Rice is a culinary staple in many countries. These seemingly simple and flavourless grains are a blank canvas for imaginative foodies and gastronomic adventurers. While they are easy to prepare, there are thousands, or probably millions, of ways to cook it. And it would be fascinating to see how other countries do it.
From farmers who prepare the bedding with disc harrow parts to the chefs and home cooks, these grains will always easily blend with any recipe. Beyond risottos and burritos, here are the other rice dishes you may want to try.
Paella from SpainSpain’s Valencia region is proud of its paella. It is among the icons that identify the location. This dish is packed with flavours and filled with colours. Legit paellas are cooked in olive oil, and they usually use white rice (the round grain variety). It is then seasoned with saffron and rosemary. Proteins are primarily sourced from chicken; other variations may use seafood and snails.
Nasi Goreng from Indonesia
China may be popular with its fried rice, but another variety exists in Indonesia. Nasi Goreng seems simple, but it is exquisitely delicious and filling. In this dish, rice is stir-fried with chicken slices, prawns, shallots, garlic, and sweet soy sauce. Sometimes, it is mixed with chili and tamarind. Nasi Goreng usually has a fried egg on top.
Champorado from the Philippines
Perhaps, this is the only sweet rice dish on this list. Champorado, which is often served as breakfast, also doubles as a snack. It is made by boiling sticky rice with cocoa powder or tablea (chocolate tablets). Once cooked, it can be topped with powdered milk or evaporated milk. When eaten as breakfast, people enjoy it with dried fish. The contrasting flavours of the two make an interesting experience.
Biryani from India
Biryani can be found in many parts of the world, from the USA to Brunei. But this rice dish remains an Indian icon. Wherever you are, Biryani seems to be cooked just the same. It is made with chicken or lamb, which is marinated overnight, and is cooked with herbs, spices, dried fruits, and yogurt. Just a whiff of the concoction will surely make you want to wolf down a plate.
Bibimbap from South Korea
Once a dish made for the ancient Korean royalty, bibimbap is not just a festival of flavours but also of colours. This dish is simple to make, and it looks pretty and delicious when being served. The steamed rice will just be topped with sauteed vegetables (depending on the season), beef, egg, and chili paste. You will have to mix them before you eat the dish.
Jollof from Nigeria
Rice is also a staple in many African countries, so you will always find exciting fares here. One of them will be the jollof, which originates from Nigeria. It is also found all over West Africa. In this dish, rice is cooked in tomato sauce, together with onions, salt, and pepper. Meats are usually lamb or chicken.
Rice is an essential grain, and it is also a base for many culinary masterpieces. If you are interested in cooking with rice, go beyond the usual and try the exciting dishes enumerated above.