Looking over the recipes that I have shared, it dawned on me that I can almost complete a full Lebanese meal. The only thing missing from an amazing feast from Lebanon, is rice. Every time my father made this rice, the house was filled with the smell of allspice mixed with melted butter. Transporting me everytime, to all the family dinner’s shared by our huge family. The rice in my eyes as a child, made me feel that Asia met Italy and created this beautiful dish. A combination of rice, meets vermicelli or small egg noodles and then mingles with the flavors of allspice and decadent melted butter. Talk about time travel on a plate!
Lebanese RiceCourse: SidesCuisine: Middle Eastern, LebaneseDifficulty: Easy
A robust Middle Eastern rice dish that will complete any great meal.
1 ½ cups of white rice – (I use basmati or jasmine)
¼ cup salted butter
½ cup of vermicelli or small egg noodles
3 cups boiling water
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
- Measure out your rice, and place in a saucepan in water till just covered. Let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir to release extra starch from the rice, and strain through a wire mesh strainer. Set aside.
- In the empty saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted add the vermicelli noodles. Stir frequently for you do not want the noodles to burn, you want a nice brown. May take up to 4 minutes to reach the perfect brown.
- Once brown, add in the rice. Toast the rice for around 3 minutes, constantly stirring. The rice will become brighter white, and that is when you add the boiling water.
- Add the pepper and allspice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and serve under any protein, and now you can complete a Lebanese meal. Combine with garlic chicken, roasted garlic hummus, tabouli, and this yummy rice, and your dinner meal is all set! Hmmmm Lebanese dessert!?!
- You can use different spices instead of allspice to change the flavor. You can add tumeric for a gorgeous color. Garlic, either fresh or frozen for brilliant balance. Even saffron would make a decadent rice side dish. You can also toast up some pine nuts to finish the meal, and provide an additional texture.