Add A Delicious, Subtle Sweetness To Your Rice With Sweet Tea

Rice is a beautiful ingredient. This grain is a blank culinary canvas that tastes great when prepared in water with just a little salt and pepper, but can also be transformed into a delicious and creamy parmesan risotto. Its simplicity offers so many possibilities to change its taste and create a whole new dish depending on what you cook it in. The easiest way to add extra flavor to rice is to cook it in chicken broth instead of water, but it's not the only liquid that can impart a pop of flavor. Sweet tea is among the many beverages that can turn plain rice into an incredible bite that complements a number of foods. 

Cooking rice in sweet tea offers a subtle sweetness that is just enough oomph without being overpowering for your palate. This swap also makes for a fragrant dish. If you are going to substitute sweet tea for water when making rice, you are going to want to make it a fair trade, using a 2:1 ratio of 2 cups of sweet tea to 1 cup of rice. Don't forget the salt which will enhance the overall taste and if you want to level up the sweet tea, add a pinch of cinnamon.

Be creative with your tea

What type of sweet tea should you use? An Earl Grey sweet tea is a perfect tea to start with, but feel free to get creative. To create a mild-tasting ginger rice for your next stir fry or chicken rice bowl, you can brew up a sweet ginger tea and cook your rice in this liquid. The flavor will be light, aromatic, and delicious. Obviously what you plan to serve with your rice will influence the flavor you want to impart upon it, but once you get the hang of cooking rice in sweet tea, try cooking it in a sweetened version of chamomile, mandarin orange, lemon, mint, or black currant tea. The citrus and fruity elements will be subtle yet impactful. 

And don't be afraid to add other ingredients to your sweet tea rice. To contrast with the sugary element, consider adding something with a little heat like chili, jalapeños, or even a little sriracha. Mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, and pineapple added to citrus-flavored rice are perfect to accompany your favorite Jamaican jerk chicken wings.