Lebanese Rice With Vermicelli
Lebanese vermicelli rice (riz b sha’riyeh) is a simple three-ingredient Middle Eastern staple made with rice and vermicelli pasta. This recipe is easy to make and is so versatile that you can enjoy it as the perfect Mediterranean rice pilaf side dish.
Traditional Lebanese rice is buttery and flavorsome, making it a favorite Middle Eastern side dish. Once you learn how to cook vermicelli rice, you will prefer this to traditional rice. The best part: Lebanese rice recipe is vegan-friendly.
What Is Vermicelli Rice?
Wondering what vermicelli rice pilaf is? You are in the right place. Lebanese vermicelli rice uses long-grain white rice, vermicelli noodles, and olive oil.
This Lebanese rice pilaf is a standard (and the most popular) side dish in the Middle East. You can serve it as a base for stews or several meat dishes. It is fluffy, nutty, and versatile. Learning how to cook vermicelli rice is a Middle Eastern staple.
To jazz things up, you can top the Lebanese rice with pine nuts, blanched almonds, or just about any toasted nuts. Garnishing with parsley is an excellent idea for another layer of flavor and a pop of color.
What to Serve with Arab Rice
Serving suggestions are varied. However, the typical dishes include the following:
- Lebanese kidney bean stew (fasolia) is super easy to make and filling, making this an ideal combination with Lebanese rice.
- Lebanese Okra Stew (bamia) that is cooked in tomato sauce
- Lebanese Spinach Stew (sabanekh wa riz) – This lovely, light spinach stew pairs well with vermicelli rice.
- Lebanese carrots and peas stew (bazella w riz)
- Other options Middle Eastern options include chicken shawarma, Middle Eastern green beans, lamb kofta balls, and Molokhia.
- For an Indian flair serve arab rice with chicken tikka masala, Cajun shrimp, lentil dahl, kidney bean curry, coconut chicken curry, and butter chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is VermicelliVermicelli is a thin noodle, which is similar to spaghetti. However, the diameter is much lighter. Given the thinness, vermicelli can be easily mixed in rice. An alternative is angel hair pasta; the two are very similar.
What is the Difference Between Rice and Rice Pilaf? The main difference between rice and rice pilaf is the cooking method and the flavor. Regular rice is typically cooked, baked, or steamed with plain water; however, rice pilaf is browned in butter. By definition, a pilaf is sautéed with aromatics before being cooked in broth. Pilaf generally has a nutty flavor and is known as seasoned rice when additional spices are added.
How do I reheat the Lebanese rice without drying it out? For each cup of cooked rice, scatter a tablespoon of water over the vermicelli rice and put it in an oven or microwave until warm.
Can I use brown rice for the Lebanese rice recipe? Yes, you can. Fry the vermicelli, and add the brown rice/water amount based on package instructions.
How Do I Store Vermicelli Rice? Storing Lebanese vermicelli rice is easy. You must ensure the rice cools before storing it in an airtight container. An airtight container will ensure that the rice does not dry out. Any leftovers can stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze it for two months in the freezer.
Lebanese Rice With Vermicelli
- ▢ 2 cups long-grain white rice*
- ▢ 4 cups of water
- ▢ 1/2 cup vermicelli broken into 1-inch pieces
- ▢ 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ▢ 1 pinch salt
- ▢ Garnish suggestions - Toasted pine nuts. Toasted almonds. Parsley.
- * The amount of water needed can vary depending on the rice selected. The ratio is typically 2:1. Two parts water to one part rice (4 cups water to 2 cups of rice). It is always best to refer to the package, as rice ratios can vary.
- Step One - Rice Preparation: Begin by soaking the rice in cold water for five minutes. After soaking, rinse the rice thoroughly and set it aside.
- Step Two - Cooking Vermicelli: Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add vermicelli to the saucepan and stir frequently until the vermicelli turns a dark golden color.
- Step Three - Preparing Rice with Vermicelli: Once the vermicelli is a dark golden color, add the rice to the saucepan. Add the four cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Step Four - Fluff and Serve: After simmering, remove the saucepan from heat and season with salt to taste. Fluff the rice and vermicelli mixture gently with a fork. Garnish as desired before serving.