Simple Sesame Rice

$1.11 recipe / $0.28 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 12 votes
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Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to know how to jazz it up just a bit to make things interesting while still keeping it simple. This toasty Sesame Rice recipe does just that.

A bowl of sesame rice with chopsticks balanced on the rim and a small bowl of sesame seeds on the side

It’s All About the Toasted Sesame Oil

The magic in this savory sesame rice is the toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t discovered this magical ingredient yet, you’re in for a treat! Even just a small amount of this toasty oil gives any food a deliciously nutty aroma and flavor. It’s a finishing oil, so you’ll want to drizzle it onto your food after cooking for maximum impact.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

The tricky part about buying toasted sesame oil is that the label on the bottle doesn’t always say “toasted”, so you’ll have to take a closer look. Regular, or un-toasted, sesame oil has a light straw-like color similar to canola oil, and only has a mildly nutty flavor. Toasted sesame oil has a deep amber color and a strong nutty flavor and aroma. Most oil is sold in a glass bottle, so simply check the color to know if you’ve got the right oil.

Un-toasted sesame oil is usually sold near other cooking oils, while toasted sesame oil is usually found in the international aisle at major grocery stores. Thankfully, this ingredient is becoming more popular in the U.S. so even stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi are carrying their own brand (and for a great price!). A little bit goes a long way with this oil, so don’t be afraid of the price tag. It will last you quite a while.

Do I Have to Use Jasmine Rice?

No, you can use plain long grain white rice if you prefer, but jasmine rice will provide more flavor. To find jasmine rice for a good price, skip the small containers of “specialty” rice and look on the bottom shelf for a large 5 lb. bag. It’s so good, you’ll use that 5 lbs. in no time!

What to Serve with Sesame Rice

Sesame rice makes a simple side dish to any Southeast Asian inspired meal. You can serve it along side Soy Glazed Eggplant, Easy Sesame Chicken, or Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. Or swap it out for plain rice in any of your favorite bowl meals, like Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls, or Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sesame rice garnished with green onions

Green onions added for garnish.

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Simple Sesame Rice

5 from 12 votes
Adding just a few ingredients to your rice can really make your meal pop. Try this Simple Sesame Rice with any of your Southeast Asian inspired meals.
A pot full of sesame rice with a bowl of sesame rice on the side, both garnished with green onion
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 1 cup long grain jasmine rice ($0.67)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, or just until the garlic begins to soften and becomes very fragrant.
  • Add the rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.
  • Carefully add the water and soy sauce, then give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top, add the sesame seeds, and gently fold the rice until the sesame oil and seeds are distributed throughout. Serve warm.

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Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cupCalories: 206.43kcalCarbohydrates: 36.38gProtein: 3.45gFat: 4.9gSodium: 242.33mgFiber: 1.13g
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A pot full of sesame rice with a bowl of sesame rice on the side, both garnished with green onion

How to Make Sesame Rice – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in sauce pot

Mince one clove of garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Place the pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until it has softened a bit and is very fragrant.

Rice being poured into the pot

Add 1 cup jasmine rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

Water being poured into the pot

Carefully pour 1.75 cups water into the pot…

Soy sauce being added to the pot

Along with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Add sesame oil to the cooked rice

After resting without heat for 5 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil over the cooked rice. Add 1 tsp sesame seeds and gently fold the rice until the oil and seeds are evenly distributed throughout.

Finished sesame rice garnished with green onion

Serve the rice while warm, next to your favorite main dish! (I garnished with green onion, but this is not necessary for the overall flavor of the dish).

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Comments

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  1. Delicious recipe! A very nice change from plain rice or coconut rice! Went super well with our grilled soy-ginger marinated pork tenderloin and grilled baby bok choys! Yum! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Can’t believe I haven’t commented on this recipe before. Have made it literally 22 times (I keep notes) since you posted it. Goes great with anything but especially Asian foods and fish. Made it once to go with your Teriyaki Pork Meatballs and that was perfect. This recipe is a great example of how a few ingredients used in the right combination can be way more than the sum of its parts–like so many of your recipes! Thanks for a great contribution to our regular rotation! Note: you have a pile of great rice recipes and each one I have tried has been great, it’s just that this and your Yellow Jasmine Rice are favorites and appear on our table most often.

  3. I loved this simple and fast rice, I added white onions and diced mushrooms, bcuz I didn’t have green onions, next time I will try shredded carrots or other vegetables, but overall its an amazing dish which my family loved suoer quick to prepare.

  4. Hi Beth,
    I’ve made this recipe a handful of times, and everyone enjoys it! I’m about to make it again, but I ran out of soy sauce. Could I use Worcestershire sauce in its place, and if so, how much would I use compared to the soy sauce?

    Thank you,
    Art

    1. Honestly, I wouldn’t use Worcestershire sauce. The flavor is very different from soy sauce, IMHO. :)

  5. I cooked this rice to go with your Guacamole Tuna Bowl and it was a delicious pairing! Thank you!