How to Season Brown Rice: 10 Best Seasonings You Can Try 

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Brown rice in a bowl with veggies and chopsticks.

Are you tired of eating plain brown rice? Are you wondering how to season brown rice within a few minutes? 

The first time I ate brown rice, I almost swore to never eat it again because of its bland taste and texture. However, I found many ways to season brown rice and make it tasty.

I have covered some of the best seasonings for brown rice in this article, so let’s get into it. 

10 Best Ways to Season Brown Rice

Seasoning brown rice can involve many things. You can choose to season it with just salt and spices or go ahead with unique combinations and sauces too. 

I prefer adding more flavors to my brown rice by mixing a bunch of ingredients, as listed below. 

1. Creole Seasoning 

Sadly, many people are unaware of the delicious Creole cuisine. It is a style of cooking that originated in Louisiana and combines French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Native American flavors. 

I believe that Creole seasoning is one of the most mouth-watering things about this cuisine. It is a spicy mix with a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. Trust me, this seasoning will do wonders for your brown rice. 

Creole seasoning to brown rice.

Here’s how you can make Creole seasoning: 

1. Mix two tablespoons of paprika with one tablespoon of dried oregano.

2. Add one tablespoon of dried basil and half a tablespoon each of black, white, and cayenne pepper.

3. Finish by adding half a tablespoon of garlic powder, half a tablespoon of onion powder, and one teaspoon of salt.

4. Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and add the seasoning to your brown rice. 

Don’t forget to keep your spice tolerance in mind whenever you add the spices, and adjust the quantity accordingly.

2. Sautéed Vegetables Seasoning

Adding chopped vegetables is one of the best and simplest options to season your brown rice. It adds the required crunch and freshness to the brown rice, making it taste flavorful instead of bland. 

Let’s not forget the additional nutrients vegetables can add to your brown rice!

Sautéed vegetables seasoning to brown rice.

Here are the steps to follow for this seasoning: 

1. First, chop a few vegetables of your choice. I have used finely chopped bell peppers, green chilies, and carrots. You can also add broccoli or zucchini for an exotic taste. 

2. Pour a tablespoon of oil or butter into a pan. Add the vegetables and sauté them on medium to low heat for two to three minutes. 

3. Sprinkle some black pepper or any other spice, as per your preference, on the sautéed vegetables.

4. Mix your brown rice with the vegetables

The only bad thing about this option is that it may take some time to chop the vegetables, especially if you have a huge amount of brown rice.

3. Chili Oil and Green Onion Seasoning

As you may already know, chili oil is an important part of many Asian dishes, especially noodles and stir-fry. It is also used as a dipping sauce for dumplings. 

I was inspired to try chili oil and green onion seasoning with brown rice after binge-watching countless Asian recipes. 

Thankfully, it turned out pretty appetizing because it added a spicy and slightly burnt twist to my brown rice.

Chili oil and green onion seasoning to brown rice.

Given below is my go-to recipe for chili oil.

1. Heat half a cup of oil in a pan over medium heat until it simmers. 

2. Then, add one tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl. 

3. Pour the hot oil into the crushed red pepper flakes and let it sizzle. 

4. Add finely chopped spring onions to the chili oil

5. Drizzle the oil on your brown rice, and give it a good mix.

You can add more ingredients, like minced garlic and Sichuan peppercorns, for an aromatic flavor. 

4. Cumin and Coriander Seasoning

Cumin and coriander is an underrated combination. As a kid, I wasn’t a fan of plain rice. However, my mother quickly turned plain rice into an exquisite dish by adding cumin seeds and coriander. 

Cumin seeds add a slightly toasted and spicy flavor, whereas coriander adds a subtle freshness to the brown rice. This dish is also a delicacy in the Indian subcontinent due to its simplicity.

Cumin and coriander seasoning to brown rice.

Here is how you can easily prepare cumin and coriander brown rice:

1. First, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over low to medium heat. 

2. Add one teaspoon of cumin seeds into the oil and sauté them until they turn slightly dark. 

3. Add one cup of cooked brown rice to the pan and mix them well until the cumin seeds are well-distributed. 

4. Garnish the cumin rice with fresh coriander leaves, and enjoy your dish.

Just ensure that you don’t sauté cumin too much, as it may give a bitter aftertaste to the rice.

5. White Cheese Sauce (Béchamel) 

You can never go wrong with béchamel sauce or white cheese sauce unless you are allergic to cheese!

This sauce tastes divine with everything, including brown rice. I love how it turns the chewy brown rice creamy, soft, and flavorful

White cheese sauce to brown rice.

Let’s take a look at how to make white sauce quickly:

1. Melt two tablespoons of butter over low to medium heat in a pan.

2. Add one tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the melted butter and whisk continuously to ensure that there are no lumps.

3. Then, pour half a cup of milk into the butter and flour mixture and stir it continuously for two to three minutes. You will feel the sauce thickening a bit. 

4. Add two to three cheese slices or half a cup of shredded cheese of your choice. 

5. Sprinkle a bit of oregano, dried pepper flakes, and salt as per your taste.

6. Stir everything well on low heat, and your cheesy white sauce is ready!

Once you have prepared the white sauce, pour it on your brown rice and combine it with a spoon. 

6.  Lemon and Coriander Seasoning 

You might recognize this seasoning if you have tried Chipotle’s brown rice. The famous food chain often adds lemon and cilantro to its brown rice to make it taste zesty and unique

Lemon and coriander seasoning to brown rice.

I successfully prepared Chipotle-style brown rice at home by following these steps:

1. Combine one tablespoon of olive oil and one finely chopped garlic clove in a bowl. 

2. Then, add the olive oil and garlic mixture to your brown rice. 

3. Squeeze half a lemon, and add one cup of fresh cilantro or coriander to your brown rice. 

4. Mix all the ingredients. Your Chipotle-style brown rice is ready in just a few minutes.

Chipotle’s brown rice has no spice, but you can add some green chilies or pepper flakes. 

7. Soy Sauce Seasoning 

This list would be incomplete if I didn’t add soy sauce. It is a key ingredient in many Chinese and Japanese dishes because of its distinct flavor. 

Yet, I love to mix soy sauce with other ingredients, such as chili oil and butter, before adding it to my brown rice. This adds a unique twist to the brown rice by making it taste sour, sweet, and creamy!

Soy sauce seasoning to brown rice.

Here is how you can make a soy sauce seasoning for your brown rice:

1. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce and half a tablespoon of butter to a bowl. 

2. Then, add half a teaspoon of chili oil or dried red pepper flakes. I have also sprinkled sugar for a slight sweetness. You can opt for honey too.  

3. Heat the soy sauce mixture for 10 to 15 seconds. 

4. Add the soy sauce seasoning to the brown rice and garnish with chopped green onions.

You can go for oyster sauce or fish sauce to add an umami flavor to your brown rice. 

8. Dried Herb Seasoning 

You may not feel like doing any extra work on an exhausting day. I suggest seasoning your brown rice with various dried herbs, like oregano, parsley, or basil. 

Dried herb in a bluw bowl.

These dried herbs can add a deep and earthy flavor to your brown rice without demanding a lot of effort from your end. 

You just need to sprinkle half a teaspoon of dried herb on your brown rice and combine it well. No chopping vegetables or mixing anything!

9. Salsa Seasoning 

One day, I had some leftover salsa sauce after making nachos, so I added some of it to my brown rice. The result was mind-blowing because the crunchiness of brown rice complemented the salsa’s tangy and herby flavors!

Salsa in a pot.

You can try this recipe to make a salsa seasoning at home in just five minutes. 

1. First, chop one tomato, half an onion, and two green chilies

2. Transfer the chopped vegetables to a food processor or blender. 

3. Add one teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of pepper

4. Squeeze one whole lemon into the chopped vegetables. 

5. Blend everything slowly to achieve a chunky consistency instead of a smooth one.

You can serve this salsa seasoning on the side of your brown rice or pour it on top of it directly.

10. Toasted Sesame Oil Seasoning

Toasted sesame oil is a hit-or-miss! Some people love its strong nutty flavor whereas some would rather just eat plain brown rice. 

Toasted sesame oil seasoning to brown rice.

I recommend making toasted sesame oil at home and trying it with brown rice if you like pungent flavors. 

1. Start by toasting half a cup of white sesame seeds in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat until golden brown. 

2. Cool the toasted sesame seeds for a few minutes and transfer them to a blender.

3. Add one and a half cups of neutral-flavored oil (vegetable or canola oil) to the blender. 

4. Blend at high speed until you get a smooth paste with no visible sesame seeds.

5. Strain the blended toasted sesame paste in a strainer or fine mesh cloth to extract the oil. 

Once you have made the toasted sesame oil, drizzle half a teaspoon on your brown rice. Don’t add a lot, as it tastes too intense.

Final Thoughts

Brown rice doesn’t have to be bland. This extensive list of seasonings and toppings will turn your brown rice into a delicious dish you won’t mind eating frequently. 

Another great thing is that most seasonings in this article will hardly take five to ten minutes to prepare!

Related Questions

Do you season brown rice before or after cooking?

You can season brown rice both before or after cooking. You can add spices, broth, and other ingredients while cooking the brown rice. If you forget that, you can also season cooked brown rice. 

How to season brown rice without salt?

There are many other seasonings to use with brown rice except salt. You can add dried herbs like basil or thyme. You can also go for onion and garlic powder. 

How to season brown rice in an Asian way?

You can season brown rice in an Asian way by adding ingredients like soy sauce, sesame seeds, kimchi seasoning, or chili oil. 

How to season brown rice in a Mexican way?

You can season brown in a Mexican way by adding ingredients like cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. 

How to season brown rice for chicken?

If you want to eat brown rice with chicken, opt for seasonings like chicken broth (while cooking brown rice), dried herbs, and lemon juice. They can complement the flavors of chicken well.

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