Coconut Rice the Colombian Way, With Coke!

Yep, you read that correctly; Colombians like to put Coca-Cola in their coconut rice. (no, not cocaine!) I think it is more of a costeño/Caribbean thing, but you can find it this way in Bogotá too. Maybe it helps that Coke is made with real sugar here? Either way, I was initially startled to see Manu pouring Coke into a bubbling pot of rice but have since learned to accept it and today I decided to try my own hand at it because Manu loves the stuff and could probably live off it if she had too.

I have never been super serious about my coconut rice; usually I just throw a can of coconut milk in and cook the rice as usual, but this is terribly lazy as I have come to realize, and I will now demonstrate to you what I/you should be doing.


Take your can of coconut milk and do not mix it. Pour off the water and only take that solid chunk of coconut-y goodness and put it in a medium sized pot. If you already mixed it, or you got a brand that doesn’t really have watery stuff but just more liquid coconut, that’s ok, this next part will just take a bit longer.

Heat it up. Get the milk bubbling and thick—it should start separating a bit and these pieces will get crispy and toasted. If, like me tonight, the milk is just not doing that (it takes a looong time) and you are so hungry you are ready to eat your fingers, just move on. As long as the milk is less liquid-y than it was you’ll probably be fine.

Why not play a round of "find the cat" while waiting?

Add the rice. I went with one cup because I figured that was a small enough amount that the coconut flavor would be distinct. Then add about a cup of Coke. Let it do its ricey thing, making sure it’s not burning to the bottom too much as coconut rice so often does (There is a word for those crunchy rice bits—pegao’) and adding a little Coke or water as needed.

Violá! Add in shredded coconut if you so choose, or even rasins. Serve next to curry, or everything.

om nom nom

Manu’s verdict: acceptably delicious, still some work towards excellence required.


About syd

I like beats & beets
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3 Responses to Coconut Rice the Colombian Way, With Coke!

  1. Dan says:

    Ny wife is from Barranquilla and is often making cocarice, it is really good

  2. vocabat says:

    Who knew? Every time we eat coconut rice at a Pacific restaurant, I try to remember to learn to make it at home some time, but I always forget. Besides, sometimes I just like to leave these kinds of things to the experts. But if it’s this easy…

    A few weeks ago I bought a coconut, threw it on the floor (no hammer), and proceeded to cut out all the meat, shred it, and roast it. Now that was a wild time. Sadly, all the precious milk was probably left on my tiles :(

    • Manu says:

      Yeah, I know what you mean about the coconut rice. It always seems like there is something special they do to make it extra tasty, but now you know the secret.

      Don’t feel so bad, getting coconut milk out of a fresh coconut is extremely hard. I remember being a kid and watching my mom do it. You shred the coconut first and then start to strain it, and strain it, and strain it… yeah not very efficient.

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