Choose a Rice Side Dish For Turkey Breast vs Beef vs Pork ... and 3 more

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Eng, Lynn, Reema and 6 others

Meals are always more meaningful when they're made at home. Whether it's a special occasion or an ordinary day, nothing beats a home-cooked meal shared with the entire family or a loved one. When cooking main dishes, you always have to think of the right side dish to complement the different flavors. The main dishes usually feature meats such as turkey, beef, pork, chicken, and fish. This is because meats are more expensive than other sources of proteins. They also take a significant amount of space on the plate. Side dishes such as rice help punctuate the main dish. These dishes help you have a more satisfying eating experience because of the additional flavors and nutrients that you get.

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Why serve meals with side dishes?

Eating is an adventure. Every meal is an efficient way of exploring flavor, temperature, and texture combinations. With this, every cook, chef, or host knows that every meal should have a side dish. Side dishes provide a new dimension to the main meal. It may provide contrast that could highlight the flavors of the main meal or complement it in every bite. There are many choices of side dish recipes out there that you can mix and match with every meal. All you have to do is choose the right one to put some extra life into your main dish.

How to select the right side dish

Choosing the right side dish can be a challenge to every homemaker. Meals can easily turn boring or redundant if there are no side dishes or if the side dishes are always the same old batch of steamed vegetables. Below are some pointers on how you can come up with the right side dishes each time you present a meal:

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  1. 1
    Consider color
    We eat with our eyes before we actually taste the food. Presentation is a major factor in making the dish attractive enough to eat. Make sure that the dish you serve has a side dish has a different color than your main dish. If the main dish is dark, then you should have a light colored or bright colored side dish. If your side dish is the same color as your main dish, then your plate will be monochromatic, boring, and unappetizing.
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  2. 2
    Consider texture
    Texture also plays a vital role in making the main dish more delicious. If the main dish is rich and saucy, then the side dish should be crunchy and a bit dry. If the main dish is dry, then the side dish should be rich or creamy. Firm vegetables should be sides to a brown or brownish main dish.
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  3. 3
    Consider temperature
    There are certain dishes that call for hot or cold side dishes. If you are serving a room temperature dish, then a hot side dish is an order. A hot side dish could go well with a cold side dish, such as coleslaw.
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  4. 4
    Be adventurous
    When it comes to serving food, you should try things that are beyond what you have grown up with. Try to know more about other cuisines so that you can incorporate them into your daily menus. You could match the side dishes to the origins of the main dish so that the flavors will jibe well with one another.
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  5. 5
    Consider the flavor intensity
    Make sure that your side dish helps you get a pleasant experience from the entire meal. A very spicy main dish blends well with a non-spicy or a neutral side dish. In this case, use a plain side dish such as green salad, boiled vegetables, or plain unflavored rice.
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  6. 6
    Consider seasonal ingredients
    This goes for both the main and the side dishes. You will definitely end up with different flavors if you stick to the ingredients that are available on the market. It broadens the possibilities for more dishes, because you tend to come up with a new dish each time.
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  7. 7
    Consider swapping the main dish and the side dish
    You don't have to use cuts of fish or meat is your main dish. You can use vegetables as your main dish and just serve a palm-size serving of meat on the side. This is a healthier option, especially for those who would want to balance out their fiber, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
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  8. 8
    Consider grains
    Side dishes are not confined to vegetable or fruits. You can also use grains such as millet, barley, rice, polenta, and bulgur. These side dishes balance out the nutrient content of the dish by adding some carbohydrates to the meal you serve.
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  9. 9
    Consider variety
    You can serve more than one side dish with your main course, to add more flavors. Some people like to have a number of sides with their main dish because they're into having a party in their mouths. You can have vegetables, pasta, poached fruit, salsa, and more on the side. This will satisfy your guest or guests more. You can also come up with side dishes that are different from the origins of the main dish to give the meal a different kick.
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Method 1: For Turkey Breast

Rice is a popular side dish. However, most people just use plain fried rice. You can definitely do more to rice as a side dish. If you're having a turkey breast meal, you should be sure of your turkey breast's flavors first. The side dish depends on the kind of turkey recipe that you have in mind. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, consider the following rice side dishes:

  1. 1
    Oyster Fried Rice
    You'll need 2 cups of cooked brown rice, 2 cups of fresh or canned oysters (chopped), 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped), 1 tablespoon onions (chopped), 2 tablespoons soy sauce, chopped scallions, roasted garlic bits, paprika, and sage. Sauté the onions, garlic, and oysters first. When the garlic browns, add the rice. Mix the ingredients well in low to medium heat. Season with soy sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted garlic and scallions on top.
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  2. 2
    Uncle Ben's Green Bean Almond Rice
    This is a rice side dish recipe that is perfect for turkey breast. It serves four people and you can make it in 15 minutes. The recipe is great for those who love green beans and almonds. The primary ingredient here is Uncle Ben's Country Inn rice (chicken flavored, one box). Cook the rice for about 3-4 minutes then add a pack of frozen green beans, and 1 ¾ cups of water. Bring this to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Cover for 15 minutes. Toast a pack of slivered almonds in a skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir the almonds into the rice when the rice has absorbed all the water. Serve hot.
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  3. 3
    Minute Hopping Rice
    If you are into Minute Rice, then this is a good recipe for turkey. This is good for eight people. You have to brown 14 ounces of thinly sliced chorizo or sausages over medium to high heat. After that, you add 2 cups of chicken broth, 3 15 1/2 ounce cans of peas, 2 cups of chopped onions, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon ground red pepper. Bring all of these to a boil. Then you stir in 2 ½ cups of uncooked Minute Rice white rice and simmer for about 10 minutes. Garnish this with parsley and you're all set.
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Method 2: For Beef

Beef is an indulgent piece of meat that is often featured as a main dish. You can serve it at lunch, dinner, or any special occasion. Here are some of the possible side dishes that you can serve with it:

  1. 1
    Special Cheesy Mushroom Risotto
    If you want your rice side dish that's creamy and indulgent, then this is the one for you. Sauté half a cup of chopped onions, 1 tablespoon or minced garlic, and 1 can of chopped button mushrooms in 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock first before you add in the 1 1/2 cups short grain risotto rice. Simmer over medium heat. Keep on adding stock until the rice breaks down and becomes creamy. Add in 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with thyme. This would be great for steaks or barbecues.
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  2. 2
    Uncle Ben's Peanut Basmati Rice
    This rice side dish recipe serves six people and you can do this in 35 minutes. Prepare 1 cup of uncooked Uncle Ben's Basmati rice by placing it in a fine mesh. Run it under cool water for a few minutes and then drain it well. In a saucepan, place 2 tablespoons of oil, then cook 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds for 10 seconds. Add in 1/2 cup onions, 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, 1 finely chopped Serrano chili, and 1 minced garlic clove. Sauté until the onion is tender and transparent. Add in the Basmati rice, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and 1.4 teaspoons of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes then add 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover for 15-20 minutes until the rice absorbs all the liquid, and until the rice is completely tender. You can serve this with roast beef.
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  3. 3
    Minute Broccoli Rice
    Beef is perfect with broccoli, so if you love this vegetable, try this one. You have to combine a container of Minute Ready to Serve White Rice and 1/3 cup of broccoli florets in a microwavable bowl. Use high heat for 2 minutes. Then add 2 ounces of cheese and 2 tablespoons of milk or water, then microwave for another minute. Fold until creamy and then serve with your beef barbecue.
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Method 3: For Pork

Pork is versatile and can go with any side dish, especially rice. Below are some rice side dishes that you can serve with any pork main dish:

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  1. 1
    Mushroom Rice
    Pork works well with mushrooms. With this recipe, you need to cook 2 cups of brown rice separately first. Then, in a separate saucepan, sauté 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 small chopped red onion, 1 1/2 cups of chopped oyster mushrooms, and 1 small, de-seeded green bell pepper. When the rice is cooked, add in the rice and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Add fish sauce, black pepper, and some brown sugar to taste. You can serve this with pork chops.
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  • 2
    Uncle Ben's Wild Rice with Almonds
    This is a rice side dish recipe for four people who are going to have roasted pork for dinner. It only takes 25 minutes to prepare. In a large saucepan with lid, add a tablespoon of butter and melt it over medium heat. Then, sauté the celery until it's tender. Add in a box of Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice original recipe and sauté for another minute. Add in 2 1/4 cups of water with the seasoning included in the rice. Cover the saucepan and bring it to a boil. After that, reduce it to a simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, pour it over a cookie sheet. Loosely cover it and let it cool overnight. Before serving, dress the rice with balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup green onions, 1/2 cup smoked almonds, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 2 cups romaine lettuce, and 1/2 cup crumbled goat's cheese.
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  • 3
    Pork Fried Rice
    Pork fried.png
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  • In a skillet, put the 2 tbsp. of peanut oil. Heat until it turns very hot. Add 4 thinly sliced scallions. The green and white parts separated. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 4 large lightly beaten eggs and scramble it for 45 seconds. Add 2 tablespoon of peanut oil, 1 ½ tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and stir-fry for 1 minutes. Add 1 cup of pulled pork and stir-fry for 45 seconds. Mix in 3 cups of rice pilaf and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes. Put back the eggs into the pan along with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil then toss evenly. Put scallion greens on top.

    1. 1
      Minute Rice with Spinach.You have to prepare 2 cups of Minute Brown Rice as indicated in the packaging
      Add in the large, sectioned orange, 1/2 cup sliced red onions, 6 ounces of spinach leaves, and 1 cup of low fat dressing. Toss them until completely mixed.
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    2. 2
      Sesame Pork Rice
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    While you cook the rice, toss the pork into ½ teaspoon of ginger and ½ teaspoon garlic. Turn into flame the 2 tablespoons of oil at medium-high flame. Add 1 pound of boneless center-cut loin pork chops. Cut into bite-size. Saute for 3 minutes or until finished. Put 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan at medium-high flame. Add ½ teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic. Saute for 30 seconds. Add 3 tablespoon s low-sodium soy sauce, 2 (3 ½ ounce) bag of boil-in-bag long-grain rice, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. And cook for 2 minutes. Mix the pork and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped green onions and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

    Nutritional Facts: Calories: 250 Trans Fat: 1.5g Saturated Fat: 8g Total Fat: 8g Potassium: 560mg Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 740mg Dietary Fiber: less than 1g Sugars: 3g Total Carbohydrate: 20g Protein: 23g Vitamin C: 4% Vitamin A: 2% Iron: 6% Calcium: 2%

    Method 4: For Fish

    Fish has great flavor and this main dish should be served with the right rice side. Check out the recipes below to complement whatever fish dish you want to serve:

    1. 1
      Lemon Garlic Fried Rice
      Impress your guests or loved ones by serving this rice side dish. You need to sauté 5 cloves of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Add in 4 cups of finely chopped green onions, and 2 cups of cooked brown rice. After a few minutes, add in 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce. Cover for a few minutes over low heat and serve with grilled salmon or fried fish sticks.
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    2. 2
      Uncle Ben's Walnut and Lemon Rice
      If you're into Uncle Ben's, then try this recipe, which is good for four people. It only takes 20 minutes of your time, too. You need to toast 1/2 cup chopped walnuts for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Then set the walnuts aside. Using the same skillet, cook 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 small julienned sweet pepper, and 1/2 of a red onion (slivered) in 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until everything is tender. Stir occasionally. Add 1 8.8-ounce pack of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Whole Wheat Brown into the skillet. Fold until completely heated through. Then add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel, walnuts, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and 1.4 teaspoons of salt. Enjoy with grilled tuna.
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    3. 3
      Minute Citrus Rice Pudding.Pudding can be a delicious side to a spicy fish dish
      This recipe requires you to prepare a 3.4 oz pack of vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups of uncooked Minute White Rice, according to their packages. Use 2 cups of cold 2-percent milk for the pudding mix. Combine these two ingredients. Then add in the six packets of crystallized lemon, lime, or orange and blend well.
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    4. 4
      Kimchi and Green Onion Fried Rice with Chive Spoon Sauce
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    Heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil or grape seed and 1 cup chopped green onion (pale green and green only). Season with salt. Cook the onions until they turn caramelize. Stir but not constantly. Press onions unto the sides of the pan and place the kimchi. Set aside to let the fluid evaporate. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Press them into the edges. Add the rice and set aside for a minute. Stir for 7 to 8 minutes. Mix ½ cup green peas and cook until it becomes hot. Mix 1 cup of chopped green onions and turn off the flame. The aim is to soften the onions.

    Method 5: For Roast

    Chiptole's Basmati Rice Recipe



    • 2/3 cup white basmati rice
    • 1 tsp. butter or vegetable oil
    • 1 lime
    • 2 teaspoon fresh cilantro
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 1 cup water


    Melt butter in a 2 quart of saucepan. Heat at low flame. Stir until completely melted. Add lime juice and rice on the saucepan and mix for about 1 minute. Put salt and water then let it boil. Then simmer at low flame for 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

    Beefy Onion Rice

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    Makes 6 - 8 servings.


    • 1 can (10 1/2oz) condensed French onion soup
    • 1 ½ cups long-grain rice
    • 1 can (10 1/2oz) beef consume
    • ¼ cup melted butter
    • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
    • ¼ cup chopped green onions


    Mix all ingredients and stir. Pour in a greased baking pan. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour to 10 minutes or until it ready to eat.

    Baked Rice Recipe


    Makes 6 servings.

    Cooking Time: 40 minutes

    Total Time: 40 minutes


    • 1 ½ tsp. salt
    • 1 ½ tsp. salt
    • ½ cup slivered almonds
    • 3 cups boiling chicken broth
    • 1 ½ cups long grain rice, uncooked
    • 3 tbsp. butter


    Mix salt, boiling broth and rice in un-greased baking pan. Cover with lid or foil, and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the all the fluid is absorbed. Make the almonds turn into brown in the butter. Put the butter and almonds at the warm roasted rice. Mix well.

    Oven Rice Recipe


    Cooking Time: 1 hour

    Total Time: 1 hour


    • 1 stalk celery
    • 1 carrot
    • ½ green pepper
    • Dash ground red pepper
    • 1 ½ cups rice, uncooked
    • 1 ½ tbsp. butter
    • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
    • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
    • ½ tsp. salt


    Chop all the vegetables. Mix the ingredients in a baking pan and stir. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

    Method 6: For Steak

    Steak and Mushroom Teriyaki Bowl

    [Image:Teriyaki.png|center|250px]] Makes 4 servings

    Total Time: 26 minutes


    • 1 package (10 oz.) mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 lb. boneless vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 - ½ cups water
    • 1 package Knorr Asian Sides - Teriyaki Rice


    Heat oil in a skillet at medium-high flame and cook the steak. Stir frequently for 2 minutes. You may season with ground black pepper and salt. In the same skillet pour water and let it boil. Add the Knorr Asian Sides (Teriyaki Rice) and mix. Return the steak ingredients to the skillet. Garnish with chopped green onions. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook and stir frequently for 3 minutes or until it becomes tender.

    Pan-grilled Beef with Cajun Cream Sauce

    Pan grilled.png

    Makes 4 servings

    Total Time: 18 minutes


    • 1 teaspoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread
    • 4 sirloin steaks or boneless beef tenderloin
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika
    • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 package Knorr Cajun Sides - Red Beans and Rice
    • 2 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced


    If preferred season steaks with ground black pepper and salt. Mix garlic powder, sour cream, salt, sugar, paprika, red pepper in a bowl. Arrange the steak and tomato slices. Put sour cream mixture on top and serve along with Knorr Cajun Sides - Red Beans and Rice. Melt the spread in a skillet at medium-high flame and cook the steaks. Turn the steak occasionally. Cook for 8 minutes or until it turns into the desired result.

    Cilantro Steak in Lettuce Cups

    [Image:Cilantro.png|center|240px]] Makes 4 servings.

    Total Time: 1 hour and 2 minutes


    • 1 - ¼ lb. sirloin steak
    • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
    • 1 cup Wish-Bone Italian Dressing
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, halved
    • 2 cups white mushrooms or 3 portobello mushroom caps
    • 1 package Knorr Rice Sides - Cheddar Broccoli
    • Iceberg lettuce cups
    • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice


    Mix lime juice, Wish-Bone Italian Dressing, cilantro. Reserve ¼ cup. Pour the remaining marinade unto the mushrooms, steak, red pepper, and onion in the nonaluminum baking pan or plastic bag. This is to coat the steak. Store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Mix the reserved marinade into the sour cream. Let it chill. Lift the vegetables and steak out from its marinade. Broil or grill the vegetables and steak until it reached desired result. Let the steak stand for 5 minutes and then slice it thinly. The vegetables also needs to be sliced into strips. Serve the recipe with Knorr Rice Sides - sour cream mixture and Cheddar Broccoli.

    Grilled Sirloin Steak With Pimento Black Pepper Tequila


    Makes 4 servings.

    Total Time: 53 minutes


    • 1 - ½ lb. boneless sirloin steak
    • 2 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream
    • 1 jar (20 oz.) roasted peeled pimentos, drained
    • 2 tablespoon tequila
    • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • 2 - ½ tablespoon olive oil divided
    • 1 package Knorr Fiesta Sides - Smoked Chipotle Rice


    Mix the pimientos in a food processor or blender until smooth. Then set aside. Prepare a coating of olive oil for the steak. Brush it to the steak and then season. If preferred season with ground black pepper and salt. Broil or grill the steak until the desired outcome is reached. Heat the left 1 to ½ tbsp.. of olive oil in a saucepan at medium flame. Cook the pepper for 30 seconds. Mix the pimientos and cook for 2 minutes. Add tequila and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cream, stir and cook for 1 minute. If you like you season it with salt. Serve the recipe with a spoon of Knorr Fiesta Sides - Smoked Chipotle Rice.

    Balsamic Steak and Arugula Salad with Rice


    Makes 4 servings.

    Total Time: 55 minutes


    • 1 lb. sirloin steak
    • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
    • ¾ cup Wish-Bone Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
    • 1 package Knorr Rice Sides - Rice Medley
    • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced


    Pour the dressing in the steak placed at the plastic bag or non-aluminum baking dish. This is to coat the steak. Store in the refrigerator. This will marinate for 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Turn the steak occasionally. Lift the steak out from the marinade and discard the marinade. Broil or grill the steak. Do this until the desired result is achieved. Then set aside. In serving the dish, put onion, arugula and the remaining ¼ cup dressing. Mix with warm Knorr Rice Sides - Rice Medley. Arrange the recipe and place the sliced steak on top. If you like you may add dressing.


    • Experiment with different flavors when you have the time, so that you can come up with more rice side dishes.
    • Balance the taste of the rice side dishes with the main dish, so that you won't have to struggle with overwhelming flavors.
    • Use spices instead of salt.
    • Look at available ingredients at your local market and work with them. This will give you more ideas for future rice side dish recipes.

    Questions and Answers

    Looking for a good side dish for dinner tonight?

    I am making Balsamic Plum Glazed Pork Chops and am looking for a good side dish that will balance the richness of that main course?

    In accordance with our recommendation to choose a dish that also reflects color, you could choose a purple or black rice, though some people would argue that they are a bit rich. The personal taste of rich or not is entirely dependent on culture and taste for rice though.

    Another great option would be to select a light rice, but use a quality tea bag, such as a jasmine tea, or something similar, and put that in the rice so that the tea boils with the rice and absorbs some of the taste. This is a nice flavor that will be light, yet pleasantly offset the Balsamic Plum Glazed Pork Chops you are preparing. You can also get a sprig or two of mint to garnish the rice with, which will add to the aroma, without detracting from the main dish or otherwise conflicting with the scents.

    I'm making a steak and I need to know what side?

    For my husband's birthday tonight and I want a nice rice side dish to go along with it. Something easy, of course.. I think it was caused by: Oh my...

    Rice is surprisingly versatile. An easy dish is to saute onions in butter. Saute the onions until they brown in caramelization. Then add water and cook the rice in the same pan. You can add some of your husband's favorite spices to the rice for extra flavor. Another favorite that I love to use as a side dish to beef is Spanish Rice from ilovetocook on Allrecipes. It is extremely easy to make and so deliciously flavorful.

    What kind of rice dish would be served with steak?

    My mom wants to cook it in her rice cooker.. I have tried: Well, I have looked at many pages on Google, but none of the pages have recipes for rice that can be cooked in a rice cooker that will go with steak.. I think it was caused by: I have no clue.

    My favorite rice cooker recipe is Fragrant Yellow Rice by Eat Your Greens. The only difference I make is using chicken broth in the place of the water in the recipe. You will have to thoroughly wash out the rice cooker after you make this because the turmeric loves to leave a yellow tint. I usually make a triple batch and freeze the leftover rice for fast side dishes. If you can't find Jasmine rice, then substitute with Basmati rice.

    Which rice dish to serve with sweet and sour pork?

    I want to make a Chinese dish with sweet and sour pork so which side rice may I use

    Really any plain white or brown rice can be used with Sweet and Sour Pork. For this dish, the rice is basically a filler to the main dish. The sauce from the sweet and sour pork is delicious on it's own and does not need an additional flavored rice side dish.

    What rice dish would you recommend to serve with steak teriyaki?

    I have both Japanese short grain rice and Jasmine rice. I'd like a simple rice dish that might enhance the teriyaki marinade of mirin, sake, shoyu and grated orange rind.. . Your offer of assistance is so appreciated. I don't want the rice dish to overpower, or compete with, the flavors of the teriyaki. It could be that plain rice is what I need. I have tried: Plain Japanese short grain rice and plain Jasmine rice. I think it was caused by: No problem, really. Merely want to serve the best rice side I can find to accompany the teriyaki.

    Jasmine rice is particularly excellent with teriyaki. Compliment the dish by adding some orange zest to the fragrant Jasmine rice as you cook it.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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    Recent edits by: VC, Maria Quinney, miketerr

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