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Asian Rice Pilaf

This Asian Rice Pilaf brings rice to a new level with its wonderfully savory flavor. It’s a perfect side dish to pair with grilled meats or fish.

This Asian rice pilaf brings rice to a new level with it's wonderfully savory flavor and tastes amazing paired with grilled meats or fish. |

I threw this rice together the other night to go with some teriyaki steaks we were grilling for dinner and really didn’t have high expectations for it. I just wanted something a little more interesting than plain white rice.

What I ended up with is an Asian rice pilaf that packs one powerful flavor punch. This rice will now be on heavy rotation in my kitchen.

Close up showing Asian rice pilaf ready to serve

This rice really takes just a few more minutes to make than regular, plain rice, but it’s so worth it. I just added a couple more ingredients, which makes all the difference in the world.

Garlic, of course, adds extra flavor, but the sesame oil and soy sauce are really the stars here, along with  chicken stock instead of water. Then, I stirred in a handful of cilantro at the end to brighten the flavors. I also think stirring in some sliced green onions would be great to add even more flavor.

As I said, we served our Asian rice pilaf with teriyaki steak, but it would also be great with grilled fish, chicken, like this honey chicken or coconut shrimp and Asian style cucumber salad. You could even turn the leftover rice into fried rice. Just stir fry the leftover rice along with whatever fresh veggies you have on hand and some leftover protein like steak or chicken and you’ll have a delicious dinner in a flash.

Ingredients Needed to Make Asian Rice Pilaf

Full instructions can be found below in the recipe card

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Rice
  • Chicken stock
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Cilantro

Overhead of cooked Asian rice pilaf in a serving bowl with chopsticks and garnished with chopped cilantro

Tips and Tricks

  1. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
  2. It freezes well.
  3. This can be made in an Instant Pot. To do this, sauté the garlic and the rice right in the Instant Pot, using the sauté function. Then, select the the rice function and set the timer for 8 minutes. When it’s finished, use the Quick Release to release the steam.

Cooked Asian rice pilaf garnished with chopped cilantro

Simple Asian Rice Pilaf in a serving bowl with chopsticks

Yield: 4

Asian Rice Pilaf

Asian Rice Pilaf

This Asian rice pilaf  brings rice to a new level with it's wonderfully savory flavor. It's a perfect side dish to pair with grilled meats or fish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and sauté for another couple of minutes.
  4. Stir chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper into rice mixture.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.
  7. Stir in cilantro right before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 408mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g


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Paul Brown

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Very tasty looking! I do love cilantro, but I have heard that some people have an aversion to it. Love your photo. Paul Brown

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Robert J DiPietro

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Delicious, but I would say it's more of an Asian "risotto" than a pilaf.

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