Sweet and Salty Coconut Rice with Lima Beans

Aya Brackett

Aya Brackett

4 servings

30 minutes

Just when you thought you’d seen every possible version of this economical, nutritious, and ubiquitous food pairing, here’s another. This is a tropical paradise disguised as a mound of rice and beans—and also happens to be meatless.


¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil or good-quality vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
4 scallions, whites and greens separated and chopped
1 ½ cups white rice (preferably long-grain)
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 pound frozen lima beans


1. Put the shredded coconut in a large dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the coconut is fragrant and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Put the oil in the pan and return to medium heat. When it’s hot, add the ginger and scallion whites. Cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle bubble and cover. Cook for 10 minutes; don’t stir, but use a spoon to check the bottom once or twice to make sure the mixture isn’t sticking or burning—add a splash of water and reduce the heat if it is.

3. Add the lima beans, and stir once, then continue cooking until the rice is tender, 4 to 6 minutes. If liquid evaporates before the rice is done, stir in water, about ¼ cup at a time. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Fluff the rice with a fork, then cover, and let sit for at least 5 minutes and up to 15. Serve warm, garnished with the scallion greens and toasted coconut.

Recipe from Dinner for Everyone


Beans & GrainsMark Bittman