- Rice is an important part of the diet of more than 3.5 billion people around the world.
- The grain is used in savory dishes like The paella from Spain and sweet dishes like Filipino champorado.
- We took a look at 16 rice dishes from around the world.
- Visit the Insider home page for more stories.
Here is a transcript of the video.
Abby Tang: Over 3.5 billion people around the world eat rice as a staple of their diet, and we can only show a few of the beloved rice dishes that exist. Let’s see how rice is consumed around the world.
This dish arouses a debate for love. Jollof rice is a West African dish that varies from country to country. It is popular in Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and many more. Most jollof rice dishes include tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Protein choices can vary from lamb to chicken, beef or fish. Jollof rice can be served with accompaniments like fried plantains or vegetables.
Nasi goreng is the national Indonesian dish and is simply translated as “fried rice”. It is believed to have been introduced when Chinese immigrants came to Indonesia between the 10th and 15th centuries. Nasi goreng is made with an abundance of spices, garlic, shallot, and a sweet soy sauce called kecap manis. Meat, vegetables and eggs can also be added. Some sides include fried shrimp crackers, salad or sambal, an Indonesian chili sauce.
In Spanish cuisine, paella is a staple rice dish. It originates from Valencia and is best cooked in a paella pan over an open fire. Traditionally, it was made by farm workers during lunch and eaten directly from the pan. The meats and vegetables used in this dish varied depending on what was available at the time. Nowadays there are many variations with meat and seafood. The essential ingredients are onions, garlic and saffron for a dark yellow stain.
This creamy rice dish is an Italian staple. Arborio or carnaroli rice is the best type of grain to use. The rice is cooked with broth, butter, onions, wine and parmesan. Some would say that risotto is time consuming and requires a lot of attention when cooking, but once you master the technique, the dish can be ready in as little as 30 minutes.
Cơm tấm, also known as broken rice, is a Vietnamese dish of humble origins. The beans used in the cơm tấm are considered as broken leftovers from the drying and milling process. Traditionally, farmers in the Mekong Delta cooked unsaleable grains. Eventually, they brought the dish to Saigon City, which is now known as Ho Chi Minh City. Cơm tấm is served with a variety of sides, such as grated pork, eggs and pickled vegetables.
This rice dish comes from the city of Yangzhou, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu. Some may know the dish as homemade fried rice. It is made of rice mixed with roast pork, shrimp, scallions, eggs and peas inside a wok. The best type of rice to use is leftover cooked rice. Chinese restaurants around the world have made this dish a staple menu item. Indian biryani rice is a fusion of spices. The word biryani derives from the Persian word birian and means “fried before cooking”. Long grain rice, like basmati, is fried and cooked with meat, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and fruit. Depending on the region, there are countless variations and methods of cooking biryani.
Puerto Rico’s rice dish is also considered the island’s national dish. Arroz con gandules is rice cooked with cashew peas, pork and sofrito sauce. It is generally served during holidays and special occasions.
Jamaican rice and peas use pigeon peas or kidney beans. The long grain rice is cooked with coconut milk, garlic, green onions, pepper and allspice. Rice and peas are commonly served in households every Sunday. It is usually served as a side dish with curries or jerk chicken and barbecue.
Using similar ingredients like pigeon peas and coconut milk, the rice dish from Trinidad and Tobago is called pelau. Trinidadians use a technique called browning the meat by adding the meat to the sugar burnt in a saucepan with onions and garlic before adding the rice and other ingredients. For added flavor, a key ingredient to add towards the end of cooking would be Golden Ray salted butter. The final product can be served wet, that is, on the softer side, or dry, on the grainy side.
Korean bibimbap translates to “rice mixed with meat and vegetables”. Traditionally, it was made with raw beef and raw egg yolk. Today, many variations exist depending on the choice. White rice is served with side dishes like kimchi, onions, eggs, mushrooms, etc. The bibimbap is served with a gochujang sauce for more flavor.
When you visit Louisiana, you must add jambalaya to your food bucket list. The one-pot dish is a staple in New Orleans and can be categorized into two types, Creole and Cajun. The Creole version is redder and uses tomatoes. In both versions, long grain rice is cooked with a mixture of meats. Some popular choices are seafood, chicken, or sausage. Some variations include all three. Vegetables, onions, spices and peppers are also mixed.
This rice dish is sweet. Champorado is a chocolate porridge made from sticky sweet rice. Traditionally, tableya, or pure cocoa blocks, is used, but cocoa powder is a great substitute. In the Philippines, porridge is commonly eaten for breakfast and served with tuyo, a salted dried fish. It is topped with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk.
Tahdig is basically burnt rice. It is made from the layer of pan-fried crust at the bottom of the pot of rice. Rice was a luxury ingredient in Persia many years ago. According to legend, a single grain of rice should not be wasted or left in the pot. To achieve this, cooks layer the bottom of the pan with bread to prevent the rice from burning. Other techniques use a mixture of rice, yogurt and saffron or thin slices of peeled potatoes. Whatever ingredients you choose to place under the rice, the end result will be a crisp, golden layer at the bottom of the pot.
Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan. It consists of rice and lamb cooked in a sauce called jameed, which is fermented dried yogurt. The dish is served on a layered platter with a flatbread base. Rice, jam, lamb, almonds and pine nuts are layered on top.
These Japanese rice balls are called onigiri. Steamed rice is shaped into shapes like balls, triangles or cylinders. It is then wrapped in nori, dried seaweed. Onigiri can be eaten plain or stuffed with toppings like salmon or vegetables. It’s a perfect snack to go.
What’s your favorite dish? Are you going to try any of them in our video? Let us know in the comments below.