Rice Recipes

Here is  a collection of my favorite rice recipes. Some are quick one-meals and easy to experiment with your favorite ingredients. In this webpage, you will find the following recipes for:

- Nasi kunyit (turmeric rice) 

- Rice pudding

- Chicken briyani American-style

- Congee or porridge

- Sushi rice bowl

- Quick and easy sticky rice

- Vegan brown rice paella

- Jambalaya

- Sambal belacan fried rice

- Kimchi fried rice

- Jasmine brown rice

- Brown Rice and Black Beans, Spanish-inspired

Nasi Kunyit 

Translation: turmeric rice. It's a popular rice dish that is served with curries and stir fries in Malaysia and Indonesia. My recipe requires a few hours of soaking the rice but otherwise, is really quick and easy to cook and always a crowd-pleaser :)

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):

2 cups glutinous rice, 1.5 tsps ground turmeric powder, 3 pandan leaves, 0.5 cup coconut milk, and a pinch of salt.


1. Rinse the rice under cold water until water runs clear. In a glass bowl (something that you don't want to be stained), mix drained rice and turmeric powder. Fill with water until half an inch above the top surface of the rice. Stir and leave it to rest 8 hours or overnight 

2. Drain water from the soaked rice. The rice should have a yellowish hue. Transfer rice into rice cooker 

3. Bruise and tie the pandan leaves into a knot. Add leaves, coconut milk, and salt in the rice. Slowly pour in water just enough until rice is covered. If you add too much water, the rice would become a sticky lumpy ball. Stir to incorporate the ingredients

4. Switch on the rice cooker. Once it completes the cooking cycle, let the rice sit in warm mode for another 5 to 10 minutes. Switch off the rice cooker

5. Remove the leaves and gently mix the rice (don't be worried if you see foam on the top of the rice)

6. To enhance the flavor, you can serve the rice on a square of banana leaf. Alternatively, serve warm with your favorite curry or Malaysian spicy dish.


Substitute pandan leaves with a couple of drops of pandan extract. The more turmeric powder you add, the more vibrant the yellow color is. However, beware that your rice doesn't taste too strong of turmeric. 

Turmeric rice served with Nyonya acar and ayam masak merah

Vegan Brown Rice Paella

This protein and fiber packed recipe is inspired by a meal I tasted at my work cafeteria as well as towards my goal of getting healthier and enriching my diet with superfoods :) Note this recipe requires soaking the bean blend overnight. I tried pressure cooking the beans that were not pre-soaked and they were not as tender as the pre-soaked ones. Do adjust the spice level if you are not a fan of spicy food - I like mine spicy.

I substituted saffron strands with turmeric.

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):

0.75 cup short grain brown rice, 1 cup of bean blend (peas, beans, and lentils by Epicurean Specialty Gourmet Bean Blend), 2 to 4 Serrano peppers, 8 garlic cloves, 1 medium size onion, 1 large carrot, 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 tbs olive oil, 0.5 tsp ground turmeric, 1 inch ginger, 1 tsp chili powder, 0.5 tsp mustard seeds, 0.5 coriander seeds, 0.5 tsp cumin seeds, 2 green cardamon pods, salt and ground pepper to taste. 

Equipment: Pressure cooker (I used the Indian version), pestle and mortar


1. Rinse bean blend a couple of times or until water runs clear. Discard any pebbles. In a bowl, soak beans, peas, and lentils overnight. After soaking overnight, drain and place bean blend in the pressure cooker. Add water until it reaches an inch above the surface of the bean blend

2. Slice 1 serrano pepper and crush 4 garlic cloves. Toss them in the bean blend. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and set the cooker over medium heat. Let it cook for 4 whistles before turning off the heat and set it aside to cool down. The cooking process would take between 10 to 15 minutes. The cooling process would take between 15 to 20 minutes (you can release the steam via the valve when the cooker is cooled to touch but do not open the lid until the lid is released)

3. While the bean blend is cooking, rinse brown rice until water runs clear. Add in a pot and fill it with water until it reaches half an inch above the surface. Bring the water to a boil before lowering the heat to simmer. Cover and let it cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is al dente

4. Chop the carrot, tomatoes, onion, Serrano peppers (according to your desired spiciness), and garlic. Crush the ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamon pods with a pestle and mortar

5. Heat up oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the crushed spices, turmeric, chili powder, and mustard seeds for a minute. Then add the rest of the vegetables. Fry until fragrant and onion turns translucent

6. Drain the bean blend, reserving half a cup of cooking liquid. Drain the brown rice if there is still liquid. Add the bean blend and brown rice in the spiced mixture

7. Stir to incorporate the ingredients, adding a tablespoon of cooking liquid if the mixture is dry. Let the paella cooked for 10 to 15 minutes or until the flavors come together. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste

8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tips: Feel free to add or replace with your fav vegs like bell pepper, spinach, kale, peas, and cabbage.

Rice Pudding

My first attempt did not work out because the pudding had under-cooked rice. I was determined to try again and made sure the rice was not raw or overcooked. 

Ingredients (Yields 4 dessert sizes):

1/3 cup long grain or short grain rice, 0.5 cup water, 2 cups whole milk, 0.25 cup brown sugar, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.


1. Rinse rice in once. In a microwavable bowl, add rice and water. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain rice

2. In a medium saucepan, mix milk, salt and rice. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook the mixture for 15 to 20 mins or until rice is al dente while stirring quite frequently

3. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in spices and sugar. Warm the mixture over medium heat for 5 to 10 mins or until it thickens

4. Pour mixture in a bowl. To chill, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator

5. Serve with raisins or your fav toppings.

Tip: Adjust spices to your own liking.


I was introduced to Jambalaya when I visited New Orleans. It reminded me of the delicious Valencian paella and Chinese fried rice :P

You can never go wrong with making Jambalaya. It's easy to concoct, especially when you want to whip up something quick after work. I use a store bought, pre-mix brand to save time.

For a vegetarian version, omit the sausage in the recipe. Add beans for protein and your fav veggies for body!


1 box of Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix (12 oz), 1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice, 1 small onion- chopped, 3 garlic cloves- minced, 2 fresh tomatoes, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, 1 lb andouille sausage, 2 carrots, 1 dash oregano, 1 dash dried parsley, 1 dash chili powder and 1 dash of red paprika powder. Water according to the directions of the box and 1.5 more cups


1. Slice fresh tomatoes, carrots and jalapeño peppers to bite size. Cut andouille sausage into biased slices

2. Soak and rinse Jasmine rice three times or until water runs clear

3. In a large skillet, heat sausage slices over medium heat. Stir the slices until the edges are slightly crisp. Remove the slices onto a plate and set aside

4. Add the onion, garlic, sliced mushroom, carrot, peppers and spices. Stir fry until the onion is translucent

5. Add tomatoes and toss to incorporate

6. Blend in Jasmine rice and Jambalaya mix. Cover and bring the mixture into a boil. Lower heat and cook for 25 to 30 mins until the rice is done

7. Let the jambalaya sit for 5 mins before serving! Sprinkle fried shallots and fresh herbs


You can add your favorite meats, sausages, seafood, herbs, spices or veggies. Make sure you cook the meats through before adding the rice. You can substitute water with chicken, beef, seafood or veg broth.

Chicken Biryani American-Style

Adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinner cookbook. This dish can be made 2 hours ahead.

Ingredients (Yields 6):

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 3 tbs butter, 1 large onion- chopped, 1.5 tbs minced fresh ginger, 0.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tbs garam masala, 0.75 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1.5 tbs lime juice, 1.5 cups basmati rice, 0.5 tsp saffron threads, 1 cup light coconut milk, 2 cups chicken broth, 0.5 cup dark raisins, 0.25 cup coarsely chopped roasted cashews and 0.25 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.


1. Cut chicken into 1 to 1.5 inch chunks. Season with salt and pepper

2. Heat 2 tbs butter in a large (11 to 12 inch) deep ovenproof skillet over medium heat

3. Add half of onion, ginger and pepper flakes and fry until tender (4 to 5 mins) 

4. Mix in garam masala and cook until fragrant (one or 2 mins)

5. Add chicken and stir fry until chicken loses raw color (5 mins)

6. Incorporate yogurt and lime juice. Stir and loosen brown bits. Cook for another 2 to 3 mins

7. Transfer chicken mixture to a bowl

8. Wipe out the pan with paper towel and return to medium heat

9. Add remaining butter and onion in the pan. Cook until onion turns translucent

10.  Stir in rice and saffron until well blended

11. Stir in coconut milk, 1 cup broth, raisins and 0.5 tsp salt

12. Cover with heavy-duty foil, bring to a simmer and cook undisturbed until liquid is absorbed (approximately 15 mins). Set aside for up to 2 hours

13. About 45 mins before serving, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degF

14. Scoop about 1/3 of the rice into a medium bowl

15. Spread remaining rice evenly over the bottom of the skillet

16. Pour chicken and juices over rice in skillet. Top with remaining rice

17. Pour the rest of chicken broth over the rice and cover with foil

18. Bake until heated through and rice starts to crisp around the edges, about 30 mins

19. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cashews and cilantro

20. Serve with your favorite curry.


Substitute saffron with turmeric. Use less turmeric as it has a stronger flavor.

Sambal Belacan Fried Rice

A twist to the classic Chinese-style fried rice.

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):

2 cups cooked brown rice, 1 large carrot, two handfuls of green beans, 1 yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves, 0.5 tbs sambal belacan, 1 tbs oil, 1 egg-beaten, 12 oz cooked protein (such as minced chicken, pork, or beef, or shrimp), 2 tbs veg oil and salt and pepper to taste.


1. Chop garlic and yellow onion 

2. Cut carrot and green beans to bite size

3. In a wok, heat veg oil over medium heat. Spread oil all over the surface

4. Brown garlic and onion until translucent

5. Add carrot, green beans, cooked brown rice, and sambal belacan. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until the carrot softens and mixture heated through

6. Make a hole in the middle of the rice mixture. Pour beaten egg and let it firm up without touching it (~1 min)

7. Add cooked protein. Stir everything together until the protein is heated through

8. Remove from heat and serve.

Congee (Porridge)

I grew up eating porridge when I  was sick or during meals. It goes well with yau char kwai, Chinese crullers.

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):

0.5 cup long grain rice, 4 cups vegetable stock, 1 knob (~1 inch length) fresh ginger-sliced, 2 scallions- sliced and 1.5 tbs Chinese wine (optional). Salt and pepper to taste.


1. Wash rice until the water runs clear

2. In a medium saucepan, add rice, stock, sliced ginger, sliced scallions and Chinese wine

3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW

4. Let it simmer, cover and cook until porridge turns into a consistency of cooked oatmeal (1.5 hrs). Stir occasionally during the last 30 mins

5. Season with salt and pepper

6. Serve with thinly sliced ginger, scallions and Chinese crullers.

Tips: You can substitute vegetable stock with chicken, beef or seafood broth. I prefer homemade stocks so I can control the amount of salt and flavors. I use Jasmine rice for this recipe.

Porridge topped with mushroom and Japanese kelp

Kimchi Fried Rice

This recipe is so easy to make when you have all the ingredients on hand. It takes less than 30 mins to prepare.

Ingredients (Yields 2 servings):

2 cups cooked white rice, 1.5 cups sliced kimchi, 2 tbs juice from kimchi container, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tbs oil, 0.5 tsp brown sugar, ground black pepper and salt to taste.


1. In a large skillet, heat oil and fry garlic till slightly brown

2. Add sliced kimchi and stir fry for 4 mins or until the kimchi is dry

3. Mix in rice and juice. Cook for another 4 mins and then add sugar, pepper and salt. Cook until the wetness is evaporated

4. Serve with your favorite garnish such as cooked egg, sliced scallions and fresh kimchi.

Sambal fried rice with baked crunchy Spam bits

Sushi Rice Bowl

This is an easy meal put together with Instant Pot. The filling is very versatile so feel free to switch it up and adjust the seasonings to your preference.

Ingredients (2 to 3 servings):

For the rice: 

2 cups dry sushi rice, 3 cups water and 1.5 to 2 tbs sushi seasoning (I used Mizkan brand) or rice vinegar to taste. 

For the filling that I typically do: 

2 pieces of air-fried salmon fillets, 1 cucumber, toasted seaweed sheets, about 1 to 2 tbs Kewpie mayonnaise, few shakes of toasted sesame seeds and about 0.5 tbs wasabi.

Optionally, you can swap the salmon fillet with canned tuna. 


1. Rinse sushi rice a few times until drained water runs clear

2. Place the rice and water in an Instant pot. Close the lid and close the vent. Cook on HIGH and MANUAL for 7 minutes. Allow natural release 

3. While waiting for the rice to cook, lightly grease the salmon fillets. Air-fry salmon fillet, skin side up, for 15 minutes at 400 degF

4. After the natural release and checking that the vent is fully opened, carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot

5. Fold the sushi seasoning in the cooked rice. Let it cool for 5 minutes

6. After the salmon is cooked, gently break the fish into chunks in the seasoned rice

7. Add Kewpie mayonnaise, toasted sesame seeds and about wasabi

8. Gently fold all the ingredients in the rice

9. Serve with toasted seaweed seeds and cucumber.

Fold in the filling in the seasoned rice

Sushi rice bowl with the crispy salmon skins :)

Quick and Easy Sticky Rice

I developed my love for sticky rice when I started eating Thai and Laotian food. This is a quick and easy recipe for those who don't own a rice cooker or don't have time to cook sticky rice over the stove. I get the glutinous rice from Thailand.

Ingredients (6 to 8 servings):

2 cups dry glutinous rice, water and a large microwaveable ceramic or glass bowl.


1. Rinse rice a few times until drained water runs clear

2. Soak rice for 30 minutes or up to overnight (Overnight is better so the rice grains absorb the water)

3. Drain rice and transfer to a large microwaveable bowl. Fill with water until it reaches 1/4 inch above surface of rice (or barely cover your fingers). Stir to ensure water is distributed through rice

4. Set the bowl in the microwave. Cover with a microwavable plate. Cook high for 7 minutes

5. Remove bowl and fluff rice, allowing the steam to escape

6. Return the bowl to microwave and cover with plate. Cook high for another 5 minutes. Remove from microwave

7. Serve sticky rice with your fav dishes!

Jasmine Brown Rice

Cooking brown rice is not as simple as cooking white rice. I experimented different ratios of water to brown rice and only the recipe below guaranteed fluffy, cooked brown rice. 

Click on this link for cooking brown rice using an Instant Pot.

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings):

1.5 cups dry Jasmine brown rice, 2.75 cups water and a saucepan with tight-fitted lid and thick bottom.


1. Rinse rice a few times until drained water runs clear

2. In a saucepan, boil 2.75 cups of water. Once it comes to a rolling boil, stir in rice and cover tightly

3. Reduce heat to Low (level 2 or 3 of 10). Let it cook for 45 minutes- do not open the lid during cooking

4. Switch off heat and fluff rice. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Brown Rice and Black Beans, Spanish-inspired

I experimented with Spanish-inspired brown rice and black beans using the Instant Pot in my pursuit of eating healthier. I was quite happy to discover that I saved some time by avoiding soaking the beans overnight. It took about 10 minutes to pressurize the Instant pot, 30 minutes of cooking time, and approximately 10 to 15 minutes of natural pressure release. 

Ingredients (6 to 8 servings):

2 cups dried brown rice, 1 cup dried black beans, 4 cups of water, 1 small onion, 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 6 ounces of good tomato paste, 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Discard any broken black beans, pebbles and skin

2. Rinse rice and black beans a few times until drained water runs clear

3. Chop onion and garlic cloves

4. In an Instant Pot under Saute mode, fry the onion and garlic in EVOO until the onion is slightly translucent. Remove from heat

5. Stir in the rice, beans, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt, black pepper and water

6. Cover the Instant Pot and switch the valve to Sealing

7. Select Multigrain and set the timer to 30 minutes. Sit back and relax :)

8. Once the timer goes off, wait for the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure

9. Uncover and fluff the rice and beans. Serve with your favorite garnish and toppings! 

Mixing the ingredients before pressure-cooking

Brown rice and black beans, Spanish-inspired