This ancient grain has been cultivated for centuries and is a food staple for most of the world. Featured prominently in parts of China and South East Asia, this grains popularity has grown and is now commercially grown in parts of the US. With so many types of rice to choose from, there are endless amounts of delicious recipes to enjoy. Rice is cholesterol and gluten-free and rich in nutrients and is perfect for all lifestyles. Here is the ultimate guide to delicious dishes and preparation tips to make the best rice meals at home.

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Pickled Vegetable Kimbap

To evenly cut the rolls without crushing the kimbap, use a very sharp knife, in a long sawing motion, without pressing straight down on the roll. If your knife sticks to the rice, wet the blade with some of the daikon pickling liquid.
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This Sushi Roll-Grain Bowl Combo Is Our New Favorite Comfort Food

Chef Takuya Umeda's California Wappa Rice Bowls are all about perfect ratios and technique—and they're easy to make at home.
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California Wappa Rice Bowls

Snow crab, especially the legs of the crab, yields tender, clean chunks of meat, perfect for topping these steamed savory rice bowls. To gently cook the crabs, steam them for 20 to 25 minutes over high heat, let cool slightly, and remove the meat.
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Mixed Vegetable Paella

To develop the socarrat, the crispy crust of rice that’s so integral to classic paella, check the edges with a spoon or offset spatula as it cooks. Once the stock is almost fully absorbed by the rice, begin checking more frequently; it can quickly go from golden brown to scorched. Take a cue from chef Peter Lee and serve the paella with grilled lemon wedges and on-the-vine cherry tomatoes.
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Ginger Crispy Rice with Salmon and Bok Choy

Grains of jasmine rice take on a toasty, crispy crust in this perfect pot of rice topped with salmon, bok choy, and corn. To achieve the crust at the bottom of the pot, use a squeeze bottle to drizzle oil around the edge of the pot, or apply it precisely with a spoon. Use your senses to understand what’s happening inside: Listen for a faint crackling sound, and smell for a nutty aroma. (If you smell burnt popcorn, the rice has over-toasted.) Make it without toppings for a satisfying side dish. Chinese clay pots are wrapped in a heat-diffusing wire to prevent thermal shock so that they can be used over high heat. They’re also excellent for simmering single portions of soups and stews.
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More Rice

Saffron Risotto

Risotto. Even the name sounds romantic and delicious. Leave it to the Italians to make a bowl of rice sound seductive. The amazing thing is that it tastes even better than it sounds. It’s rich and creamy (without using ANY cream) and deeply flavorful, while using only a few ingredients. And it takes less than half an hour. It’s a knockout dish you can tackle with just a little stirring and a little time. Thirty-plus years ago, my husband and I decided to have a commitment ceremony on our 10th anniversary (this was back in the days before marriage equality). After that long and wonderful day surrounded by friends, we went back to our tiny Brooklyn apartment (with the eight folks sleeping on our floor), and I made risotto for everyone. To this day, people can’t believe I made such a “difficult” dish at the end of a day like that. But I have to let you in on a little secret: risotto is not difficult at all. The only part of making this wonderful dish that could possibly be considered even remotely difficult is the stirring. And the stirring is simply time-consuming, nothing else. Risotto Milanese is as classic as it gets. I’m generally leery of updating classic recipes. But in this case, my update makes it a lot easier to make this beautiful dish. One of the classic ingredients in this risotto is bone marrow ... not generally something most people have in their larder. But Snake River Farms, one of America’s great meat purveyors, solves that problem. They package and sell dry-aged beef fat, called Chef’s Gold. The flavor is rich and complex, and you can store it in your freezer. And it whips into the risotto just like the butter most recipes call for at the end of cooking. It’s an excellent stand-in for marrow in this dish. I love basic risotto, though I often add some herbs. When we’re in the mood for something else, I may add sautéed mushrooms, or diced chicken breast that I essentially poach in the rice. But truthfully, this Saffron Risotto is the sine qua non. This decadent amalgam of saffron, stock, Parmigiano, and rice is as comforting as it gets. It’s the perfect dish for celebrating important milestones—no matter how tired you are!
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Kimchi Fried Rice with Spicy Shrimp-and-Sesame Sauce

Chef Roy Choi’s Kimchi Fried Rice is the best way to reinvigorate day-old rice with spicy, potent kimchi. The kimchi actually sweetens when heated and adds not only its signature funk, tang, and spice but also a delicious crunch. The briny, spicy dipping sauce is the perfect punchy accompaniment.
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Chicken-Fat Rice

Chicken fat is liquid gold to chef Eric Johnson of Stateside in Seattle. Inspired by the Singapore classic, Hainanese chicken rice, the fat is used to sauté aromatics and season the rice before it simmers. You can find frozen pandan leaves, a fragrant Southeast Asian plant, at Asian grocery stores.    Slideshow: More Rice Recipes