How To Cook Rice With Flair: Simple, Creative Ideas For Rice

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-05-3112

I grew up on rice, and this is no surprise given where I’m originally from! ;) I usually prefer rice as plain and white as they come, but let’s not forget that while it’s a staple product, it doesn’t always have to be used on its own. You can serve pretty much anything with rice, but it’s good to have some variety; you don’t have to serve plain white rice all the time. I’ve come up with some good alternatives and none of them are hard to do.

How To Cook Rice With Flair: Simple, Creative Ideas For Rice

Try these for size in your own kitchen. You’ll keep the cost of your food bills down and enjoy better meals to boot!

1. Buy wild rice as well as white. Wild rice is the dark stuff, and you can mix it in with ordinary white rice to come up with the White ‘n Wild variety. Don’t buy it ready mixed –- create it yourself by buying separate bags as it’s cheaper. It’s good to use with accompaniments that are stronger in flavor.


2. Mix in a handful of peas and sweet corn with it. I love doing this. I microwave some rice in a rice cooker and add some peas and sweet corn on top so they steam as well. Then I mix it all in, serve it and add some cooked fish on top. Fish in sauce works wonderfully!

fried rice
Image from the FoodNetwork.com

3. Add other ingredients to it and stuff some peppers! This is always a good bet and it’s great for vegetarians too. Choose any combination of vegetables to mix in with the rice. Mushrooms, garlic and onions are good, as are more colorful vegetables.

4. Eat it cold in salads, mixed in with chicken and salad vegetables. We don’t always think of putting rice in salads but it’s a good way to bulk the dishes out, while making them cheaper and more filling as well. You can always make a big batch of cooked rice and add something different to it every day. They’re great to take to work too! When you fit your meals in your lunchbox nice and easy, just don’t forget your fork!

5. Go for egg fried rice and serve with sweet and sour beef or chicken. Left over rice should never be chucked away. Instead, throw it in a frying pan with a splash of oil and a cooked egg. Make sure you continually stir the egg to break it up and to give it the authentic stringy appearance. You can then serve it up with a sweet and sour dish, or anything else you like with a Chinese theme.

Check out these other articles on fun, cheap, creative dishes, including:

You can probably come up with lots more ideas yourself before you’re done. The trick is to start thinking about rice as more than just a staple food. Yes, you can cook it and serve it plain. But why do that when there is so much else you can do with it?

In addition to all this, jazzing up your rice dishes gives you the added benefit of appreciating and getting to like plain rice more than you did before. Instead of thinking “oh great, plain rice again” you’ll appreciate the taste and the chance to eat it plain every now and then.

I used to be very boring when it came to dishing out rice. I’d do a bed of white rice and that would be it. Now I mix white rice with brown rice, throw in some additional vegetables; use it in stir fries and a whole lot more. There’s a lot you can experiment with, when you’ve got a solid staple that goes well with almost everything. It only takes a bit of advanced thinking and a little preparation to jazz things up a bit.

So how do you like your rice?

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth May 31, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I cook rice with a sprinkle of loose tea (like straight ginger or lemon). No added calories, fat or sodium!

basicmoneytips.com June 1, 2010 at 5:27 am

My family grows rice as our family business, so we ate our share of rice growing up as well. One of the things I loved was cold rice mixed with raisons and sugar with a little milk. It was great in the mornings. In the winter you could warm the rice and that was nice too.

PureFi June 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Rice has to be one of the most cost-effective foods. My husband and I cook a big pot of rice at the beginning of the week so we can take it to work for lunches and have it ready for a quick dinner when we don’t have a lot of time. But I haven’t used it in salads – thanks for the idea!

Goran Web Design June 2, 2010 at 3:54 am

I prefer my rice brown and nutty. I get brown basmati in bulk from a Pakistani merchant that imports the stuff. It works out much cheaper buying a couple of 5kg bags every couple of months rather than buying brown basmati from the local supermarket. The low GI nature is what appeals to me the most, as well as the exquisite taste.

Credit Girl June 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Oh! I grew up eating rice, too! Boy, if I had known that they were all empty white carbs I would’ve eaten much less… Recently, we’ve tried to cut back on the rice. I’ve almost completely cut it out of my diet except for some brown rice here and there. My mom does this thing where she mixes plain brown rice with multigrain rice so it has a really delicious texture! You should definitely try that..

Donna Freedman June 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Warmed up with milk and a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon, for supper.
Fried with a bit of oil, soy sauce and any vegetables or meats I have on hand. (Good way to use up leftovers.)
Added to meat loaf or meatball mixture before cooking.

Early Retirement Extreme June 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Very easy. I take one drinking cup and fill it with rice. Dump it in the pressure cooker. Then I take 1+3/4 of the same cup with water. Goes on top. I run the heat until maximum pressure is reached. Then I switch the gas off and wait until the pressure has gone down again. The rice is done. It NEVER burns. Total interaction from me in preparation is less than a minute.

(Sometimes I dump turmeric in the water.)

Silicon Valley Blogger June 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I love rice! The one thing that I noticed though, is that whenever I cut out rice from my diet, I always lose weight! Now that’s the sad part about that — there’s a tradeoff! White rice in some sauce has always been my favorite, but it’s that or extra pounds! :) Ah, everything in moderation, right?

Shreya June 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

i like rice so much..! It’s very easy. Combine water and rice, then place the pot on the stove over high heat until the water begins to boil. Wait for 3-5 minutes for the water to boil if you’re making 1 cup of rice to 1 3/4 cups water. If you’re making more rice, there are longer waiting times. After that serve it and enjoy it..:)

Consumermiser June 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I love rice too and it is cheap and a budget stretcher, along with pasta. Thanks for the rice menu ideas. I use the peas and corn idea a bit (idea 1), although I am not big fan of cold rice dishes (idea 4).

Not So Random Non–Financial Thoughts: Dieters blame rice (and pasta) for weight gains, but many cultures in the rest of the world (such as in Asia) rely on rice and the folks there are relatively thin compared to folks in the U.S. I wonder what the difference is? In any event, I love rice and I like to stir it to make it like sticky rice (one of my favorites). I prefer regular rice and brown rice over fried rice.

misstopaz June 14, 2010 at 6:26 am

Thanks for all these tips. Rice is indeed healthy and fairly affordable by anyone. I was thinking of a detox diet and was planning to eat rice for about 14 days, but didn’t have the courage yet. With your tips I think I can make it work.

Cooker Elements June 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Nice article. In my region, rice is used daily for lunch. This is simple and good.

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