Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sesame Tea Rice

Have you ever cooked up a pot of rice in water? It's a great blank slate to layer on flavors. In other words, it's bland.

For more flavor you can substitute broth for the water, and add butter or vegetables like onions, garlic, celery, etc.

However, for an inexpensive, fragrant, and subtly unique rice why not use tea! Simpler than measuring or chopping extra ingredients, adding a tea bag to cooking water imparts a real gourmet flavor with absolutely no fuss.

Resulting rice is fragrant, mellow, and light.

You can use many different kinds of tea - green, mellow fruit flavors, white tea, etc. Stay away from "zingers" and tart, zesty flavors. I used common vanilla for a warm tone that would work well with the nuttiness of the toasted sesames and sweet mango.

A flowering tea would also be beautiful with the bloomed tea flower placed on top of the finished rice as a garnish.

Sesame Tea Rice
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
2 bags vanilla tea
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 mango - cubed (optional)
1 tsp Braggs Amino Acids (tastes like soy sauce) or salt to taste (optional)

Heat water in a medium saucepan with a lid. Place tea bags into water and bring to boil over high heat. Add rice and bring back to boil. Remove tea bags, cover pot, and reduce heat. Simmer til you see steam vent holes on the surface of the rice (about 30 minutes) and rice is tender. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over high heat moving constantly (about 5 minutes). When rice is tender, add amino acids/salt, fluff and serve. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.

I served my Sesame Tea Rice with a simple salt and pepper sauteed chicken brest with cubed mango. However, if you are serving the rice with a different main dish, you can add the mango on top of the rice - it was a great compliment.

Serves 4

Confession - I've never tried using tea as a broth before tonight. I've been thinking about it for a while, ever since The Rachael Ray Show when I was trying to come up with unique ideas to impress on her show. That's almost two years ago now. Needless to say I never pulled this idea out on Rach's show. And I never pulled it out at home either. I don't know why.

So that's how Sesame Tea Rice made it on the scene for "Try it Tuesday." It was finally time.


  1. Erin @ ekatskitchen.comAugust 18, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    What a great idea! I bet a nice jasmine or hibiscus tea would be awesome. I've used broth before -- it's key to one of my favorite dishes, but never thought of tea. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Erin! And yes, those would be awesome teas to try.

  3. What a great idea. I have used broth, but haven't heard of using tea. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Now I can find some good recipes on yours.

  4. We are simply rice nuts...eat it all the time. Brown rice mostly but this is a great idea. Thanks bunches. Also thanks for visiting me♥olive