Who doesn’t love rice? Not only is it super simple to make, but it also goes well with just about any food. We eat a lot of rice around here, so I’m no stranger to the various methods for cooking rice. I thought I knew everything there was to know about rice, until recently when I learned a brilliant “rice hack” that produced some of the best-tasting rice I’ve ever made! This hack is so breathtakingly simple that I am stumped as to how I didn’t think of it on my own. I’m hoping that at least a few of you are in the same boat, because this life-changing rice discovery is what I’ll be sharing with you today!
The Secret To Making The Best Rice
Steamed rice has a pretty neutral flavor, which is part of what makes it such a versatile food. When served as a side dish or used as a meal’s starchy base, people tend to focus solely on adding flavor after the rice has been cooked. That’s what I did too, until I discovered that the secret to making the best tasting rice lies in what you add to it before you’ve even cooked it!
The big secret is cooking rice in chicken broth instead of water. Changing the cooking liquid doesn’t affect how the rice cooks, but it does have a huge affect on the flavor! The savory flavors of the stock get infused into the finished rice, making it much more flavorful than rice cooked in plain water. How simple is that?
And cooking rice in chicken broth isn’t the only way to punch up the flavor of your rice. You can also use chicken stock, vegetable broth or stock, or any other kind of broth or stock you like. If you don’t usually keep broths or stocks on hand, it’s easy to whip some up using a bouillon base like Better Than Bouillon. Just stir a small amount of the concentrated paste into hot water to make flavorful broth whenever you need it! (You can also make your own homemade broth from scratch, which is much easier than it sounds! Learn how to do it at the link below.)
More Tips For Great Tasting Rice
While we’re on the subject of rice, I thought I’d tack on a few more of my favorite rice tips. (And if you have any brilliant rice hacks, please share them with us in a comment at the bottom of this post!)
Tip #1: Cook It In Your Instant Pot
I’ve been cooking rice in my Instant Pot since I first bought it, and I’ve never gone back to the stovetop method! It turns out perfect every time! Just rinse your rice and add it to your Instant Pot, along with an equal amount of your cooking liquid of choice. Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes, then allow for 10 minutes or natural pressure release. After that, turn the Quick Release valve to let out any remaining steam, and enjoy your perfectly cooked and flavorful rice!
Tip #2: Add Even More Flavor
In addition to using a flavorful cooking liquid, there are even more ways to add flavor to your rice. Here are a few mini-recipes you can try:
- For Mexican rice, dice and saute an onion, then add a sprinkle of garlic powder and a small amount of tomato bouillon. Add your rice and cooking liquid and cook as usual.
- For Indian-style basmati rice, use coconut milk as your cooking liquid, and add 4 cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick to the pot as well.
- For cheesy Parmesan rice, add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to cooked rice.
- To make it extra herbaceous, stir a spoonful of pesto into your cooked rice. Serve it as a flavorful side dish!
What’s your favorite way to cook or eat rice?