If you’re wondering what to serve with your coconut rice, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 24 of the most popular side dishes for coconut rice.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with coconut rice are spicy grilled shrimp, Thai chicken satay skewers, blackened salmon, and jerk meatballs in a coconut curry sauce. Try tofu teriyaki, mango salsa, or a warm curry roasted vegetable salad for meatless options.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Great flavor pairings for coconut rice
Coconut rice involves cooking the rice in a mixture of water and coconut milk, giving it a creamy, lightly sweet, and nutty flavor.
It pairs well with:
- Spicy flavors – bold spices like chili peppers, ginger, and curry powder add a delectable heat that perfectly complements coconut rice’s mild sweetness. Just remember to add them in small amounts to avoid overpowering your coconut rice.
- Fruity sweet flavors – this flavor pairing works superbly not only for desserts but for savory dishes too. Combine tropical fruits like mango and pineapple with a citrusy element like lime or cilantro to create a zesty accompaniment that’ll brighten up your coconut rice’s flavor.
- Nutty flavors – adding toasted coconut chips or roasted nuts, cashews, and almonds will enhance your coconut rice’s nuttiness and add a satisfying crunch to every bite.
We eat with our eyes first, so why not jazz up your plain-looking coconut rice?
A quick garnish of cilantro works well, but I like putting together a zesty mango salsa for more color and flavor.
This vibrant mango salsa just screams summer.
It’s not a full side on its own – but it’s an excellent addition to a coconut rice bowl with some grilled meat or fish.
It will really brighten up your dinner!
Why we love this recipe: it boasts a 4.9 rating from 185 reviews.
Toasted coconut chips
Want more of that mildly sweet, nutty goodness? Top your coconut rice with these crunchy coconut chips!
You can buy them in your local grocery, but making it from scratch couldn’t be easier.
All you need is a dash of salt, sugar, and your trusty oven – in 10 minutes, you’ll have perfectly golden, crisp chips to jazz up your rice.
Why we love this recipe: these chips are great for snacking too.
Delicious coconut rice needs a protein dish to complete the meal.
Go with a seafood dish like pan-seared fish or grilled shrimp for a tropical-themed feast or try a fiery curry if you want something saucy and spicy.
Spicy grilled shrimp
Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook shrimp.
It infuses the shrimp with a delectable smoky flavor you can’t get with any other cooking method.
And to make the shrimp even tastier, they’re soaked in a chili marinade which keeps them juicy and adds a fiery kick that gets mellowed out by your coconut rice.
Why we love this recipe: it requires minimal effort but yields tasty results.
Thai chicken satay skewers
Take some inspiration from Thai cuisine and serve your coconut rice with chicken satay!
This classic Thai dish features tender pieces of chicken packed with a delicious zesty flavor, thanks to the lemongrass, ginger, and fish sauce marinade.
These skewers are fantastic on their own, but dipping them in the sweet-savory Thai peanut sauce takes them to another level/
Why we love this recipe: it tastes like it’s come straight out of an authentic Thai restaurant.
Make your midweek dinners more enjoyable with this blackened salmon recipe.
Blackened seasoning is a popular seasoning mix used in Cajun cooking not only for its spicy, herbal flavor, but also to give meats and fish a characteristic dark crust.
It’s the perfect pair for sweet coconut rice.
Why we love this recipe: it’s healthy and you can have it on the table in just 15 minutes.
Jerk meatballs in coconut curry sauce
This dish boasts huge, juicy pork meatballs brimming with smoky and fiery flavors, thanks to the jerk seasoning.
Serve the curry over a bed of coconut rice and wait for your starchy base to soak up all the wonderful flavors, filling each bite with flavor.
Why we love this recipe: it’ll transport you straight to a tropical island.
Tofu is a versatile meat-free protein you can pair with your coconut rice. Just fry it up and toss it in your favorite sauce – mine’s teriyaki – and you’re good to go!
Grilled veggies tossed in a zesty dressing are also an excellent option for more vitamins and nutrients.
Warm curry roasted vegetable salad
If you’re in the mood for a meat-free meal, you can’t go wrong with this warm curry veggie salad.
There are no hard rules over what veggies to use.
Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash aren’t listed in the ingredients, but they’ll all go great with this recipe.
Why we love this recipe: the leftovers will still taste great the next day.
Craving teriyaki? Skip ordering takeout and make it at home.
It’s easy and will taste SO much better.
Putting your teriyaki sauce together from scratch gives you complete control over how sweet or salty you want it to be.
Complete your “fake-out” meal with some coconut rice and steamed veggies. YUM!
Why we love this recipe: it’s vegan-friendly (but will work with chicken too).
The best side dishes to serve with coconut rice
- Mango salsa
- Toasted coconut chips
- Spicy grilled shrimp
- Thai chicken satay skewers
- Blackened salmon
- Jerk meatballs in coconut curry sauce
- Warm curry roasted vegetable salad
- Tofu teriyaki
What To Serve With Coconut Rice (24 Ideas)
- 1 portion mango salsa
- 1 portion blackened salmon
- 1 portion warm curry roasted vegetable salad
- 1 portion jerk meatballs in coconut curry sauce
- 1 portion toasted coconut chips
- 1 portion thai chicken satay skewers … and more
- Prepare your coconut rice according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: mango salsa, toasted coconut chips, spicy grilled shrimp, thai chicken satay skewers, blackened salmon, jerk meatballs in coconut curry sauce, warm curry roasted vegetable salad, and tofu teriyaki.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!