I LOVE jasmine rice AND coconut rice! One of the first dishes I ever created i consisted of spicy black beans (1 can Goya black beans, 1 can Italian tomatoes, spices of choice simmered until thick) served over coconut milk rice! I made this for my parents and The Man on our first family beach trip out of town, nostalgia :D TJ’s sells a big bag of jasmine rice for pretty decent too which I like.


  26. #
    Tracy — June 10, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    Looks good to me!! :-)


  27. #
    Lara (Thinspired) — June 10, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    Oh my goodness. I don’t know if you know this about me, but rice (any kind) is my favorite food on the planet. I am SO making this!!!


  28. #
    Steph (@ mediterraneanmiss) — June 10, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    Bookmarked, bookmarked, bookmarked. I WILL be making this as soon as possible, and I’ll link to you when I do. This looks wonderful <3


  29. #
    Anne — June 10, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Google is a great invention :D jasmine rice is so good!


  30. #
    Blond Duck — June 10, 2010 @ 11:05 am

    Don’t tell my MIL, but the only jasmine rice I had was hers and I (whispering) wasn’t impressed.


  31. #
    Yum Yucky — June 10, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    I am hungry for carbs today. ALL of them. This rice would fit right in.


  32. #
    Lindsay — June 10, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    Looks delish!!!!


  33. #
    Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — June 10, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    That sounds amazing, like tropical rice pudding. I’ve been wanting rice like crazy lately, too. YUM Salmon kabobs need this!



  34. #
    Ashley — June 10, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    I make a very similar coconut rice but the vanilla addition sounds amazing. I will add that next time for sure…and next time I suggest you try adding 1T of coconut oil…you might die :)


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2010 @ 11:48 am

      I seriously might. That sounds amazing.


  35. #
    sophia — June 10, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Jessica, what are you doing to me?! I usually do not like rice…so why am I drooling so?!


  36. #
    Run Sarah — June 10, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    I am not usually a rice person, but WOW, that dish looks fabulous!


  37. #
    Jennifurla — June 10, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    LOL, you crack me up & I love your style.


  38. #
    Christina — June 10, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    Jessica, I was eating my lunch when I came across this post…and let me tell you, although stuffed, i’m salivating!!! I can’t wait to try this. I bet it would be so good with chicken teriyaki :)


  39. #
    Katie — June 10, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    My mom used to make me white rice with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. This kind of reminds me of that. Simply sweet and delicious.


  40. #
    Naomi (onefitfoodie) — June 10, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    i had coconut rice once at a restaurant and KKNEW I had to recreate it, but for some reason cooking with coconut milk intimidates me…its wierd how certain recipes intimidate me…like biscotti’s!! I have always wanted to make them but they scare the crap out of me!!

    I think its time I face my fear and make me some delicious coconut rice!!


  41. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 10, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    This stuff is good… I’m not normally a big rice fan, but I definitely think I’d love this. Yum!


  42. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — June 10, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    between the rum desserts and the coconut milk rice, are you sure you’re not planning a trip to jamaica?

    crazy day. omg. :)


  43. #
    Kristen Doyle — June 10, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    Sweet rice, YUM! Will have to try this!


  44. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — June 10, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

    I had coconut rice for the first time a couple weeks ago, and it was phenomenal!! I am so glad you posted this recipe, because I was wanting to find one that was similar to what I had … and I think this may be … if not better!!!


  45. #
    Silver Strands — June 10, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    Just ran into your blog tonight and HOLY SCHMOLY! The perfect post for me!!!! Can’t wait to make it :)


  46. #
    Allison — June 11, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    I am loving coconut right now! Must make this soon!


  47. #
    jassy — June 13, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    we asians love rice…i’ve tasted jasmine rice before and it tastes great…

    but it’s addicting so watch out!:)



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