Chefs are transforming basic rice with out-there ingredients like green mango, monkfish liver and even crab brains.
The Optimist’s basmati fried rice evokes the colonial Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree, pairing subtly smoky fish with toasted curry powder. 914 Howell Mill Rd.; theoptimistrestaurant.com.
Adventurous diners order the crab-brain fried rice at Mott St (below). Chef Edward Kim likens the funky, rich, briny flavor to “a hollandaise sauce steeped with crab shells.” 1401 N. Ashland Ave.; mottstreetchicago.com.