Add rice, coconut milk, water (or coconut water), sea salt, sugar (optional), and desiccated or shredded coconut (optional), to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Ensure it’s simmering and not boiling or the rice can cook too quickly.
Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender — about 20-25 minutes (will depend on type, size, and freshness of rice). Drain off excess water if there is any (there shouldn’t be).
I like to turn off the heat, remove the lid, fluff with a fork, put the lid back on, and let rest for 10 minutes so the moisture redistributes to prevent mushy rice. Taste test and add additional salt if desired. This rice is delicious alongside curries, soups, bowls, and more! Option to garnish with cilantro and lightly toasted coconut flakes.
Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little oil or water until warm.
*Brown rice results in a less fluffy, slightly nutty result. It’s still delicious but isn’t classic. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with unfortified rice and without optional ingredients. *We enjoyed the taste without sweetener but think most people would prefer it. *We tried maple syrup but felt the flavors were not complementary — not sweet enough at a small amount, and when enough was added to achieve the right sweetness, it tasted like a dessert, not a savory dish.