Editors’ Picks: Our 13 Favorite Ways to Eat Rice

Asopao Recipe
Photo: Oriana Koren

Rice is the foundation of so, so many meals—a beloved staple in cuisines all around the world. It can be stir-fried, boiled, and steamed; served with curries and stews; and transformed into dishes like risotto and yogurt rice. We love the versatile grain so much that we decided to gather all of our favorite ways to make it in one place, with 13 recipes hand-picked by our editors. We find comfort in golden saffron risotto and clay pot rice. We have all of the alliums fried rice and ginger crispy rice on repeat. And there are the rice dishes that we’ve enjoyed since we were young, too, evoking nostalgia with every bite. Read on for all 13 ways we love to prepare it—hopefully, you’ll find some dishes you love, too.

READ MORE: Rice Is Everything: A Celebration of the World’s Most Popular Food

01 of 13

Garden Paella

Garden Paella
David Malosh

“Fresh, summer veggies, a crispy, irresistible rice crust, fragrant saffron—I can't wait to serve this paella up family-style, on repeat. It's the kind of rice dish that feels special and impressive, but actually relies on some pretty staple, accessible, quality ingredients (with easy swaps depending on what seasonal vegetables you've got on-hand). Rice is the star!” –Antara Sinha, editorial assistant

02 of 13

Pineapple Black Fried Rice

Pineapple Black Fried Rice
Johnny Miller

“I am always looking for new ideas for easy, hearty weeknight meals that I can prepare quickly for dinner with my kids without fretting too much about missing a recipe step, and chef Joseph Johnson’s pineapple black fried rice fits the bill. It makes good use of leftover rice (hearty black rice, in this case, but you can use whatever rice you have), livened up with fresh, juicy add-ins like edamame, chunks of pineapple, and bean sprouts. If you have spice-averse kids (like I do!) you can serve the chili sauce on the side for grown-ups to mix in.” –Karen Shimizu, executive editor

03 of 13

Roasted Mushroom and Vermouth Risotto

Roasted Mushroom and Vermouth Risotto
Christopher Testani

“When I was younger, mushroom risotto was one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. It was the ultimate comfort food to me—warm, hearty, and earthy, with just a hint of salt from cheese—and all these years later, it still is. I’ve never made it at home, but lately, I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Laura Rege, which promises all of those flavors I love with an extra aromatic layer from dry vermouth. I can’t wait to try it when colder weather returns later this year.” –Bridget Hallinan, staff writer

04 of 13

Hung's Clay Pot Rice

Hung's Clay Pot Rice
© Ethan Hill

“Cooking Hung Huynh’s Clay Pot Rice is all about listening. Once you hear the rice gently snapping and sizzling against the bottom of the covered pan, you know you’re ready to take it off the heat. I always use an enameled cast-iron casserole (though one day I will cook this dish in a clay pot!), and it simply always delivers the most delicious, comforting meal. Tender, perfectly steamed grains of rice, studded with savory mushrooms, scallions, ginger, and garlic, resting above a crispy, even satisfyingly crunchy, bottom layer of rice. I often omit the bacon and add in more mushrooms, but the recipe works beautifully whether laced with crispy pork or just veggies.” –Kelsey Youngman, associate food editor

05 of 13

Yogurt Rice

Yogurt Rice
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

"My go-to meals always include a base of rice, plus a handful of other ingredients for texture and flavor. I like to vary these up: sometimes it's soy sauce and an egg and maybe a sprinkle of furikake or I'll throw some leftover black beans, a spoonful of salsa, and some shredded cheese on the rice. But the one I could eat every day is yogurt rice, which combines tangy yogurt, rice, salt, and a zingy tadka, or spices toasted in ghee or oil, made with urad dal, mustard seeds, chile peppers, and curry leaves. It takes minimal effort and offers maximal comfort—hard to beat a recipe like that.” –Khushbu Shah, restaurant editor

06 of 13

Rice Pudding with Poached Rhubarb

Rice Pudding with Poached Rhubarb
© Con Poulos

“There's very little I love more than rhubarb––finding it at the farmers’ market is a true highlight of the year. I'm especially excited to bring it into the mix with one of my favorite dishes, rice pudding, which I've been enjoying since I was young. My mom used to char the top of the puddings for a crème brûlée vibe, which I think would be especially delicious here!” –Oset Babür, associate restaurant editor

07 of 13

All of the Alliums Fried Rice

All of the Alliums fried Rice
© Molly Yeh

“Molly Yeh’s All of the Alliums Fried Rice has become my go-to fried rice recipe. Not only does it pair well with pretty much anything, from Chicken Teriyaki to a cauliflower steak, but it also serves as the ultimate foundation. I’ve added to the alliums by throwing in broccoli, corn, or whatever’s in my fridge. And in the spring, I like to amp up the onion-y flavor by tossing in a healthy helping of ramps.” –Nina Friend, associate features editor

08 of 13

Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto
Jennifer Causey

"There's nothing more comforting to me than risotto. Most recipes I can whip up with things I already have on hand, making it a particularly elegant pantry meal. When I'm feeling fancy, I make this version with saffron." –Maria Yagoda, senior editor

09 of 13

Chicken Livers with Bacon, Watercress and Dirty Rice

Chicken Livers with Bacon, Watercress and Dirty Rice
© John Kernick

“In a non-pandemic year, I like to get to New Orleans as frequently as my liver and bank account will allow. That has a lot to do with having many loved ones who are blessed enough to live there, and thanks to modern technology, I've been able to keep in touch for the last while. But last I checked, dirty rice can't Zoom, and that's a tragedy. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking I could ever make this dish as well as folks like Isaac Toups, Alzina Toups, Poppy Tooker, Emeril Lagasse, Susan Spicer, Donald Link, Rebecca Wilcomb, or any of the stewards of Cajun cuisine, but until I can get back bayou-ward, this version hits the spot. It's admittedly a pinky-up take, what with the watercress garnish, and the chicken livers left whole rather than chopped into the mix, but the flavor delivers and the pickled red onions punch through the richness in such a pleasing way that I can pop an Abita and bear it until I can be in that magical city again.” –Kat Kinsman, senior editor

10 of 13

Ginger Crispy Rice with Salmon and Bok Choy

Clay Pot Crispy Ginger Rice with Salmon and Bok Choy Recipe
Victor Protasio

“The gentle heat from the clay pot yields fluffy and fragrant grains of rice with a crackly, craveable golden brown crust. This best of both worlds one-dish meal is on regular rotation at my house thanks to its endlessly customizable toppings and quick clean-up.” –Paige Grandjean, recipe developer/tester

11 of 13

Asopao

Asopao Recipe
Oriana Koren

“Chef JJ Johnson of Field Trip restaurants in New York has a way with rice, and it is just as evident in his lively rice bowls at the restaurant as it is in the soupy, comforting pot of lemon and turmeric-scented Asopao. The rice, yucca (or potato) and seasonings are simmered together then each serving is topped with savory spiced ground chicken, which offers textural and flavor contrast.” –Mary-Frances Heck, senior food editor

12 of 13

Matsutake Rice

Matsutake Rice
Eva Kolenko

“Rinsing the rice with water and then soaking it with the other ingredients before cooking gives the rice a chance to absorb more flavor than just combining and cooking immediately. The whole dish is perfumed with the bold aroma of matsutakes in the end.” –Anna Theoktisto, recipe developer/tester

13 of 13

Spicy Tuna Sushi "Biscotti"

Spicy Tuna Sushi Biscotti
Victor Protasio

“Serve these crunchy bites at your next shindig and I DARE your guests to not be impressed! The golden-crispy slabs of sticky rice require some planning ahead, but after some smart prep work, the finished bites come together quickly. Whether you choose a simple avocado topping, a stir-together spicy tuna topping, or quick-roasted miso eggplant, the crunchy rice “biscotti” are the perfect sturdy base for any and all add-ons.” –Josh Miller, food editor

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