Orange Rice is a mild orange flavored rice. Using orange juice, you might think the rice would be a little sweet, but it isn't. The orange juice makes the rice light and refreshing. This rice will pair well with many different dishes.
I have recently starting rinsing my rice before cooking it. Rinsing the rice removes some of the starch. I don't notice any difference in flavor. Some countries use talc when milling the rice. Rinsing helps to remove the talc, too. I place the rice in a colander then rinse with cold water, swishing the rice around while I am rinsing. Continue to rinse until the water runs clear.
I usually cook rice in a rice pot, but with this recipe, I use the stove top. First, melt the butter then add the onion and cook until soft. Next, add the orange juice, water, orange zest, salt and thyme. Then, bring to a boil and slowly stir in the rice. Reduce the heat and cover the pot then simmer for about 20-minutes. Remove from the heat then let stand about five minutes. Before serving, fluff with a fork.
I recently made Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken and had some leftover orange juice. So, I wanted to try some different recipes using orange juice. I did some searching and found this rice recipe on the Spruce Eats site. I slightly modified the recipe. I don't always have celery on hand, so I substitute celery seed. It adds flavor, but doesn't add the crunch you normally find with celery.
This recipe calls for orange zest. I used orange peel. Orange zest is the outer peel of the orange, which contains the most essential oil. Orange peel includes orange zest, but also includes the white pith, which can be bitter. The pith is a nutrient-rich part of an orange. It is a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
Zest and peel can be used as substitutes for each other in most cases. You might get a little bitterness when using peel.
I hope you enjoy the Orange Rice!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups orange juice
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 tablespoons orange peel You can use orange zest, if you prefer.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice or another long-grain rice of your choice
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the celery seeds and finely chopped onions then cook until the onions are tender but not browned.
- Add the orange juice, water, orange peel, salt and thyme then bring to a boil.
- Slowly add the rice, stirring constantly.
- Reduce the heat to low then cover the saucepan. Simmer for 20-minutes. I like to stir every 5-minutes or so because I am concerned about the rice burning. It's ok to not stir if you are comfortable that the rice won't burn.
- Remove from the heat and let the rice stand for another 5-minutes.
- Remove the lid then serve.