This is a classic Egyptian Rice, a short grain rice with vermicelli that gives you delicious fluffy rice perfect as a side dish for many Middle Eastern dishes.
What is Egyptian rice?
Egyptian rice is a white short to medium grain rice very commonly consumed in the Middle East, usually cooked with vermicelli.
It’s the side dish served with many common Middle Eastern stews, and comes together very easily.
It’s one of two types of rice very frequently prepared in the Middle East, with the other being Basmati rice.
Why should you make this rice?
It’s a foolproof, really simple recipe. By going with a low water to rice ration (1:1), you ensure you don’t get sticky, gluey rice. Also, using this simple ratio makes it easier to halve or double the recipe depending on your requirements.
The rice is fluffy, soft and a really great accompaniment to any main dish. The vermicelli gives really nice visual appeal, and a little extra flavor and texture.
Kids will love this, mine love that this is a little sticker than basmati rice, kind of reminiscent of Jasmine rice.
It’s basically 2 ingredients, plus salt and oil. Simple!
Ingredients you need to make Egyptian rice:
Vermicelli– I usually get the vermicelli that’s already broken up into 1/2 inch pieces, but if you get the longer vermicelli, you can easily break it up with your hands before cooking.
Salt- A healthy pinch, one to soak the rice with, and another to add flavor to the rice
Oil- Usually ghee or vegetable oil is used to fry the vermicelli and toast the rice, I used vegetable oil.
Water- As mentioned earlier, a 1:1 ratio of water to rice.
How to make this rice:
- It’s as simple as first soaking the rice in room temperature water with salt, enough water to comfortably cover the rice.
- Drain the rice well, and rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear.
- In a large saucepan, add the vegetable oil on medium high heat until hot, then add the vermicelli, and pan fry for a few minutes until golden brown, watching carefully because vermicelli can burn quite easily.
- Add the drained rice, and toast for a few minutes until rice turns opaque. This is another step that helps guard against sticky rice, because it gets rid of extra starch.
- Add the water and the salt, stir to combine, bring to a boil then reduce temperature and simmer 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- Remove rice from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Enjoy!
What to serve this rice with:
Anything really! Any stew or curry or sauce based main dish would work well. You can also serve it as a side to chicken, meat, etc.
Try some of these Middle Eastern stews:
Storing leftover rice:
Store leftover rice for up to two days before reheating. You can either reheat in the microwave, or in a saucepan on the burner over low heat with the cover on.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
- 2 cups Egyptian rice
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup vermicelli noodles, broken into small pieces
- 2 cups water
- big pinch of salt
- Soak the rice in water with a pinch of salt for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Set rinsed rice aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the vermicelli and toast for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully as vermicelli can burn easily.
- Once vermicelli has toasted, add the rinsed rice, stir to combine the rice and vermicelli together and toast until the rice turns opaque, a couple minutes, stirring throughout.
- Add the water to the top of the rice. It should just cover the rice by about 1/2 inch or so, if you need to you can add another splash of water. Add the salt, and stir again.
- Bring the rice water mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Once rice has cooked through and water is absorbed, remove from the heat but leave covered for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid, and fluff the rice with a fork and serve.