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Our editors won't settle for sad, flavorless rice. 

Hayley Sugg
November 20, 2017

A basic pantry staple, brown rice can be the backbone of many meals. Rice can be easy to cook, healthy (since it's a whole grain), and its nutty taste can be paired with nearly anything. While the options are overwhelming, all too often we'll settle for a boring side of plain rice. Instead, reach for these ingredients that our editors keep on hand to easily pep up their next rice dish. From options with an Asian flair to simple Tex-Mex, we've got you covered:

Kimchi + Sweet Soy Sauce

The combination of spicy kimchi and sweet soy sauce makes for a balanced flavor in any rice dish. As a bonus, kimchi's fermented nature means it's packed with gut-healthy probiotics. Use it as a side for your next Asian dinner, or make it a full meal by adding a handful of fresh veggies and your favorite protein. 

Lentils + Plain Yogurt

Ultra cheap to make (and extra satisfying!), this easy combination creates a quick Indian-inspired dinner. Top cooked rice with a scoop of cooked lentils and a dollop of plain yogurt. When it comes to choosing lentil varieties, go with brown lentils if you want them to stay firm or opt for red lentils to create a creamier dish. Be sure to cook the lentils in a flavorful broth to create a tasty addition to your rice. 

Cilantro + Lime

Tangy and herby, adding a handful of chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime juice can brighten up any rice meant for your next burrito bowl or side dish. If you want to get an extra boost of citrus flavor, sprinkle a bit of lime zest in too. 

Furikake + Fish + Sesame Oil

Available at your local Asian market or sometimes found in the international aisle of grocery stores, furikake is a Japanese seasoning blend that can elevate even the simplest of grains. Containing a mixture of dried fish, seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar, it's a serious flavor bomb. Toss your rice with a pinch of furikake, a few omega-rich canned sardines, and top with a drizzle of sesame oil to complete the dish. 

Beans + Salsa + Avocado

Move aside, Chipotle. All you need to make a delicious one-bowl dinner is cooked rice, a drained can of beans (we love pinto or black beans here), a scoop of salsa, and a ripe avocado. Change things up by using unique salsa flavors like roasted corn or spicy tomatillo. 

Scrambled Eggs + Veggies + Soy Sauce

We don't know why, but eggs and rice just go together (some of our favorite egg-and-rice recipes are fried rice, rice-stuffed omelettes, and an over easy egg on top of a rice bowl). Toss cooked rice with scrambled eggs, a handful of chopped veggies, and drizzle with a little soy sauce as a finishing touch.