I have got fresh garlic cloves. I want the brown rice to have a garlic flavor.
Please mention the garlic quantity needed for the 5 table spoons of uncooked brown rice.

What is the best way to infuse garlic flavor in the bland brown rice?


2 Answers 2


Garlic flavors are soluble in oil, simply chopping up garlic and putting it in with the rice will not distribute the flavor well. I would recommend you chop the garlic finely and then infuse into a tablespoon of oil or butter by putting the pan on very low heat for a few minutes. Then add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the infused oil before adding water and cooking as normal.

How much garlic to use depends on how strong your garlic is and how garlic-y you want it to taste. 5 tbsp of rice isn't much, for a medium garlic flavor using average strength garlic a whole small clove or half a large is probably enough. With the garlic I grow I'd add a few slices from a clove at most.

Another option would be to cook the rice and then stir in the garlic infused oil afterwards, The benefits to this option are that you can drain the rice after cooking without all the flavor going down the drain.

  • Would making a paste of garlic before adding it to oil be better than chopping? May 21, 2015 at 8:16
  • In addition to above, please explain this again: "a whole small clove of half a large": What does "half a large" mean here? May 21, 2015 at 8:20
  • Sorry @TheIndependentAquarius, that should have said a whole small clove or half a large. It was a typo, I'm still waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
    – GdD
    May 21, 2015 at 8:24
  • and about my first comment? I hope you saw it. May 21, 2015 at 8:25
  • 3
    Using a paste is fine, it will burn easily though so be sure to infuse on a low heat. IMO chopping it fine or simply smashing it with the flat of a knife and then roughly chopping is less work and gives the same result.
    – GdD
    May 21, 2015 at 8:26

The technique that GdD mentions (infuse oil, then use that in the rice), is the technique used in Sinangag (Filipino garlic fried rice), but the rice is cooked first, then fried lightly in the garlic infused oil.

Because you still have the garlic in with the rice, and it hasn't undergone long, slow cooking like you would have from cooking the rice (even longer w/ brown rice), the garlic bits still retain much of the fresh garlic flavor, although the flavor still permeates through the rice.

A quick survey of recipes yields the following ratios (skipping those that don't give any measurements for the rice or garlic at all):

  • a head of garlic for 5-6 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cloves garlic to '1 large serving bowl of cooked rice'
  • 12 cloves of garlic to 4 cups cooked rice
  • 9 cloves garlic to 4 cups cooked rice (plus 4 green onions)
  • 5 cloves garlic to 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cloves garlic to 750g cooked rice (4 cups?)
  • 6 cloves garlic to 3 cups cooked rice
  • 14 cloves garlic to 4 cups cooked rice (plus one scallion, vinegar and chile flakes)
  • 3 TB minced garlic to 5 cups cooked rice
  • 3 TB minced garlic to 6 cups cooked rice
  • 1.5 TB minced garlic to 4 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cloves garlic to 3 cups cooked rice
  • 6 cloves garlic to 3 cups cooked rice

You'll likely need to experiment with it to find where you like it -- but be warned some recipes for Sinangag are very, very garlicy. (as I'm guessing the ones with 3+ cloves per cup of rice are ... it's possible that the vinegar might temper it, though). I also like the freshness that you get from mixing in green onion at the end, but I don't know what you're doing with this so if that would be appropriate.

  • If we assume a 'large serving bowl' is 2 cups, 1 head is 10 cloves, and a clove is 1 tsp minced, then the ratio in cloves per cup) are : 2, 1.5, 3, 2.25, 1.67, 0.5, 2, 3.5, 1.8, 1.5, 1.125, 1, 2 ... so 8 of the 13 are between 1.5 to 2.25 cloves of garlic per cup of cooked rice.
    – Joe
    May 21, 2015 at 11:40
  • ... and rice (white rice, at least), cooks up about 3:1 by volume, so 5TB uncooked would be just shy of a cup of rice cooked.
    – Joe
    May 21, 2015 at 13:14

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