Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers

Coconut Rice with vegetables and pickled peppers


Some of the leftovers from Thanksgiving were a few pickled cherry bomb peppers. I had intended to put them on a relish tray with olives and marinated feta but totally forgot about the relish tray. A minor holiday mishap. The other night when I was making coconut rice, I decided to throw a couple of the peppers into the rice at the last minute. WOW! Coconut rice just got taken to a whole new level!

My coconut rice recipe has always been a few diced vegetables and rice cooked up in coconut milk and finished off with lime juice and cilantro.  For this recipe, I replaced the lime juice with minced pickled peppers.  Bobby and I both agreed this was the best coconut rice I had ever made.  It’s a very easy rice dish to make because everything gets thrown into the pan and cooked. In 20 minutes, you have a delicious little rice and vegetable dish and a very festive looking dish at that.

Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers


Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Servings: 4
Prep Time and Cook time:  30 minutes


1 1/2 cups or 1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional)
¼ tsp. salt
1 bunch green onions, whites and green tops, chopped
½ sweet pepper, chopped (red, yellow or orange)
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 cup white rice (I use Jasmine)
2 Tbsp. pickled peppers, minced
2 Tbsp. cilantro or parsley, chopped


  1. In a medium sauce pan or your standard rice pan, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, and enough water to make 2 cups of liquid.  Whisk together until a smooth consistency.  This is necessary if you use a coconut milk with a high fat content. (See Kitchen Notes)
  2. Add the green onions, sweet peppers, celery, and salt.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the rice; stir briefly; reduce heat for a simmer and cover.
  5. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is done.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and pickled peppers.
  7. Taste and add more salt to fit your taste.
  8. Serve.



Kitchen Notes

Coconut milk – The coconut milk that I use is closer to what some people call coconut cream.  It has a 22% fat content.  You could use a coconut milk that is lower in fat if desired.  To learn more about the difference types of coconut milk, check out How to Buy Coconut Milk @Wok With Ray.

The pickled peppers – As you can see in the picture, the pickled peppers I used were the sweet and spicy cherry bomb peppers. However, you could also use almost any type of pickled pepper such as pickled jalapeno or Peperoncini peppers, with each yielding a different overall flavor to the dish.

Why “pickled” peppers?  I like a little acid in coconut rice to cut the sweetness of the coconut. That’s why I always add lime. The vinegar of the pickled pepper supplied the acid.

Green Onion (Scallions) – If you don’t have green onion, do not fear. Regular onion works great.  Just replace the green onion with 1 cup diced onion.

The fish sauce – If you are vegan or vegetarian, omit the fish sauce of course. Also, I know a lot people that don’t keep fish sauce in their fridge, so if you don’t have any, just leave it out. The dish will still be quite delicious.

This coconut rice is a perfect side dish for grilled soy ginger chicken.

This Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers has been shared with the following blog hops. Gluten-Free Fridays, Weekend Potluck, Made With Love Monday  .


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58 Responses to “Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers”

  1. Javelin Warrior May 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I’ve never combined coconut milk with rice (that I can think of), but I love the sound of it, especially for someone like me who’s not a big rice eater 😉 And the pickled peppers are an interesting twist for sure, although I also love the idea of using the lime juice…

    • mj May 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      Oh Mark – I LOVE coconut rice! You really need to try it. If you like coconut, you’d love it. Thanks for the comment!

  2. DJ January 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    WOW! This looks and sounds amazing. I have to say, the colors in your pictures is beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Amber @ The Cook's Sister January 2, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Sounds amazing! I’ve never made coconut rice… what should I serve with it?

  4. Magic of Spice December 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I love those peppers, and your rice looks wonderful!

  5. Asmita December 18, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Hi Mj,
    This sounds divine! In Indian cooking, I often use coconut milk too in “pulao”or pilafs. They just add so much flavor. I really love the pickled peppers in this dish. I will give this recipe a shot. Yummy!

  6. France @ Beyond The Peel December 17, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    When I lived in London I had a friend who loved to make coconut rice. It brings back fond memories. I’ll have to try it with the pickled peppers!

  7. Food Jaunts December 17, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    MJ, that’s a great idea! Plus the color the pickled peppers give is gorgeous. I’m giving this a shot! Lol I’m sure I’ll have a chance to soon considering how often I make rice.

  8. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) December 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    That is one beautiful dish! I have it on my to make list! 🙂 We have been having such great recipes at our Gluten Free Fridays parties! I really appreciate you being part of the link up and part of the community! 🙂

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂
    I hope to see you again this week!

    See you next week!

    Cindy from

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Thank you Cindy! It’s always a pleasure!

  9. Maryann December 15, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    this is totally up my hubby’s alley. I found you from the Gluten free Friday blog hop.

  10. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings December 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Great idea with the pickled peppers! I’m definitely trying this rice recipe! I like…and we all know the benefits of coconut everything…

  11. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 13, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    This looks so healthy and sooo delicious!! Coconut is my new flavor that I’m working quite a bit with, so this is right up my alley!

  12. Vicki Bensinger December 13, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I love this recipe. Coconut rice is always so delicious and then with the addition of all these flavors it must taste amazing. Great recipe – I’ll be sure to try it.

  13. Biren @ Roti n Rice December 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    I love coconut rice but the one I make is plain eaten with a spicy anchovy condiment, cucumber and peanuts known as nasi lemak, a Malaysian favorite. I like your version for Christmas as it does look festive and tasty too.

  14. Zsuzsa December 12, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I love how you combined the coconut rice with pickled peppers. Just like salted chocolate this must be amazing.

  15. Treat and Trick December 12, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    What a gorgeous presentation and delightful dish to dig in!

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook December 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I love coconut rice but I can already imagine the addition of your pickled pepper was very nice!! I never cooked the coconut rice at home, but being a coconut lover, it’s only the matter of time. I love looking at this cheerful dish when the outside is cold and gloomy… very lovely!

  17. Liz December 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I need to follow your lead and use up some of the open bottles in my fridge! I need to make coconut rice, too…it looks yummy!

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Oh Liz – you figured it out! Between this recipe and the last, you see that I’m working on cleaning out my fridge. 🙂

  18. Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin December 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I’ve never tried adding coconut milk to rice, but I’d love to try it now that I’m looking over this delicious-sounding recipe. Love the addition of cilantro too 🙂

  19. Dara December 11, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I love coconut rice! I also loooove pickled peppers. Great recipe.

  20. Katerina December 11, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Coconut is my husband’s favorite, so this rice would be perfect for him. I love the combination of flavors. Check out my site you won a gift!

  21. Soni December 11, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Love,love,love this!!I love Thai food and this is right up my alley 🙂 So easy and so much flavor.Will be making this soon 🙂

  22. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 11, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Minor holiday mishap – heehee – indeed. Reminds me of my poor mom… she would find Christmas gifts straight through the spring that she had intended to put under the Christmas tree but forgot about… life with 10 kids = lots of mishaps – lol – ;-). This sounds like a delightful recipe MJ – it’s amazing what a key ingredient can do to elevate a dish and give it a whole new life. I can well imagine that the pickled peppers work beautifully with the coconut and I love the Thai influence here with the added fish sauce… delish!

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      10 kids!!! With that many kids and all the responsibilities and activities surrounding them, I’m sure there were a lot of things that she forgot! A life full of constant interruptions. 🙂 Thanks Kelly for the comments. Yes, the peppers really elevate this and the fish sauce adds something special as well.

  23. Karen (Back Road Journal) December 11, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    The rice sounds great and I love its colorful look on the plate.

  24. Love2cook Malaysia December 11, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Wow, this rice dish looks colorful and inviting! Yummy yumm 😉

  25. Sissi December 11, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    Can you believe I have never had coconut rice? I love both (I have rice practically every day) and yet, I have never tried this famous combination.
    Your coconut dish looks amazing and I would certainly prefer pickled peppers from lime juice!

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Sissi – I am surprised! I remember how much rice you eat, so I would figure that coconut rice would be in there somewhere, especially since you like Asian food so much. Well, I hope you give it a try because I know you’ll love it! Thanks!

  26. vijayalakshmi dharmaraj December 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Hi Mj first time here… you are having such a lovely space here… i thoroughly enjoyed here… when u get time visit mine…
    Baby Corn Bajji

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

      Thanks Vijayalakshmi! I’m headed over to check out your blog. Hope to see you again soon!

  27. wok with ray December 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Oh this must taste wonderful with coconut milk, lime, and fish sauce. Thank you the mention about coconut milk, MJ. Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  28. Reese@SeasonwithSpice December 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Yum! I am a big fan of coconut milk rice. Before I moved to the States, the only way I cooked coconut milk rice was always the traditional Malaysian version with lots of accompanied dishes. Scrumptious but VERY time consuming! Of course, I’ve learned to simplify many of my Asian cooking including the coconut milk rice. So I’m happy that I can whip up a rice dish on the busiest day. The idea of using pickled pepper sounds fantastic, MJ! It must have added a zesty kick to the dish. The colors are so fun. Have you tried adding some fresh ginger slices to cook with the rice? It’s one of the secret ingredients we used in our coconut milk rice.

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks Reese! Adding ginger sounds fantastic! What a perfect addition! I’ll have to remember that next time and add a few slices. Thanks for the idea!

  29. Sanjeeta kk December 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Now what is this cherry bomb peppers!? That’s MJ and her never ending unusual ingredients lists! We make coconut rice in India, but use grated coconut instead. I think I might settle for your recipe (coconut milk) next…too lazy to grate coconut;-)

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      Thanks Sanjeeta! I’m too lazy to grate coconut as well, that’s why I started using coconut milk. Easy and delicious!

  30. Terra December 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    What a fun way to use up your leftovers! I love pickled peppers, especially in an Italian sub:-) Your recipe sounds delicious, and the addition of fish sauce is fun! Hugs, Terra

  31. Swathi December 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I love this coconut rice, I feel without coconut my cooking will be not complete. Thanks for introducing this wonderful recipe.

  32. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Okay who doesn’t like this recipe just so they can say pickled peppers 🙂 Sounds yummy.

  33. Choc Chip Uru December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    What a flavoursome rice dish 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  34. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies December 10, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    This looks like such a fabulous side dish! I love the combination of coconut and rice–they really compliment each other!

  35. john@kitchenriffs December 10, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I really need to make this – I’ve never made coconut rice! And although I really like the flavor of coconut, I rarely use coconut milk (I tend to prefer my curries without it). Anyway, such a simple dish with such great flavors – the idea of pickled peppers is genius! Good stuff – thanks.

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks John! I really think you’ll love coconut rice. I fell in love with it the first time I made it. It’s SO good!

  36. Angie@Angie's Recipes December 10, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Rice cooked in coconut cream….that sounds heavenly!

  37. Jane December 10, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    That does sound like the perfect combo of sweet and spicy! Plus, it is so colorful — perfect for Christmas I’m thinking!

  38. ChgoJohn December 10, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    OK. I’ll confess. I’ve never tried coconut rice. I’ve never even cooked with coconut milk. I do have, however, a few jars of peppers that I pickled late last Summer. I’ve started a new grocery list and coconut milk is number one on the list. Now, if I can remember to bring the list with me on my next grocery run, I’ll be sure to give this recipe a try. 🙂

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks John! I made my first coconut rice about 3 years ago and now I make it all of the time. It’s so easy and SO delicious! I think you’ll love it! Don’t forget the grocery list! 🙂

  39. sangeeta khanna December 10, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    Hi Mj, this is my first visit to your blog and I am loving every single recipe here. I like these pickled peppers stuffed with feta but I can imagine how nice it will be with this coconut rice. Wonderful.

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

      Welcome Sangeeta! I’m so glad you stopped by and left a comment! I just happen to have 4 peppers left AND some feta. Guess what I’m having for a snack tomorrow! Thanks!

  40. Ramona December 10, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    I love a good coconut rice….you have a beautiful and colorful dish here. 🙂

  41. Amy (Savory Moments) December 10, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    What a flavorful rice dish this is. I really enjoy those red pickled peppers – I get them at our grocery’s olive bar.

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks Amy! The olive bar is where I got these peppers as well! I love these little beauties, but they are too hot to eat alone (for me anyway).

  42. Sawsan @chef in disguise December 10, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    I love the idea of coconut rice MJ.
    I actually have fish sauce to use up and this would be a perfect way to do just that!

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks Sawsan! The fish sauce is a really good addition. Hope you enjoy the dish if you make it!

  43. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet December 10, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    At last a recipe that actually uses a WHOLE can of coconut milk! Have you ever noticed how most recipes only ask for 1/2 or 1/3 of a can?! For the first time this year I’ve made some coconut rice and I can only imagine that with the pickled peppers it must have been fantastic.

    • mj December 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      thanks Michelle! I didn’t know until after I made coconut rice a few times that most recipes used so little milk. I really like it with a whole can. Glad I could make you happy! 🙂


  1. Bok Choy with Pecans and Lemongrass | MJ's Kitchen - June 18, 2014

    […] Bok Choy with lemongrass makes a great side for any Asian seasoned meats such as pork or chicken, curries or satays.  For a vegetarian meal we serve it over brown rice with a touch of soy sauce and toasted coconut flakes.  This dish also goes great with Coconut Rice with Pickled Peppers. […]

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