Saffron Butter Crispy Rice

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Saffron Butter Crispy Rice on a plate with cilantro and peppadew peppers on top.  Spatula scooping up a triangle piece. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Here are four magical words… Saffron Butter Crispy Rice.  And yes, they describe this amazing, but really easy, Crispy Rice recipe.  Crispy rice is a traditional Persian dish that is full of flavor and texture.  The saffron brings that slightly sweet, floral note that’s hard to replicate.  Saffron also gives that beautiful yellow-orange hue to this rice.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom that is irresistible.

While it may seem like a complex, too-sophisticated-for-family-dinner dish, it really isn’t!  It’s simple to make and perfect for a family dinner side!  Just scroll down to see how easy it comes together in a few steps.  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Saffron Butter Crispy Rice on a plate with cilantro and peppadew peppers on top. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

What to serve with this Crispy Rice

A simple grilled chicken or beef kabob or broiled or seared chicken breast is perfect for this dish.  If you go this route, you probably want a yogurt or vinegar based sauce to drizzle over top.  Here are some of my favorite recipes to pair with this Saffron Butter Crispy Rice!

Saffron Butter Crispy Rice slice on a plate with chicken and cilantro and peppadew peppers on top. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

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EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You will need a small hole strainer to rinse the rice, medium pot to pre-cook the rice and an 8-10 inch skillet/frying pan (I used an 8 inch) for this recipe with a fitted lid. Finally, need a very clean dish towel that will be used between the pan and the lid when cooking the rice.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR SAFFRON CRISPY RICE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

To prep ahead, you can rinse and soak the rice in the morning.  Then before you start cooking, you can drain and rinse the rice again.  Then bloom the saffron in hot water!

Rinse the rice by adding the dry rice to a small hole strainer and running cold water through it until the water runs clear.

Rinsing uncooked rice under sink in strainer for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Soak the rice in cold water in a large bowl for 30 minutes up to 1 hour. Then rinse the rice again in the strainer under cold water.

To a small bowl with hot water, add a pinch of Saffron. Let this sit and bloom, so that the flavor of the water is infused with the saffron.

Saffron blooming in water in a bowl for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Prep your cooking lid for the pan by laying a clear dish towel on the counter and placing the pan lid with handle on top. Wrap the sides of the towel up and around and tuck into the handle so that the entire lid is wrapped and the towel is secured through the handle.

Dish towel wrapped around lid of pan for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

What can I use instead of Saffron?

Saffron can be expensive and therefore, is not always an ingredient that you have on hand.  Therefore, if you cannot get Saffron, you can swap it with Turmeric.  Turmeric also imparts a beautiful yellow-orange color and a floral, slightly sweet flavor.  That makes it a great substitute.  If you’re looking for a different flavor profile all together, you can also sub in ginger, coriander, and garlic. 

What kind of rice is best?

You want to use a long grain rice for this recipe.  Most Crispy Rice recipes will call for Basmati.  However, the recipe will work with any long grain rice.  You do NOT want to use quick cooking rice.

COOK YOUR SAFFRON BUTTER CRISPY RICE 

Pre-cook the rice by boiling 3 cups of water with the salt in a medium pot. Add the rinsed rice, bring back to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse a final time under warm water.

Boiling rice in pot for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Preheat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter to melt it, then add the bloomed saffron and water.

Hand about to pour saffron into pan with melted butter for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Add the pre-cooked rice and pat down with the back of a spoon into a packed layer. Using the handle of a spatula or wood spoon, poke 6-8 holes into the rice so that steam can escape. Place your towel-wrapped pan lid on top of the pan. Make sure that the towel is secured through the handle and not hanging down where it could catch on fire. Let cook covered for 30 minutes.

Pouring cooked rice from strainer to pan with melted butter and saffron for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Spoon patting cooked rice down into pan for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Spoon handle poking holes into cooked rice in pan for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

After the 30 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Place a plate over the rice and using oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands, turn the Crispy Rice over onto the plate!

I like to garnish with fresh cilantro and peppadew peppers for a sweet and spicy finish!

Can Crispy Rice be reheated?

After storing this dish in the fridge, it can get chewy.  To reheat it, the best results are in a skillet or in the oven.  Put a little butter in the skillet and add the rice to warm through.  In the oven, preheat it to 375 F degrees and place the rice on sheet pan to warm through.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Saffron Butter Crispy Rice on a plate with cilantro and peppadew peppers on top. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Saffron Butter Crispy Rice

This Saffron Butter Crispy Rice recipe is based on a traditional Persian dish that is full of flavor and texture.  The saffron brings that slightly sweet, floral note that's hard to replicate.  Saffron also gives that beautiful yellow-orange hue to this rice.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom that is irresistible. While it may seem like a complex, too-sophisticated-for-family-dinner dish, it really isn't!  It's simple to make and perfect for a family dinner side!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine persian
Keyword rice recipes, saffron, sides
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups Long Grain Rice, such as Basmati rice
  • 3 cups Water for pre-cooking
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • Pinch Saffron (approximately 20-30 strands)
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Salted Butter

Optional Garnishes

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves
  • 4-5 Peppadew Peppers, sliced

Instructions

Pre-Ahead Steps

  1. To a small bowl with hot water, add a pinch of Saffron. Let this sit and bloom, so that the flavor of the water is infused with the saffron.

    Saffron blooming in water in a bowl for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.
  2. Rinse the rice by adding the dry rice to a small hole strainer and running cold water through it until the water runs clear.

    Rinsing uncooked rice under sink in strainer for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.
  3. Soak the rice in cold water in a large bowl for 30 minutes up to 1 hour. Then rinse the rice again in the strainer under cold water.

  4. Prep your cooking lid for the pan by laying a clear dish towel on the counter and placing the pan lid with handle on top. Wrap the sides of the towel up and around and tuck into the handle so that the entire lid is wrapped and the towel is secured through the handle.

    Dish towel wrapped around lid of pan for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.

Cooking Steps

  1. Pre-cook the rice by boiling 3 cups of water with the salt in a medium pot. Add the rinsed rice, bring back to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse a final time under warm water.

    Boiling rice in pot for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.
  2. Preheat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter to melt it, then add the bloomed saffron and water. Add the pre-cooked rice and pat down with the back of a spoon into a packed layer. Using the handle of a spatula or wood spoon, poke 6-8 holes into the rice so that steam can escape. Place your towel-wrapped pan lid on top of the pan. Make sure that the towel is secured through the handle and not hanging down where it could catch on fire. Let cook covered for 30 minutes.

    Spoon handle poking holes into cooked rice in pan for Saffron Butter Crispy Rice. Saffron brings a floral note and beautiful yellow-orange color.  Added to the butter is what gives this crispy rice the buttery, crispy bottom.
  3. After the 30 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Place a plate over the rice and using oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands, turn the Crispy Rice over onto the plate!

  4. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and peppadew peppers