Lo mai gai, the dim sum classic of steamed lotus leaves stuffed with sticky rice and all sorts of delicious goodies, are irresistible from the moment you unwrap one fresh from the steamer and a chorus of aromas hits your nose. The biggest task is gathering all the ingredients, like the lotus leaves and glutinous rice, as well as Chinese sausage, cured pork belly, and salted egg yolks. Once you've got them rounded up, though, it's a relatively easy and extremely delicious at-home dish.
'Rice' on Serious Eats
Arroz caldo is a hearty Filipino congee made with chicken and rice and seasoned with onion, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce and topped with crunchy fried garlic. The result is a quick, comforting bowl that's a perfect wintertime meal (and rivals chicken soup for its ability to sooth those suffering from a cold).
There's something very comforting and satisfying about a meal served and cooked in one pot. One of my favorite one-pot meals is clay pot rice. For this version, I wanted to use an ingredient that's not normally seen in clay pot rice: spicy Italian sausage. Combined with slivers of chicken, marinated dried mushrooms, and a sweet and savory sauce, this speaks comfort to me.
Congee is nothing more than a simple rice porridge, but man can it be comforting! It's an Asian breakfast staple, a dim sum classic, and a blank canvas to add your own flavors. Traditionally white rice is used, but sometimes I like to use brown rice for a heartier, healthier porridge with a subtle nutty flavor. Heartier vegetables such as kale, escarole, shiitakes, leeks, and even Brussels sprouts are perfect in it. One of my favorite combos is this recipe: marinated strips of beef, dried shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chips.
Risotto is not exactly a make-ahead food—no matter what tricks you use, it always requires last-minute finishing right before serving. But by using the tricks we developed for rice balls, it's possible to turn a classically a-la-minute dish into a make-ahead baked casserole. Like baked mac-and-cheese, but with rice.
Scarred by childhood memories of dry, tasteless rice balls, I set out to create arancini the way we all want them to be: crisp on the outside with a shattering crust that breaks open to reveal tender grains of rice suspended in a rich and flavorful creamy sauce. At at the center: stretchy melted mozzarella cheese.
This salad from Yotam Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, Plenty More, has a lot going on and everything going for it. A beautiful mix of grains, crunchy almonds and pine nuts, chewy dried cherries, silky onions, and enlivening arugula, basil and tarragon—every bite is fairly dazzling.
With the help of a pressure cooker, risotto becomes an insanely easy and hands-off cooking method. Here, it's loaded with layer upon layer of the flavors of fall: butternut squash, sage, brown butter, and just a hint of apple and maple syrup to round it out.
Spiced snapper is seared and served on top of brown rice mixed with black beans and tomatillos. Creamy avocado and queso fresco finish of the dish for a healthy and hearty meal in under an hour.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
These plump chicken breasts are stuffed with an andouille-spiked rice and vegetable mixture, then topped with a creamy Creole shrimp sauce.
This black rice salad is full of color: avocado and cilantro for a shock of green, mangoes, and oranges for some stark contrast, followed by a sprinkle of red onion and a shower of earthy, crunchy pepitas, all tied together with chili and cumin-spiked orange vinaigrette.
I'm a sucker for the bright intensity of the humble and accessible radish, which makes a hot pink appearance in the Spring Roots section of Kimberley Hasselbrink's new cookbook, Vibrant Food. After a stint in a hot pan with butter, their peppery bite is slightly mellowed, but the remaining juicy crunch, vivid color, and distinctive pungency offsets the simple, creamy risotto.
Inspired by Thai grilled beef salad (neua nam tok), this salad replaces the meat with grilled vegetables and adds fragrant jasmine rice. It's loaded with fresh herbs and dressed with a bracing, fish sauce-spiked lime vinaigrette. Plus, because the vegetables are grilled, they give the salad a deeper, smoky flavor.
The classic side dish of rice and beans gets a summery facelift in this bold, chilled salad, packed with tomatoes, sharp cheddar, onions, cilantro, and an in-your-face vinaigrette made with both banana peppers and ancho chilies.
Light and delicious, this wakame-filled bowl of brown rice is topped with creamy avocado, crunchy sprouts, and tender shrimp for an easy one-pot meal. Finished with fresh lime juice and soy sauce, it makes for a fun and flavorful weeknight meal.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets a jolt from dark-roast coffee beans and spicy cinnamon sticks.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets a southeast Asian-style lift from bright lemongrass and ginger.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets an infusion of fresh strawberries for a fruity, pastel-hued beverage.
Ropa vieja, the classic Cuban dish of shredded stewed beef flavored with a vinegary tomato and pepper sauce, is a natural choice for the slow cooker, stewed all day and served with rice and beans.