Since buying coconut oil, I have been looking for different ways to use it. I was going to make this dish, but not originally with any coconut. I thought about it and wondered what would happen if I added it at the beginning, and layered everything on top. I figured the “worst” case was that you just would not taste it. It turns out, the flavor carried through clear to the end. It is not as strong as if you used coconut milk, but it’s a simple addition. If you don’t have coconut oil, or just don’t want to use it, then feel free to leave it out and enjoy the other flavors more.