The Surprising Ingredient You Should Be Cooking Your White Rice In

While plain white rice cooked in water can be a fluffy and delicious side or base to many dishes, those wanting to pack more flavor into the grain might look for other options. Topping it or cooking in herbs, cheese, butter, and other added ingredients are certainly one way to give white rice more flavor, but there's an even sneakier way to achieve this feat.

If you are familiar with cooking pasta, then you likely know that the amount of salt added to the water gives the pasta more flavor when you plate it. While adding more salt isn't exactly the answer to more flavorful rice, using a base liquid other than water is. Though options like chicken or vegetable broth are ways to make white rice more flavorful, there's another surprising ingredient that you can use alongside water (via The Kitchn). In fact, you might already have this liquid on hand for breakfast.

You should be using orange juice

According to The Spruce Eats, adding orange juice (fresh-squeezed or store-bought) is an excellent way to boost the flavor and the appearance of white rice. Not only does the rice turn a bright yellow-orange color, but it also gets a slightly sweet flavor from the juice. The entire pot will get a fresh lift from the citrus: Think of it like adding lemon juice to brighten up dishes like broccoli, asparagus, and fish.

Not only can white rice cooked with orange juice be a great side, but it can actually be a wonderful base for other dishes when vegetables or herbs are added in. It could even be your new favorite way to boost the steamed white rice you serve with Chinese food.

So the next time you boil a pot of rice, consider replacing some of the water with orange juice for a fresh new take on the sometimes bland classic.