Seasoned Rice: The “Choose Your Adventure” Side Dish

November 5th 2020 Comments
Seasoned Rice

Though it is a foundation of the diets of millions of people around the globe, rice is mostly just a side dish to many in the United States. A tiny carton of plain white rice that comes with Asian takeout is what many Americans will likely picture when they think of rice. Some might conjure up images of Spanish rice with Mexican food, or think of basmati rice with Indian cuisine. Beyond that, getting a clear definition of what exactly makes up seasoned rice may be a little less clear cut. 

Kinds of Rice

To say you are going to have rice with a meal doesn’t necessarily narrow it down. Mother nature has given us quite the number of rice varieties to begin with, and humans have been cultivating and tinkering with many different kinds of short and long-grain rice for millennia. Depending on the culinary tradition and desired flavor profile, a rice side dish could be made from any of the following:

  • brown rice
  • basmati rice
  • jasmine rice
  • Thai sticky rice
  • carnaroli 
  • wild rice
  • short grain white rice

What is Seasoned Rice?

Seasoned rice is not necessarily a specific dish with a pre-determined flavor. As the name implies, it simply means adding herbs, spices, and vegetables to rice to improve the flavor and appearance. Unlike fried rice that typically contains a protein source and functions as an entire meal, seasoned rice is designed to be served as a side dish.

The fact is, for many people, seasoned rice might be something they have encountered often while dining out, but may not have tried in their home kitchens. If they have made a seasoned rice at home, it may have been by virtue of products like Old Ben's or Rice-a-Roni. In this case, the mysterious pack of green bits and powder added to the boiling water may go unexamined.

In pre-packaged rice, this concoction of spices, herbs, and veggies is where the magic happens, though. It is also the opportunity you have to turn someone looking for a quick accompaniment to their dinner into a loyal customer who is going to come back for your unique and distinctive mix of flavors. 

How healthy the seasonings are that get added to rice are also part of the deal. Customers are more inclined than ever to turn over a box and look for the nutrition facts. When health-conscious shoppers find a long list of real vegetables listed, they may be a bit surprised. Silva’s wide range of dried and cut vegetables gives you the chance to include everything from standards like green onions to nutritionally packed additions such as cauliflower or red cabbage. 

Seasoned Rice Preparation Time

Cooking time is certainly a major factor in what people decide to eat for dinner. In a busy household, it can seem like there is no time to get from raw to cooked rice, let alone take time to season the mixture along the way. Selecting, cleaning, and chopping vegetables is time consuming, and you will have to deal with any leftover ingredients.

Many people are going to be looking for the option to add a few cups of water, leave over medium heat, fluff, and serve. This is where the success of boxed “instant” rice mix options has helped keep rice on the menu for many families. 

Convenience isn’t everything, though. As time goes on, tastes change, and getting past traditional Mexican, Spanish, or Asian fried rice will be the key to keeping customers coming back to your products instead of breaking out the rice cooker for themselves. 

Adding Flavor to Seasoned Rice

Adding flavor to instant rice can be as easy as swapping out the liquid you are cooking with. Though the directions on most rice boxes at the store will tell you to add a certain number of cups of water, adding bouillon cubes to the water or substituting chicken broth or chicken stock for water can add a heartiness to your rice recipe, as long as there is no need to keep it a strictly vegetarian affair. In that case, even some vegetable broth can result in some extra tasty rice. 

Even vegetable broth and an interesting long-grain rice will only get you so far, though. Whether you are pondering a seasoned rice recipe for your family or putting together a product destined for grocery store shelves, veggies and spices are going to make the magic happen. 

By definition, a yummy seasoned rice is going to rely on the ingredients nestled in alongside the strain of rice you start with. After all, choosing your seasonings for that seasoned rice is the real trick. At Silva, we have the ingredients you need to let your culinary imagination run free. Beyond the expected standards like garlic powder and paprika, our list of vegetables, as well as spices and herbs, can help your rice compliment a wide variety of main dishes.

How Can I Spice Up Plain White Rice?

Plain white rice, like a blank sheet of paper, could be intimidating at first. The possibilities are endless. Adding a few common spices and herbs is a great start to any rice dish. Onion powder, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and paprika will get you a long way from plain white rice to a tasty side dish. Adding in crushed fennel, a touch of cumin, or turmeric can help add distinctive flavors that can echo various global cuisines from Mexican to Middle Eastern. Going the extra mile by adding finely chopped vegetables like green onions, carrots, peas, and onions only adds more to the color, texture, and flavor.

If you are producing seasoned rice as part of your product line, cook time alone isn’t going to be enough to keep your customers coming back. With the proliferation of recipes on the internet, it is easier than ever for the curious home chef to find a new and interesting way to spice up an uninspiring side dish at home. That is why we work hard at Silva to provide you with a wide variety of the highest-quality ingredients available. From our many mushroom and pepper varieties and other veggies to our long list of spices, you have the options you need to create a unique and memorable flavor that can keep your customers coming back for more. 

Rice is a staple grain the world over, but making your products a staple in customer’s cabinets can be tricky. At Silva, we offer certified organic and steam sterilized versions of many of our products. This not only ensures the highest nutritional and food safety standards, but it can also help give you the selling points you need to continue growing your product lines even as some customers are increasingly turning from boxed products to made-from-scratch versions. 

Not everyone is going to have the time and inclination to put in the effort to start from scratch on a rice side dish. When people only have time to focus on the main dish, Silva can help you be there to ensure the side dishes don’t disappoint. Our products come in a range of standard cut sizes, so whether you are sliding in a little extra flavor or angling for the color and texture of cut vegetables to bring your dishes to life in the bowl, Silva has you covered. Talk to a member of our customer relationship team about getting some samples of our products.