Lemongrass Coconut Rice Pilaf

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This is a flavourful way to spice up your everyday rice!

A pilaf is simply rice that is cooked in a stock with spices and usually has added vegetables or meat. In this case, the rice is cooked in a flavour-infused coconut milk. The vegetables are celery and red pepper.

The first step of this recipe creates a lemongrass-infused coconut milk. It sounds fancy and complicated – but it is just like making a cup of tea. Just like you steep a tea bag to infuse the tea flavour in hot water, here, you are steeping the lemongrass in the coconut milk to infuse the lemongrass flavour into the coconut milk.

You can find lemongrass stalks in the produce section of your grocery store. If you cannot find lemongrass stalks, you can use a lemongrass paste, found in a tube, in the herb section of the produce section of your grocery store.

Once you taste this recipe, you will want to make it again and again! Enjoy!



5 from 1 reviews
Lemongrass Coconut Rice Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I created this recipe as part of my final assignment in culinary school.
Serves: 6
  • 1 can coconut milk (~400 ml)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass or 2 tsp lemon grass paste (find in the herb section of the produce section)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 stocks celery, sliced
  • 1 small onion, fine dice
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup jasmine rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can water (~400 ml)
  • kettle of boiling water (1-2 cups)
  1. In a small pot, add the can of coconut milk.
  2. Slice the lemon grass stalk into 1-2 inch lengths. Then add to the coconut milk and simmer for ~15 minutes to create a lemongrass flavour infusion.
  3. In a large frying pan, over low-medium high heat, add oil, onions and celery. "Sweat" or slowly cook the onions and celery until they are softened.
  4. Add in uncooked rice to the large frying pan with the onions and celery, allowing each rain of rice to be coated with fat (which prevents the rice grains from sticking together).
  5. Remove the lemon grass chunks from the coconut milk, using a spoon. Then add in the lemon grass-infused coconut milk + a can of water to the rice, stir and cover until rice is cooked (about 12-15 minutes). Add in additional boiling water to the rice as needed until the rice is cooked.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, fluff and serve.


This picture shows the step of coating each grain of rice with some fat to prevent the rice from sticking together.

This picture shows the rice cooking in the lemongrass infused coconut milk.

Here is the final product! This recipe is gluten-free and dairy free.

Enjoy this Lemongrass Coconut Rice along with:


Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD, Food, Nutrition & Culinary Coach, Registered Nutritionist and Calgary Dietitian, Calgary, AB.

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