Andrew Zimmern's 10 Favorite Rice Dishes

© Con Poulos

By Andrew Zimmern Posted August 27, 2015

Sure, I love the classics, but some of these favorites of mine might be new to you and I hope you try them. I could have made a list of 30. Limiting to ten is unfair, and, on any given day, half this list would be different — how's that for a hedge!

Sure, I love the classics, but some of these favorites of mine might be new to you and I hope you try them. I could have made a list of 30. Limiting to ten is unfair, and, on any given day, half this list would be different — how's that for a hedge!

1. Bibimbap: one of my favorite meals when made properly with a large variety of vegetables, pickles, condiments, meats and of course that beautiful soft egg to mix in. Korean comfort food at its finest.

2. Arroz Negro: I love seafood and I love paella, but this hybridized version from Valencia is simply crusty rice with cuttlefish cooked with its own ink. Heaven.

3. Jambalaya... and all its cousins around the world: There is nothing as good as a "rice stew" with shellfish, sausage and vegetables. The jambalaya of the American South owes a lot to the cuisines of the islands and western Africa, and it's my favorite of this type of one-pot cookery.

4. Plov: the mother dish of central Asia. Rice cooked with carrots, onions, lamb and a special sumac-laced spice mix that every cook calls their own. The Kazakh version might be my favorite.

5. Sticky Rice with Peanut Dipping Sauce (or Black Bean Sauce)

6. Kushari: Egyptian comfort food, and a street-food staple as well. It's a rice dish loaded with lentils and chickpeas, always noodles of some kind, and topped with fried onions.

7. Onigiri: I am not listing sushi here because that's a fish dish served on rice, not a rice dish. But Onigiri are rice balls with savory fillings, sometimes fish, and are always delicious. My favorite is the one loaded with salted and spicy fish roe.

8. Congee or Filipino Arroz Caldo: These rice porridges made with superb, rich stock can be transcendent. Seasoned with chicken, ginger, onions, chiles, scallions, cilantro, etc., they become one of my favorite meals in a bowl. The Pinoy version is significantly different in that the dish is served with calamansi, a Southeast Asian citrus fruit that works wonders with this dish.

9. Boudin: a Cajun-Creole pork and rice sausage that's a Louisiana food staple. I could eat it every day of the week. From gas stations to tablecloth restaurants, the stuff is everywhere, and Cochon Butcher in New Orleans makes one so good, I always keep some in my freezer. Always.

10. Nasi Goreng: I love fried rice, dirty rice, Thai fried rice with green curry — there are hundreds of these dishes that are all similar in their roots, but my favorite is this Indonesian-Singaporean fried-rice dish loaded with shrimp paste and served with limes or calamansi.

Related: More Tips from Andrew Zimmern
Delicious One-Bowl Rice Dishes
Fantastic Southeast Asian Recipes

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