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I'd like to jazz up some white rice

There has to be some creative ways to flavor otherwise boring steamed white rice. Jasmine, basmati, uncle ben's, minute rice ... it doesn't matter. I'd like some ideas on how to liven up this starch and have it look appealing on the plate and tasty on the palate. Vegetables perhaps? Stocks? Seeds? Dried fruits? PLMK. TIA.

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  1. This Barefoot Contessa recipe is pretty simple and people always love it.


      1. I made boogiebaby's Punjabi rice and it was easy and delicious.
        - see post of Aug 13, 2007 07:53PM in this thread on Indian rice:

        I have also been making Lemon Rice for years. Sauté sliced green onions & chopped celery in butter until soft but not brown. Add rice - I use basmati - and sauté for another minute. Add chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice & salt, and cover & cook until done. Let sit for a few minutes after done, fluff with for and mix w/chopped parsley. Enjoy!

        1. cook it up in chicken stock instead of water.

          Add whatever herbs/spices will go well with your entree to the cooking water/stock.

          But, the problem is rice cooked in a jazzed up method can't be made into rice pudding. ;) I always make extra rice for making into pudding (or something) later.

          1. When I roast chicken (on a Zuni chicken kick right now), I add garlic cloves the last half hour of cooking. I save some of the chicken fat/juices and garlic. After cooking white rice, I'll add some of that to it w/ lots of roasted garlic.

            1. I'm thnkinking of green chili cheese rice for tonight. I have an abundance of fresh chilis that I roasted last evening. So while they are fresh it is time to make the best of them.

              1. A big dollop of pesto. Jarred or homemade this time of year.

                1. Shanghainese love "cai fan" (vegetable rice) which can be made either vegetarian or with bits of savory meats like ham or chinese sausage. A leafy green cabbage-y vegetable like Shanghai Bok Choy is chopped fine along with optional meats, if any, then lightly stirfried until soft. It is then added to uncooked short-grain rice (Calrose works great), and cooked in a rice cooker like plain rice. The results will look something like this picture:


                  1. When I was a kid, I would fry rice with sofrito and add a can of refried beans, cheese and hot sauce to it. Now I am addicted to a simple cilantro rice I concocted with cilantro, corn, carrots, cumin, garlic, onions and chicken stock.

                    Pilafs are also very simple to make. A few seeds, vegetables and fruits, possibly some juice or coconut milk nad you're good to go. Biryani, while not exactly simple, is also a beautiful and delicious dish when done correctly. I always keep spices on hand for when I get a craving.

                    1. One of my favourite and easy ways to liven up white rice is to cook it in chicken boulion instead of just water. When the rice is cooked add abit of butter, finely diced white onion or shallots, a pressed garlic clove , a squeeze of lemon juice and finely shredded raw carrot. I guess you might call it some kind of pilaf. Yummy good!

                      1. Two nights ago I felt like nurturing food, so invented kale egg fried rice with ingredients of my fridge. It worked really well, and next time I need to spice up some rice, I will do a simpler version:

                        Saute some garlic and spring onions or sliced onion in a little olive oil. Toss in chopped kale, add splash white wine/water/mirin and a tiny bit soy sauce, cover to cook. Them stir through warm white rice.

                        1. Cooking it in stock and a pinch of saffron is a fave for me.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: misswills

                            Dice one whole sweet onion, OR one entire bunch of green onions, saute, add rice and stock....you may also stir in - when rice is cooked! - one full cup of finely choipped Italian parsley, or cilantro, or anywhere from a quarter to a third cup of dill, or roasted Hatch peppers, or - go back to the beginning! - sllivererd toasted almonds, green peas and shredded parmesan. Rice - as good as it is by its lonesome - can almost be a blank canvas!

                            1. re: Alice Letseat

                              I almost forgot! "Spanish" rice! (jazzed up with diced hot or sweet peppers, of course!)

                          2. I love chopping up a shallot and a clove of garlic and sauteeing them in butter and then placing them in a steamer with white rice, chicken broth, and parsley with a big fresh squeeze of lemon. i leave the shallots chunky so i get a little crunch in my rice. delicious!

                            My other very odd rice comfort food is steamed basmati riced warmed in a pan with crushed or stewed tomatoes, fresh basil, and shredded mozzarella cheese. soo good!

                            1. The Japanese always serve tsukemono (pickled vegetables such as daikon, eggplant etc etc ) with rice and sometimes use furikake:.


                              1. Swap out the water for stock or tea. Puree any vegetable combo & add to the liquid (I use blanched tomatillo, jalapeno & cilantro with chicken broth frequently). It's pretty hard to go wrong since rice works so well with most any flavor.

                                1. Definitely Jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk... delicious, and it lends a nice dimension of flavour to many spicy dishes (I love it with my homemade Thai and Malaysian food although it is much more fattening).

                                  If using basmati, definitely try your hand at some Indian pilaus... ghee, some cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. (all whole, of course - ground would likely be disgusting). Fantastic and visually appealing!

                                  1. I usually cook it in chicken or beef broth, or sometimes vegetable depending on the meat I am making, add fresh mushrooms, sauteed garlic and some herbs that would complement the marinade for the meat (I do a lot on my Foreman grill so I am constantly creating new marinades). Before adding the broth, I saute the raw rice in extra virgin olive oil and garlic until it is translucent, then add the broth and turn the heat way down.