Home » FAQs » Cooking

The Best Sauce For Rice

Every cuisine in the world has some kind of rice dish that it is commonly associated with. For the Spanish, it is paella and for West Africans, it is a classic jollof rice.

However, just because there are countless rice dishes you could make, that doesn’t always mean that your rice will be packed full of flavour. Plenty of people complain about their rice tasting full or lifeless.

An easy solution to such a problem is a flavourful sauce, either homemade or store brought. But what kind of sauce works best with rice? 

Which sauce is best for rice depends on the meal you want to make. Generally, a moderately flavoured, thicker sauce such as oyster sauce or garlic butter sauce will work best with rice, adding flavour to each grain. 

Best Sauce For Fried Rice

Amongst the countless rice dishes in the world, there is one that people in both the West and the East love – fried rice.

The perfect crispiness of the rice and flavourful veg helping to bulk out an East Asian meal is exactly what you need to complete your lemon chicken or katsu curry, though no fried rice dish is complete without the right sauce. 

Fried rice sauces vary, with most people having their own take on what makes a good fried rice sauce.

However, it is the combination of oyster sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce that remains a consistent combination associated with fried rice.

The umami taste of the soy sauce sticks to each grain with the help of the thick oyster sauce, while the sesame oil allows the rice a better chance of developing that satisfying crispy texture and also adds a complex nuttiness to help elevate your fried rice. 

Fried Rice

Best Sauce For A Risotto

There are several variations of risotto in cuisine, ranging from acidic with a tomato base to an ultra-creamy, garlicky risotto.

The key to a good risotto sauce is giving the sauce enough moisture to help the risotto rice properly good.

Too little moisture in the sauce and the rice will simply burn, though you also want to use a sauce that will thicken up while being cooked to coat every risotto grain and stick to the grains for every bite. 

Keeping this in mind, the best sauce for risotto is one that includes stock and double cream, such as white sauce.

Stock is an instant flavour booster while double cream has enough thickness to create a sauce that can be tasted in every bite rather than sliding off of your spoon. That is why white sauce risottos remain the most popular variety of risottos. 


Is Rice Better When Cooked In A Thin Or Thick Sauce? 

Many make the mistake when making rice dishes that their sauce needs to be super thinned out with plenty of added water or stock.

There is something to be said about ensuring that your sauce has enough moisture in it for your rice to fully soften instead of burning, but a fine line exists between moist rice and drowned rice. 

If your sauce is too thin and has too much moisture, your rice could absorb too much moisture and have its texture ruined.

On the other hand, if your sauce is too thick then the rice grains will struggle to properly absorb the flavourful moisture from the sauce. Instead, you run the risk of stodgy or undercooked rice. 

You need to find a good middle ground for your sauce’s texture when cooking rice in any kind of sauce if you want the perfect rice texture.

That is why most stick to the recipe when making such a dish as paid professionals would have figured out the best sauce thickens for the specific meal that you want to make. 

Best Non-Asian Sauces For Rice

In the West, rice is commonly associated with Asian dishes.

But as we have established, rice is a popular mealtime favourite throughout the world, and as such there are plenty of sauces that you can pair with rice that are not Asian-inspired. For example: 

Garlic Butter Sauce

Perhaps one of the simplest sauces in cooking full stop, garlic butter sauce is made by cooking garlic in some butter in a saucepan and then pouring it over whatever you are making.

Some people like to add cream to garlic butter sauce, especially if they are making a cream-based dish, but garlic butter is supposed to be a quick and effortless way to add plenty of flavour to your rice.

Green Mole Sauce

Another country that is often associated with rice is Mexico, with rice being used in some of Mexico’s most well known dishes such as burritos.

As such, a classic Mexican sauce like green mole sauce can work perfectly with your rice dish if your dish could benefit from a fresh, spicy taste.

Sometimes rice can taste a little heavy, so this freshness with a slightly spicy kick could be just what your rice needs. 


Sometimes rice can be treated like pasta in terms of what kind of flavours and other ingredients the rice can be paired with.

For instance, pesto is super affordable and delicious, hence why it is a student favourite when paired with pasta of any shape. But when used with rice, the pesto can bring some richness to your simple, bland rice. 


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

Insanely Good Recipes

How to Microwave Cauliflower Rice

How to Microwave Cauliflower Rice

Acacia Crossley
How to Reheat Chicken Fried Rice

How to Reheat Chicken Fried Rice

Ross Young
Jambalaya vs Paella

Jambalaya vs Paella: What’s the Difference?

Acacia Crossley

Leave a Comment

Latest Reads

Can You Mix Alfredo and Marinara Sauce

Can You Mix Alfredo and Marinara Sauce?

Elizabeth Masterman
Can You Marinate Brussel Sprouts

Can You Marinate Brussel Sprouts?

Acacia Crossley
Best Sauce for Sushi

The Best Sauce for Sushi

Acacia Crossley
Best Sauce for a Chicken Sandwich

The Best Sauce For A Chicken Sandwich

Acacia Crossley