Coconut & sweet onion rice


Preparation info

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This is one of my very favourite rice dishes. A sweet coconut affair, the browning of the onion is critical – ribbons of caramel chew just add to the sweet-shop thrill of this splendid side dish.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 small onions, cut into fine rings
  • 350 g/12 oz/ cups Thai fragrant rice, rinsed and drained
  • 400 ml/14 fl oz/scant 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
  • 5 cm/2 in cinnamon stick salt


Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until they are brown and crispy. Leave to one side.

Put the rice in a large saucepan with the coconut milk, sugar, lemongrass, cinnamon and 300 ml/10½ fl oz/ cups water. Season with salt, bring to the boil, then boil briskly for about 5 minutes.

Now turn the heat down and simmer the rice for a further 10 minutes. Once the liquid is absorbed and the rice looks almost dry, put a tight lid on the pan and turn off the heat. Leave the pan to stand for a further 10 minutes.

Toss the sweet, crisp onions through the rice, discard the cinnamon and lemongrass and serve.