Best Coconut Rice

THE BEST COCONUT RICE (VEGAN BOWL WITH EASY TERIYAKI)

I often get asked about my go-to, healthy weeknight meals – and the dinner I come back to time and time again is my beloved vegan grain bowl. What makes this meal so satisfying is this fluffy bed of the best coconut rice ever that nests the veggies and tofu, doused with a healthy helping of teriyaki sauce. And while a standard brown or white rice is great by itself, there’s just something about the addition of coconut milk that makes this easy weeknight meal just a little more special.

Vegan Teriyaki Grain. Bowl

MIX-AND-MATCH VEGAN GRAIN BOWL

The beauty of this recipe is that you can swap various ingredients out for whatever you have on hand – think of it as your kitchen sink grain bowl. Sometimes I add sweet potatoes instead of tofu (and sometimes I use both), or I love throwing in some broccoli or spinach in lieu of kale. All you need is a grain and a couple of different veggies, plus tofu if you have it, and you’re all set!

Vegan Coconut Rice Recipe

Here’s my formula for the best coconut rice bowl, with respective substitutes:

  • THE GRAIN: Short grain brown rice, brown jasmine rice, white jasmine rice, forbidden rice, arborio rice, or even quinoa. All of these grains work as the base for this recipe – simply follow the cooking instructions for the respective rice or quinoa, and add in the coconut milk per the recipe below.
  • THE VEG: The sky’s the limit for the vegetables you can use in this grain bowl. Some of my favorites: kale, broccoli, sweet potato, mushrooms, bok choy, spinach, carrots, purple cabbage, swiss chard…the options are endless, and the beauty in this formula is that you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • THE PROTEIN: Extra firm tofu, tempeh, soybeans, or plant-based meat alternatives all work here. That said, I’ll sometimes just go full grain and veg and skip the protein, depending on what my body’s craving. If you follow food combining, you can totally leave this part out.

Now that you’ve got the formula down, let’s get into the recipe.

Vegan Coconut Rice Bowl (Easy Homemade Teriyaki)

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Recipe by Anjelica Price-Rocha Course: DinnerCuisine: Asian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

This vegan rice bowl is the healthy weeknight staple you’ll want to eat over and over again. Use whatever veggies are in your fridge, and enjoy the leftovers for lunch! The homemade teriyaki is optional, and you can absolutely use a store-bought version if preferred.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice or grain of choice

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

  • 3 cups kale (or greens of choice)

  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced (any varietal works, though I prefer shiitake)

  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed to remove water)

  • 2 tbsp oil (sesame, coconut, grapeseed, or olive oil) to cook tofu and veggies

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or use powdered, if fresh isn’t available)

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (agave or coconut sugar also work)

  • 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar

  • Optional: sambal or sriracha, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, green onions, and a squeeze of lime

Directions

  • Start cooking the rice according to package instructions – simply substitute the coconut milk in place of the oil or butter (if you’re cooking short-grain brown rice like the one I used above, I combine 1 cup of rice, 1 3/4 cups water, and 1-2 tbsp. coconut milk) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, grate the ginger and mince the garlic. Combine garlic and ginger with tamari (or soy sauce), rice vinegar, and maple syrup. If you like a little heat, throw in some sambal, sriracha, or red pepper flakes. Taste your sauce and adjust for preferred levels of acidity and sweetness.
  • Cut your tofu into cubes. Combine about half of the sauce and the cubed tofu into a bowl, and make sure all of the tofu is covered with the sauce. Set aside.
  • Next, prep your vegetables. Slice mushrooms lengthwise and cut kale crosswise (not aiming for perfection here, with whatever veggies your using – they’ll get cooked down anyways as they sautee). Set aside.
  • Once your rice timer hits 20 minutes, add 1/4 cup of coconut milk and stir. Set timer for another 20 minutes.
  • As your rice continues cooking, heat a pan to medium-high with about 1 tbsp of oil (sesame, grapeseed, or coconut oil is ideal, but olive oil works, too). Once hot, add the tofu and cook about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • While your tofu is cooking, heat another pan with oil (sesame, coconut, grapeseed, or EVOO works here) and add your firmer vegetables (like mushrooms). Allow to cook 5-10 minutes, then add softer vegetables to the pan (like kale or spinach). Once tender, turn heat to low.
  • At this point, your coconut rice should be close to done. Check to see if the rice is tender and fluffy, add a bit more coconut milk if desired (I add more here and end up using close to half the can), plus a pinch or two of salt, then bring the heat to low.
  • Plate your dish, starting with the grain, then veg and tofu. Top off with extra teriyaki sauce, add any garnishes, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you still have extra teriyaki sauce, store it in the fridge as an extra marinade, dressing base, or dipping sauce! Or, you can totally use store-bought teriyaki here if you’re short on time.

If you tried out this recipe at home, please let me know if you liked it in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more weeknight meal options, be sure to check out these mouth-watering crockpot enchiladas or my take on the Jon + Vinny’s spicy fusilli (vegan vodka sauce, anyone?)

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