5 Easy Ways to Cook More Delicious Rice

Rice is one of the simplest and most versatile staples you can keep in your pantry. You can eat it on its own, fry it with veggies and meat, ladle stew or curry over it — the possibilities are endless. But if you’re stuck in a rut of making plain old white rice with a pinch of salt, it’s easy to get bored. Step up your rice game with these easy, weeknight-friendly tips.

Try different types of rice.

If you always reach for the same kind of rice, change it up. There are dozens of delicious rice varieties in the world, all with subtle variations in flavor and texture. If you’re a white rice fan, try your hand at cooking some fragrant basmati rice, hearty brown rice, or nutty red rice. Make sure to do your research on how to cook each kind of rice because different varieties require different amounts of liquid and cooking times.

Cook with stock or juice.

One effortless way to add extra oomph to your rice is to replace some or all of the cooking water with a different liquid. Using chicken or vegetable stock is a great way to up the nutrition content as well as the flavor of your rice. If you don’t have stock on hand, add a bouillon cube to your cooking water. You can also use vegetable juices, like carrot or tomato juice, or even replace half your cooking water with coconut milk.

Spice it up.

To cook the perfect pot of savory, earthy, or spicy rice, look no further than your spice cupboard. Garlic, cumin, oregano, and other kitchen standbys are just as great for adding character to rice as they are for flavoring other dishes. To make the flavor pop as much as possible, toast the spices in a little oil before adding your rice and cooking liquid to the pot. If you use whole spices, like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, or cloves, remove them before serving the rice.

Add vegetables.

Vegetables are a good way to round out your rice, whether you’re serving it as a side dish or a main dish. Sauté some onions, carrots, or whatever other veggies you like in some oil. Then add your rice and liquid, and let everything cook together – the vegetables will infuse the rice with flavor. You can also add the veggies to the rice after it’s finished cooking. Just sauté them in a pan and mix them in when the rice is done.

Get creative.

Rice is a blank canvas. Almost anything you want to put on it will taste good, so raid your pantry and come up with your own combinations of sauces, spices, and mix-ins. Try flavoring your rice with things like pesto, hot sauce, sesame oil, or herb-infused vinegar. You might just invent your own signature rice dish.

There’s no reason to settle for boring rice when there are so many delicious ways to cook it. Whether you’re throwing together a quick dinner or trying to impress your foodie friends, once you give these simple rice tips a try, you’ll never go back to making bland rice again.

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