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.
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.
Green onions added for garnish.
Simple Sesame Rice
- 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)
- 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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How to Make Sesame Rice – Step by Step Photos
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.
Add 1 cup jasmine rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.
Carefully pour 1.75 cups water into 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.
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.
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).