This easy recipe for Chinese rice makes a tasty spice-infused side dish in 30 minutes, with less than 3 minutes hands on time. Perfect for serving with a takeaway or home cooked fakeaway.
Easy Chinese style rice
I love rice – really, really love rice! This easy Chinese-style rice dish is a regular on our table. It’s tasty, quick, easy, largely hands off and effortlessly fuss free to make.
A bowl of comforting basmati seasoned with a little soy sauce or tamari is one of my favourite comfort foods. It’s the perfect convalescent food and is my first choice after a tummy upset – gentle but delicious.
This Chinese rice is flavoured with vegetable stock, a touch of five spice powder, soy sauce and a little sesame oil.
Whenever we order takeaway, I make rice to serve with it. I enjoy the leftovers with a fried egg for breakfast or lunch the following day.
Why you will love this Chinese style rice
- Quick and easy
- It is delicious, but delicate enough to go with all Asian dishes
- Ready in 30 minutes with only 3 minutes hands on time
- Only 5 ingredients
- Cooked with the absorption method you get perfect rice every time!
- Freezes well so make a double or triple portion!
Fuss Free Tip
When you know my simple tips, rice is easy to cook and will come out perfectly every time. There is no need to buy easy cook or minute rice ever again.
Chinese rice ingredients
- Basmati rice – Basmati is the best but other white long grain rice will do. You can use brown rice, but if you do, you will need to extend the cooking time to forty minutes. I don’t recommend easy cook or minute rice. It may affect the cooking times and quantities, and I dislike the chewy texture of the grains.
Pro Tip – Buying rice
We eat a lot of rice. Even though I cook for two most of the time, I still buy large 2 kg / 4.5 lb bags of rice. Buy the supermarket regular rice or a mid-priced branded rice. There is no need to buy the most expensive brand unless it is on offer.
The cheapest rice might look like a bargain, but is often best avoided as it may contain the broken grains that have been sifted out from the more expensive bags versions. This means your rice can become sticky and starchy when cooked.
- Five Spice Powder – This blend of spices adds depth and flavour. You don’t really notice it, but would certainly miss it if it wasn’t there. Different brands taste very different, so find one you like. Do read the label when buying five spice, as many blends are packed with sugar.
- Sesame Oil – I like a nice rich toasted sesame oil but if you don’t like sesame, choose another oil.
- Soy Sauce – I like a nice dark soy sauce or tamari but use what is in the cupboard. Light, dark, tamari or sweet soy sauce, it’s all fine. Use gluten free if needed.
- Broth or Stock – Use your favourite stock. I recommend vegetable or chicken, depending on what you plan to serve with the rice.
How to make easy Chinese style rice
Step One – Put the sesame oil in a pan. I like to use a shallow casserole dish with a close fitting lid. Stir in the five spice powder and heat gently for one minute.
Step Two – Add the rice. Stir and cook for a minute, so that the grains are coated with the oil.
Step Three – Pour the stock over the rice. Add the soy sauce. Then put the lid on the pan securely. Cook on the lowest heat for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, leaving the lid on.
Step Four – Fluff with a fork before serving.
Serve this Chinese style rice with your favourite takeaway (or fakeaway), or enjoy a bowl on its own, garnished with sliced chillies, spring onions (scallions) and coriander (cilantro). It is also the perfect base for making special fried rice.
Gluten in tamari & soy sauce
Tamari is Japanese soy sauce which is darker, richer and less salty than soy sauce. If you need to find a gluten free sauce, start by looking for tamari rather than soy sauce.
I find tamari more intense, complex and well rounded, and I prefer it. A good tamari is usually more expensive than soy sauce, but I think it is worth the extra.
- Soy sauce – made with both wheat and soy (contains gluten)
- Tamari – usually made with soy and possibly a little wheat (it’s usually gluten free but ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL)
Can I make Chinese rice ahead?
You can make your Chinese rice in advance, and it will reheat in the microwave, but it is so easy there is no need to make this ahead. Having said that, I always like to make extra for the next day or for the freezer.
If you choose to make your rice ahead of time, pack it into airtight boxes as soon as it is cool. Then keep it in the fridge for no more than 48 hours. (I never keep cooked rice in the fridge for more than a day.) Reheat your rice thoroughly before serving.
Can I freeze Chinese style rice?
I’m a big believer in cook once and eat twice, so this recipe has been written to make a triple portion to fill three standard plastic takeaway trays. Pack leftovers into the trays, allow to cool and then freeze. Grab a tub from the freezer and defrost in the fridge, or microwave from frozen.
More Rice One Pots and Rice Dishes
- Spanish chicken
- Greek chicken
- Moroccan chicken
- Nandos rice
- Spicy rice
- Mushroom rice
- Pilau rice (Pressure Cooker Pilau rice)
- Leftover chicken biryani
- Leftover turkey biryani
- Leftover lamb biryani
- Other easy rice recipes
Easy Chinese Rice
- 2 tsp (2 tsp) sesame oil
- ½ tsp (1/2 tsp) five spice mix
- 200 g (1 cup) white basmati rice
- 480 ml (2 cup) vegetable broth or stock
- 2 tsp (2 tsp) soy sauce (or tamari)
- fresh coriander / cilantro
- spring onions / scallions (chopped)
- chillies (chopped)
- Put the sesame oil in a pan – I like to use a shallow casserole dish with a close fitting lid. Add the five spice and gently heat for a minute.
- Add the rice. Stir and cook for a minute, so that the grains are coated with the oil.
- Pour the stock over the rice. Add the soy sauce. Then put the lid on the pan securely. Cook on the lowest heat for 18 minutes.
- After 18 minutes, take the pan off the stove top and leave for another 5 minutes to rest. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
- Serve as a stand alone dish with your choice of garnishes, or as a side for your favourite take or fakeaway.
- Use regular white or white basmati rice for this. Avoid quick/easy cook or minute type rice.
- Use a pan with a lid that fits!
- Leftovers freeze well.
- This recipe is 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
I’m a big fan of rice too. We eat it a lot as a side dish. This is perfectly flavored and just right to have with all kinds of dishes. Was really good with lemon chicken.
I do like your rice dishes, Helen. The never fail method. This is another delicious version and just as easy to make. Love it.
Very nice recipe. So easy, flavorful and delicious.
This makes a really tasty rice. I actually prefer it to the kind I get from my takeaway. Better to make it at home.
Really tasty rice that is cooked just right. A delicious accompaniment for a meal and makes a good quantity too.
Love this rice so much I make it at least once a week.
Your method makes the perfect rice, I never have any waste. Fluffy and tasty rice every time.