I have a confession. I might have an addiction to Indian take-out. If I had my way, I would eat Chicken Tikka Masala every day for the rest of my life and not only be content, but ecstatic about it.
Because of this predicament, I often find myself with leftover Indian food in my fridge.
And what goes better with these leftovers than a bowl of steaming and floral Jasmine rice?
(Of course, the only acceptable answer is garlic naan. But that’s for a different article).
But what if I’m fresh out of Jasmine rice?
You might’ve found yourself in the very same predicament. You may need Jasmine rice for your leftover Thai food, curry, or stir-fry, with not a bag in sight.
I’ve been in this situation quite a few times. Since letting an absence of Jasmine rice stand in the way of enjoying my leftover Chicken Tikka Masala is simply never an option, I’ve compiled the best Jasmine rice substitutes and alternatives for when the need arises.
Together, we will go through each of these substitutions and discuss when and how to use them.
Here Are 5 Great Substitutes for Jasmine Rice
There is no denying that Basmati rice is the absolute best substitution for Jasmine rice.
They are both long-grain, white, aromatic Asian rices. You can use them interchangeably in all dishes, and you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Basmati has a slightly more nutty taste and aroma, while Jasmine rice is more floral and delicate. The grains of Basmati rice are denser and chewier than soft Jasmine rice, but the difference is minuscule.
In any application where you need Jasmine rice, you can rest assured that you can substitute Basmati instead and achieve an almost exact end result.
Jasmine rice comes in both white and brown varieties. So if you are trying to find a substitute for white Jasmine rice, you can absolutely swap in your standard white rice.
The flavor will not be as nuanced and aromatic, but when you could always flavor your plain white rice to achieve the same results as using Jasmine rice.
Opt for long-grain white rice if possible, and this will be even closer to the texture and consistency we are shooting for.
Pro-Tip: Try swapping some or all of the liquid for chicken or vegetable broth when cooking rice to really amp up the flavor.
If your recipe calls for brown Jasmine rice, you can substitute it with regular brown rice if it is all you have on hand.
Brown rice has a similar nutty flavor to Jasmine rice, but it is more robust, and the grains are chewier.
Substitute brown rice 1:1 for jasmine rice in jambalaya, curry, or fried with chicken and vegetables.
Pro-Tip: When adding rice to dishes with a tomato base, try using V8 juice instead of some or all of the water used to cook the rice. When making such simple substitutions, you’ll be surprised by how flavorful your rice becomes.
Wild rice actually isn’t actually rice at all. Rather, it’s the grain of aquatic grass that provides a nutty, earthy flavor.
The nutty flavor is in line with what we expect from Jasmine rice. This quality is amplified further by its grassy tone which mimics the floral notes of Jasmine rice.
However, wild rice has a thicker hull than Jasmine rice and will have a heartier texture.
The swap is simple because you will prepare the wild rice like Jasmine rice.
Any Long-Grain, Aromatic Rice
Any long-grain aromatic rice will make a fantastic substitute for Jasmine rice. Since you will be matching the size of the grain, the variable floral and nutty flavors will only enhance your meal.
Here are a few varieties worth trying:
- Sona Masuri
- Wild Pecan
You can find these kinds of rice in your grocery store in either the rice aisle or the international foods aisle. Otherwise, you can try Indian and Asian food marts or markets or order whichever variety you want to try online.
By swapping in long-grain alternative for jasmine rice, you’ll get to explore a variety of new flavors. Perhaps you’ll even find a new and unexpected favorite.
Gluten-Free Jasmine Rice Alternatives
Are you trying to stay away from gluten? or looking for a nutritionally complete alternative to Jasmine rice? If so, try substituting quinoa.
Quinoa is a superfood from the amaranth family. You’re actually consuming the cracked seed of the quinoa plant, and you serve it the same way you would a side of rice.
It can be incorporated into soups, stews, and curries, mixed into salads, or served on the side of proteins.
Wash and then toast the quinoa before adding the liquid that it will be cooking in to achieve a nutty flavor similar to what you expect in Jasmine rice.
Another healthy and gluten-free alternative to Jasmine rice is riced cauliflower. You can flavor it however you like or leave it plain and use it that way.
Of course, you can rice raw cauliflower yourself, but it is much easier to buy it already done for you in the grocery store’s frozen section. This way, all you have to do is heat it and serve on the side of your dish or mix it into whatever you’re preparing.
Try adding olive oil, garlic, a squeeze of lemon, and any herbs that you have on hand. Then incorporating this flavorful combo as a light alternative to jasmine rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Jasmine and Basmati rice?
Other than Jasmine rice being used for Thai cooking while Basmati rice is found in Indian cuisine, Jasmine rice is also softer, plumper, and stickier than the firmer and chewier texture of Basmati.
Can I use white rice in place of Jasmine rice?
Yes, you can use white rice instead of Jasmine rice, especially if the recipe calls for white Jasmine rice. However, if you can find long-grain white rice, you will have an even closer substitute.
What is aromatic rice?
Aromatic rice is any medium to long grain rice categorized for its nutty taste and distinct aroma.