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Rice around the World

By: Maliha Rahman

Rice is universal. It is easy to grow, and it is easy to make. Not only that, it also tastes amazing too! Whether it is an appetizer, entree, or dessert, rice is able to be the star of any plate. Here is the list of the many unique ways different cultures around the world use rice in their dishes. I’ve even included links to recipes so you can make them yourself!

1. Arancini

This Italian dish is a staple of Sicilian cuisine. The rice used is often leftover risotto. Risotto is another popular rice dish in Italy that is made with short-grained rice cooked in broth. For arancini, the rice is turned into balls that are coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Popular fillings include: ragu (meat sauce), mozzarella cheese, ham, or peas. These bitesize delights are a great appetizer for your meal! This arancini recipe uses a delicious meat sauce:

2. Sushi

This Japanese dish is considered one of the most popular international dishes in the world. Sushi can be presented in many ways, but its most essential ingredient is the rice. The medium grained rice is unique because of how firm and sticky it is. This makes it perfect for putting on seaweed and rolling with vegetables and raw fish.

Here is a recipe to the famous Philadelphia roll:

3. Rice and Beans

Any Latinx person knows that rice and beans is a household staple. Different countries have different ways of preparing the dish, but there will always be rice and beans. Rice and beans are so popular because they are easy to make and affordable. Both rice and beans provide nutritional benefits and are a great energy source. And, don’t forget that it’s delicious!

This is a recipe of Colombian style rice and beans:

3. Khichdi

Rice is seen in a lot of different dishes in South Asian cuisine. This particular dish combines rice with another South Asian staple: lentils. Lentils are a legume, which is in the same family as beans and peas. The rice and lentils are cooked together to create a porridge-like consistency. Classic Desi spices and ghee (clarified butter) are added to create a flavorful, inexpensive meal that holds a lot of nutritional value.

If you want a taste for yourself, try this recipe:

4. Jollof Rice

This is Nigeria’s national dish. Rice is cooked in a tomato sauce, giving it a rich, wonderful flavor. This dish pairs well with many different kinds of meats, fish, and spices. Every family has their own unique recipe. This dish is also very simple to make and can be cooked in one pot.

Give it a go using this recipe here:

5. Rijsttaart

This Belgian dish is an elevated rice pudding. Able to be eaten for breakfast or for dessert, this dish is a great way to curb your sweet tooth. This dish is essentially rice pudding poured into a pie crust. It can be made as one big pie shared amongst a group or bite size pieces for when you’re on the go.

6. Horchata

After a hearty meal, this drink is a great way to quench your thirst and have some dessert. This sweet drink is made with rice soaked in water, sugar, milk, and cinnamon. There are many possible alternatives for sweeteners, dairy, or toppings used which makes this drink very versatile.

Here is a simple recipe for horchata:


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