What Is Butter Rice? (Origins, Taste + Other Related Questions)

When you need to whip up a quick meal, some of your best options are rice-based dishes. Served alongside reheated leftovers, you will easily enjoy an instant delicious meal, and such is the case when you make butter rice.

If you’ve never had butter rice before, you might be wondering what butter rice is. I looked into it, and here’s what I found!

What Is Butter Rice?

Butter rice is a traditional rice dish in Myanmar that is often served during occasions like weddings and almsgiving. Nevertheless, butter rice is also a popular dish in other Southeast Asian countries like Japan and the Philippines. In Japan, butter rice is mixed with soy sauce, while in the Philippines, butter rice is mixed with garlic.

In case you’re interested to learn more about the qualities of butter rice and how you can make delicious butter rice, keep reading!

Where Did Butter Rice Originate?

Butter rice, also known as Pe htaw bhut htamin or butter and lentil rice, is a traditional Burmese cuisine in Myanmar.

Moreover, butter rice is a dish served during festive occasions like almsgiving feasts and wedding receptions, where the butter rice is served with Indian or Burmese chicken or curry.

Why Do You Put Butter In Rice?

Butter is a form of fat. Therefore, butter has the natural characteristics to improve the aroma and flavor of rice without the use of too many ingredients or any complex process.

Since butter turns liquid when heated, rice can easily absorb the butter’s flavor.

What Is Japanese Butter Rice?

Japanese butter rice is rice with butter and soy sauce. Once the rice is cooked, add a tablespoon of butter to a single serving of rice.

Mix the butter and rice until the butter has melted and the rice has absorbed the butter.

Afterward, add a drop or two of soy sauce, using as much or as little soy sauce as would suit your taste.

What Is Butter Garlic Rice?

Butter garlic rice is butter rice that is either garnished or mixed with browned garlic. Additionally, there are many ways to cook butter garlic rice.

Traditionally, you can mince the garlic, melt the butter, and then add some leftover rice. To season, you can use a little salt, white pepper, chicken broth, and scallion.

Another option is to slice garlic cloves into thin pieces, brown them, and then cook butter rice as usual. Afterward, use the garlic to garnish the butter rice.

Is Butter Rice Real Rice?

Butter rice is not a rice variant. Rather, butter rice is a rice-based dish that typically uses long-grain and medium-grain rice.

Is Butter Rice Good?

Is Butter Rice Good?

Whether butter rice is good depends on a person’s preferences. Generally, butter rice is accepted as a delicious dish, mainly because butter, which is a fatty food, is a flavor carrier.

Whenever butter is cooked with onion, garlic, chicken, vegetables, or whatever ingredients you want, the butter traps the flavors and can therefore enhance the rice’s taste.

As such, it’s easy for a lot of people to acclimate and enjoy the taste of butter rice.

Is Butter Rice Gluten-Free?

Since rice and butter are naturally gluten-free, a traditionally cooked butter rice dish should be gluten-free as well.

However, you might accidentally use seasonings and ingredients that contain gluten. Normally, when butter is labeled as flavored, the butter is at risk of containing gluten.

As such, it’s best to double-check all your ingredients to ensure a gluten-free dish.

Is Butter Rice Vegetarian?

Butter rice is traditionally a vegetarian dish unless mixed with meat or seafood. Since vegetarians can eat butter, this is a dish they should be able to enjoy.

Is Butter Rice Vegan?

Vegans don’t consume dairy products, which is why butter rice is not considered a vegan-friendly dish.

However, there is vegan butter in the market. If vegan butter is used, a butter rice dish can be considered vegan-friendly.

How Many Calories Does Butter Rice Have?

Butter rice will have different amounts of calories depending on the recipe you follow. A standard butter rice recipe usually contains 240 calories per cup.

When you add ingredients like meat, vegetables, and other types of seasonings, expect that each serving of butter rice will have more and more calories.

How To Cook Butter Rice With A Rice Cooker?

To cook butter rice using a rice cooker, simply add butter and salt to the water and rice mixture before you put the lid on and turn on the rice cooker.

Additionally, you may let the rice cook as usual and mix the butter while you’re fluffing the rice. Doing so will give your rice a stronger buttery taste.

How To Cook Butter Rice On Stove?

To make butter rice on the stove, you first have to melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Afterward, add onion and saute for five minutes.

Next, add the rice grains to coat them in butter. Using leftover rice is usually best because leftover rice will not stick in the pan or turn mushy when exposed to heat, unlike fresh rice.

Nevertheless, you may also use raw rice or instant rice, add some water or chicken broth, and let the rice cook on the stove.

Once the rice is cooked or the butter has blended nicely with the rice, add the rest of the ingredients. Let the rice rest after turning off the heat, fluff, and garnish as desired.

How To Make Butter Rice In The Microwave?

To cook butter rice in the microwave, add a stick of butter to a bowl or a casserole, and cook the butter until it melts. Afterward, add raw rice and cook for a full minute.

Next, add water, broth, or onion soup to the casserole. Stir the contents, cover the casserole, and cook for around twenty minutes.

Let the rice sit for another five minutes after cooking then fluff the rice before serving.

Check out our other articles to learn what black pearl rice is, what forbidden rice is, and what Baldo rice is.


Butter rice is an easy-to-make dish that originated in Myanmar and is widely used in Southeast Asian countries.

Generally, all you need to make butter rice is butter, rice, and vegetable oil. You have the option of enhancing the flavor of butter rice using soy sauce or garlic.

Moreover, butter rice can be prepared in a rice cooker, a microwave, and on the stove, and you can add whatever additional ingredients you want to make an original butter rice recipe.

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