Around the world in 14 rice dishes


How do we even begin to talk about the wonderful staple that is rice? Cultures all over the world are using their local ingredients to prepare satisfying meals from this absorbent grain. Rice shines in casual comfort food you can cook in under 30 minutes, and in dishes for special occasions like weddings and religious holidays. You will see all the different notes it can have in the following 14 rice dishes from around the world.

Click here for rice dishes from around the world

If you think you know most of the best rice dishes in the world – paella, risotto, fried rice, etc. – but we bet not. The world varieties of dishes prepared with this grain are much more. We included these and other familiar classics, of course, because how could we not – but we also chose rice dishes that most people, no matter how much food they know, are probably not familiar with. . Never heard of it xôi ngũ sắc, for example? I did not mean it.

Since rice is an extremely broad category, we decided to narrow it down by keeping this salty list, but if you have a sweet tooth you can check out our long list of rice pudding recipes. We also decided to leave out the rice which doesn’t look like separate grains of rice, so you won’t find rice cakes, rice soups, or rice casseroles here. You’ll hardly find a rice dish on this list that isn’t bursting with veggie colors and seasonings.

I found these rice dishes when I stumbled into a Wikipedia rabbit hole. Nasi lemak led me to nasi kunig, which led me to American fried rice, which is not American at all. I searched for rice dishes from all over the world and for the most part I found them. Since I haven’t included any Australian rice dishes on this list, I’ll say it now: try the Australian rice salad. It’s like other rice salads, but Australian. To include all the rice dishes in the world we had to be here for a few hours so I had to cut the corners off. Sorry, Australia.

Without further ado, let’s travel the world through rice.

American Fried Rice (Thailand)

This fried rice is definitely as American as it gets. It is served with ketchup; a protein such as fried chicken, bacon or hot dogs; Croutons; and sometimes, for a Hawaiian touch, pineapple. Silom Village Restaurant in Bangkok will do it for you just like the GIs stationed in Thailand loved it – it was designed during the Vietnam War.

Arroz with Gandules

Arroz con gandules, made with pigeon peas, roast pork and sofrito sauce, is Puerto Rico’s national dish. It’s best to get yourself invited to a Puerto Rican house so you can try this homemade dish, but if that fails, go to Restaurant La Pradera in San Juan.

This article was originally published on March 17, 2015.


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