Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork

April 22, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

This fragrant rice makes for a satisfying and easy weeknight meal. As long as you have your mise en place before you start, the end is as comforting as a good risotto, though without all the stirring. As strange as it might sound, this is equally delicious and different with a can of sardines stirred into the finished rice in place of the pork. If you use sardines, serve with Korean seaweed (gim) and make bite sized hand rolls.


Food52 Review: WHO: Gingerroot is a Hawaii-based art educator and mom of two.
WHAT: A fragrant, almost one-pot meal with just the right amount of sweet and salty.
HOW: Make like you’re preparing risotto, but ditch the constant stirring.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Because of the pork and the coconut milk, you might think this dish is rich. But it's not -- it’s lightly perfumed from the coconut milk, not too heavy, and so satisfying. We'd eat it as a savory breakfast, too.
The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min


  • 4 large scallions, thoroughly washed, trimmed just above root
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon good quality fish sauce (like Red Boat or Three Crabs)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups medium grain Calrose rice
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (shake can before opening)
  • 1 head of baby bok choy (optional), end trimmed, leaves separated, washed, and sliced crosswise
  • 1 wedge of lime, for finishing
In This Recipe


  1. Prep scallions by slicing 1/3 cup of white and light green parts. Thinly slice dark green part of scallions for 3/4 cup, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or similar pot. Add ground pork, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. When meat is no longer pink, add fish sauce and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Transfer meat to a bowl and cover with foil.
  3. Add 1/2 tablespoon canola oil to pot, followed by remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1/3 cup of sliced white and light green scallions. Cook, combining with wooden spoon, until fragrant, about a minute. Add rice and stir to coat, until rice is shiny. Add stock and coconut milk, stir to combine and cover. When rice begins to bubble, turn heat down to simmer. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
  4. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add 1/2 cup of sliced dark green scallions. Crisp up scallions by stirring frequently, remembering that they will go from crisp to burned in a second. Since they are dark, you won’t have as obvious a visual clue as with onions or shallots; I usually rely on smell. Once they start to smell dark and smoky I start to look for golden brown charred edges and begin to remove onions by the forkful to a paper towel lined plate until they are all done. It’s not the most delicate maneuver but they are delicious and worth it.
  5. If you are using the baby bok choy, add it to the still hot skillet once you’ve removed the crispy scallions. Cook in scallion oil until leaves are wilted and stem begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. When timer goes off, remove lid from rice pot and give mixture a stir. Rice should be perfectly cooked, plump, and almost risotto like, though without the extra liquid. Stir in reserved pork, crisped scallions, remaining 1/4 cup sliced dark green scallions, and bok choy if using. Finish with a squeeze from a lime wedge. Serve immediately and enjoy.

More Great Recipes:
Asian|Bok Choy|Coconut|Grains|Green Onion/Scallion|Lime|Milk/Cream|Pork|Vegetable|Rice|One-Pot Wonders|Fall

Reviews (89) Questions (2)

89 Reviews

Freebird August 21, 2017
The whole family really enjoyed this. I added a few handfuls of shredded carrot with the bok choy just to get more veg into the dish and finished with a drizzle of tamari. This is going in the rotation!
sheri February 3, 2017
Had some bok choy and this recipe came up in my search. I had all the other ingredients on hand too except ground pork. Had cooked left-over pork chop from dinner the previous night so grated it (never done that before and it works!) and as it was already cooked, just heated it up with the other ingredients. Voila and yum and yum!
Andreea September 5, 2016
I discovered this recipe a couple of months ago and I've already made 5 or 6 times, it's now become part of our dinner rotation. Since we're vegetarian I make it with crumbled tofu and vegetable stock and skip the fish sauce but it's still v flavorsome.
Anna F. May 22, 2016
Delicious recipe! We made a few tweaks, mostly because our absurd grocery store was out of ground pork and bok choy. I live in Iowa right now, it's nonsense that they should run out of pork...
stevemr May 18, 2016
This has become one of our standbys. Since we don't usually use bok choy, and our supermarket sells it in groups of three or four heads, we use ALL of them, and it not only increases the healthiness of the dish, but it extends it without in any way diminishing the flavor.
QueenieFrancie May 18, 2016
I made this dish according to the recipe last night. It was pretty good but a bit too oily. The flavors were a little bland but I don't know if it's just me. I am favoring strong flavored foods lately. Anyway, the next time i make this I will punch up the garlic and ginger and maybe add some toasted coconut. I barely tasted any coconut flavor by using full fat coconut milk. I used baby bok choy and it was so good, I need to remember to buy it every week!
FJT January 31, 2016
Loved this recipe! I used arborio rice as I always have that on hand for risottos and it took a bit more liquid than stated and I used coconut oil for all the frying. My husband was disappointed that there weren't any leftovers ... apparently I shouldn't have bothered halving the recipe for just the two of us!!
shannonelizabeth December 4, 2015
I never comment, but after seeing this pop up on the main page of the site, I have to say: Make this dish! I seem to always need additional time to cook it, but boy, when it's done - oooweeey!
Daniel G. November 25, 2015
I look forward to making this. Coconut rice I love and it's so simple. But what can I use instead of baby bok choy??<br /><br />
Megan T. November 25, 2015
You could use any green, really. Chard would work, regular bok choy, spinach, kale. Any cooking green should suffice!
Renee B. August 11, 2015
Ground turkey worked great in place of pork. I used a hefty 2 T of both minced garlic and minced ginger. I added 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including some stems. Finally, the grocer's bok choy was old so I used fresh green beans cut on the diagonal. Just barely steam sautéed them in the pan used for scallions. I accidentally bought full fat coconut milk so didn't need to add more oil to make up for the fact that the turkey was 93% fat free. The meal was delicious. I'll definitely make it again but with low-fat coconut milk. Thanks for posting the recipe!
Renee B. August 10, 2015
Do you think substituting ground chicken or turkey for a non-pork eater would work well? Maybe add a little more oil since both are (presumably) lower in fat?
savorthis August 10, 2015
I use chicken in recipes like this a lot, but my new favorite is tofu. I take a very firm tofu, cut it into 4 pieces and drain it well on kitchen towels pressing to remove as much water as possible. You can then grate it on the large holes of a grater and achieve almost the same texture as ground meat. I usually brown the tofu first (before adding garlic, ginger etc) because it takes a little while, but I bet it would be great in this recipe!
Megan T. August 10, 2015
I think it would work, I'd just heed my comments below about adjusting the spices and it'd be a great start. Report back!
Renee B. August 10, 2015
Thanks, Megan and Savorthis. I will definitely increase the spices. We both like lots of flavor. Tofu would be fine for me but not for him! I'll try the chicken or turkey (whichever I can get at the grocery today) and will report back.
Author Comment
gingerroot August 10, 2015
Hi Renee, if you are using lean turkey or chicken you might need a little more oil. Whatever you try, I'm looking forward to hearing how it turns out!
Megan T. June 15, 2015
Absolutely loved this recipe. Our butcher gave us around 1.25lbs of ground pork when we ordered a pound, so we decided to up the spices to compensate for the addition of extra ground pork. We used around two tablespoons plus the one teaspoon for both the ginger and the garlic and it was perfect. It could potentially use a little more salt if you're using the bok choy, but this can be added per each person's personal taste once it's plated. We also used two jalapenos in the recipe (sauteed it with the pork), which added a bit of heat. Next time I'd try serranos since we were adding chile sauce/hot sauce as we were eating. Other than that, the flavors were wonderful and we can't wait to eat the leftovers!
Author Comment
gingerroot August 10, 2015
Thanks for your feedback, Megan! As I mention deep in the comments, I usually add a little heat but kept it out this time for my kids. I will definitely try it with a serrano the next time I make it - I think you're right that it would add just the right amount of heat.
Lisa Y. May 17, 2015
This is really good - I made this without reading the modifications below. Next time I will definitely add a bit of heat and some cilantro. I tossed in some live leaves that I had on hand and that gave nice flavor to the rice. I used 2 heads of baby bok choy, and added salt to that while cooking. Also, I used some sesame oil in crisping the green onions. Lastly, I used short grain brown rice which did take longer to cook, but this recipe was very easy to adapt. Yum.
Author Comment
gingerroot August 10, 2015
Thanks for letting me know! Glad it worked with your adjustments.
Monica L. August 24, 2017
Hi Lisa! We are brown rice eaters too... did you have to add more liquids in cooking this with brown rice?
Virginia M. February 19, 2015
Echoing sentiments below, this really was very delicious. If you like everything spicy, as my fiance does, you will not be disappointed by adding Sriracha. It's really great comfort food and also makes great leftovers.
Author Comment
gingerroot June 2, 2015
Hi Virginia,<br />Thanks for your comments. I definitely add sriracha as well.
Christy L. February 1, 2015
I didn't have baby bok choy so I used broccolini instead. Adding more ginger and cilantro also made it more fragrant. Turned out great. The recipe says it serves four but my boyfriend and I ended up eating ALL of it!For some reason, the rice made me really thirsty so I might try adding more coconut milk the next time. Thanks for uploading the recipe =)
Author Comment
gingerroot June 2, 2015
Thanks for letting me know!
aepk February 1, 2015
I had lamb + spinach around instead of pork+bokchoy. I thought it was great! I also followed the suggestions below to add cilantro. I had some leftover from another meal, so I finely chopped the stems. awesome recipe. thanks!
Author Comment
gingerroot June 2, 2015
Hi aepk,<br />Thanks for your comment. For some reason I did not receive a notification about it. Glad you enjoyed it - will have to try it with lamb.
Chamindika December 9, 2014
this is an amazing recipe! I've already made it 5 times, so delicious! Everyone I've made it for has loved it, brilliant recipe!
Author Comment
gingerroot December 9, 2014
Thanks so much for letting me know! I'm thrilled you are enjoying this recipe. Happy Holidays!
Sarah E. October 19, 2014
Just made this tonight--yum! Shopping for ingredients on a Sunday night at Whole Foods, I was disappointed but not surprised to find out they were sold out of ground pork. I was really set on trying this recipe tonight, however, so I decided to use another pork option that was in stock: super thin-sliced organic pork. I chopped the thin slices into small pieces, and it was delicious! It was also very quick to cook the pork because the pieces of meat were so thin. The only other substitution I made to the recipe was to use mostly vegetable stock instead of chicken (I used 1 cup veggie stock and 1/4 cup chicken stock), and I threw in some toasted sesame seeds at the end. I will definitely make again, and may double up on the bok choy amount next time!
Author Comment
gingerroot October 28, 2014
Hi Sarah, so glad you enjoyed this and I love your pork substitution and sesame seed addition. I will have to remember that!
Myrica V. September 16, 2014
Delicious! Added a bit of chopped spinach in the end, and topped it with some toasted peanuts. Very good and really easy!
Author Comment
gingerroot October 28, 2014
I bet peanuts would be delicious!
tara H. August 19, 2014
made this for dinner last night- upped the coconut milk to broth ratio and added some crushed red pepper flakes and it came out AMAZING! Definitely going into the recipe rotation and if there are leftovers- they do heat up really nicely! Must try!
Author Comment
gingerroot October 28, 2014
Yum, crushed red pepper flakes are a great addition. Thanks for your comment, Tara!