Throw In Some Garlic To Give White Rice An Easy Burst Of Flavor

White rice is a comforting and easy foundation for meals of all kinds, accompanying meats and vegetables or soaking up sauces and stews. While there are many cooking hacks to avoid undercooking or overcooking rice, texture is only one part of the equation. You also need an arsenal of ideas on how to add flavor to white rice. Garlic is the easiest one-ingredient flavor agent to amp up a pot of white rice.

As one of the most ubiquitous aromatics on Earth, garlic is readily available, easy to prepare, and probably a household staple. It won't tack on any extra time to your meal prep or rice cooking, and it'll effortlessly transform plain white rice into a flavorful and aromatic side dish.

Garlic has distinct flavors depending on how you use it, providing a burst of spiciness when raw, an earthy and savory flavor when sautéed, and caramelized sweetness when roasted. White rice is a blank canvas for flavor and thus receptive to garlic's full flavor spectrum.

Oil, butter, or some other type of fat is the proper vehicle to infuse a pot of white rice with garlic. Heat is also a good tool for releasing garlic's fragrance. There are various ways to incorporate garlic into white rice, each reaping the full benefits of its different flavors.

Methods for adding garlic to white rice

Mincing garlic is the first step to adding it to rice. If you'd like that nutty, savory sautéed garlic flavor, you have two avenues for incorporating it into your rice. You can either sauté it separately or pilaf-style. If you sauté the garlic separately, you can chop it and sauté it after you've put your rice on to simmer for more efficiency. Sauté the garlic in olive or avocado oil on medium heat until golden and fragrant. For more complexity, you can season the garlic with salt and red pepper flakes. After you've let your rice sit covered for around 10 minutes, you can add it to the pan of the sautéed garlic and oil, stirring to combine.

If you want to add garlic pilaf-style, you'll fry minced garlic in the rice pot until fragrant, add the rice raw, and stir to coat the rice kernels in the fried oil and garlic. Then, add the cooking liquid, bring everything to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover to cook the rice.

If you want to add raw garlic, you can combine minced garlic with a small amount of oil and stir it into rice while it's still hot to further release its flavor. You could also add roasted garlic, once you've extracted it from its skin and broken it down with a rough chop. It'll practically melt into white rice, imbuing a rich, caramelized flavor.