The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (2024)

Fuchsia Dunlop’s yangzhou fried rice

Serves 4 as a main dish
raw pork fillet 25g
ham or salami 25g
cold cooked chicken 25g
dried shiitake mushrooms 2, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, stalks discarded
bamboo shoot 25g (optional)
spring onions 3, green parts only
egg 1, plus 1 egg yolk (optional)
cooking oil 5 tbsp
small peeled prawns 25g, fresh or frozen, cooked or uncooked
fresh or frozen peas, peeled broad beans or cooked green soy beans 25g
Shaoxing wine 2 tsp
chicken stock 200ml
Thai fragrant rice 600g cooked and cooled (300g when raw)

Cut the pork, ham or salami, chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoot into small dice. Finely slice the spring onion greens. Beat the egg and season to taste (add an extra yolk if you wish to give the cooked egg an intense yellow colour).

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over a high flame. Add the raw pork and prawns and stir-fry briefly, until the pork is pale. Add the ham, chicken, mushrooms, peas or beans and bamboo shoot and continue to stir-fry for a minute or two, until everything is hot and sizzling. Add the Shaoxing wine, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt to taste, then pour off into a bowl.

Rinse and dry the wok. Return it to the heat with the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the beaten egg mixture and swirl around the base. When the egg is half-cooked, add all the rice and stir-fry, using your ladle or wok scoop to break up any lumps. When the rice is very hot and smells delicious (it will make a popping sound around the edges at this stage), add the bowlful of prepared ingredients in their stock sauce. Mix well and continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds or so, seasoning with salt or pepper if you wish. Finally, stir in the spring onion greens and serve.

From Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop (Bloomsbury, £25). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £20

Nigel Slater’s pilaf of asparagus, broad beans and mint

The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (1)

Enough for 2
broad beans a couple of handfuls, podded
asparagus spears 12 thin ones
white basmati rice 120g
butter 50g
bay leaves 3
green cardamom pods 6, lightly crushed
black peppercorns 6
cinnamon stick 1
cloves 2 or 3 - no more
cumin seeds small pinch
thyme a couple of sprigs
spring onions 4 thin ones
parsley 3 or 4 sprigs

To accompany the pilaf
mint 2 tbsp, chopped
olive oil 2 tbsp
yoghurt 200g

Cook the broad beans in deep, lightly salted, boiling water for four minutes, until almost tender, then drain. Trim the asparagus and cut it into short lengths. Boil or steam for three minutes, then drain. Wash the rice three times in cold water, moving the grains around with your fingers. Cover with warm water, add a teaspoon of salt and set aside for a good hour.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the bay, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and sprigs of thyme. Stir them round in the butter for a minute or two, until the fragrance wafts up. Drain the rice and tip it into the warmed spices. Cover with a centimetre of water and bring to the boil. Season with salt, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Finely slice the spring onions. Chop the parsley.

After five minutes, remove the lid and gently fold in the asparagus, broad beans, spring onions and parsley. Replace the lid and continue cooking for five or six minutes, until the rice is tender but has some bite. All the water should have been absorbed. Leave, with the lid on but the heat off, for two or three minutes. Remove the lid, add a knob of butter if you wish, check the seasoning and fluff gently with a fork.

Stir mint, salt and olive oil into the yoghurt. You could add a small clove of crushed garlic, too. Spoon over the pilaf .

From Tender Vol I by Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate, £30). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £24

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s maqluba

The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (2)

Serves 4-6
aubergines 2 medium (650g in total), cut into 0.5cm slices
basmati rice 320g
boneless chicken thighs 6-8, skin on, about 800g in total
onion 1 large, peeled and quartered lengthways
black peppercorns 10
bay leaves 2
sunflower oil for frying
cauliflower 1 medium (500g), divided into large florets
melted butter for greasing the pan
medium ripe tomatoes 3-4 (350g in total), cut into 0.5-cm thick slices
garlic 4 large cloves, halved
ground turmeric 1 tsp
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
ground allspice 1 tsp
ground black pepper ¼ tsp
baharat spice mix (shop-bought or make your own) 1 tsp
pine nuts 30g, fried in 15g of ghee or unsalted butter until golden

For the yoghurt with cucumber
mini cucumbers (200g in total)
Greek yoghurt 500g
garlic 1 clove, crushed
cayenne pepper a pinch
dried mint 1 tbsp
fresh mint 2 tbsp, chopped
lemon juice 2 tbsp
salt ½ tsp
ground white pepper ¼ tsp

Place the aubergine slices on a piece of kitchen paper, sprinkle with some salt on both sides and leave for 20 minutes to lose some of the water.

Wash the rice and soak in plenty of cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up a large saucepan and sear the chicken over a medium–high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown (the chicken skin should produce enough oil to cook it; if needed, add a little sunflower oil). Add the onion, peppercorns, bay leaves and 900ml of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock and set it aside. Drain the stock and reserve for later, skimming the fat.

While the chicken is cooking, heat up a saucepan or casserole dish over a medium–high heat, preferably non-stick, that is roughly 24cm in diameter and 12cm high. Add enough sunflower oil to come about 2cm up the sides of the pan. When you start seeing little bubbles surfacing, carefully (it may spit!) place some of the cauliflower florets in the oil and fry until golden brown, up to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the first batch onto kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.

Pat-dry the auberginewith kitchen paper and fry them similarly in batches.

Remove the oil from your pan and wipe it clean. If it isn’t a non-stick pan line the base with a circle of baking parchment cut to the exact size and brush the sides with some melted butter. Now you are ready to layer the maqluba.

Start by arranging the slices of tomato in one layer, overlapping, followed by the aubergine slices. Next, arrange the cauliflower pieces and chicken thighs. Drain the rice well and spread it over the final layer and scatter the garlic pieces on top. Measure out 700ml of the reserved chicken stock and mix in all the spices, plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour this over the rice and then gently press it down with your hands making sure all the rice is covered with stock. Add a little extra stock or water if needed.

Put the pan on a medium heat and bring to a simmer; the stock doesn’t need to simmer vigorously but you do need to make sure that it boils properly before covering the pan with a lid, reducing the heat to low and cooking on low heat for 30 minutes. Don’t be tempted to uncover the pan; you’ll need to allow the rice to steam properly. Remove the pot from the heat, take off the lid and quickly place a clean tea towel over the pot, then seal with the lid again. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Once ready, remove the lid and place a large round serving plate over the open pan and carefully but quickly invert the pan holding both sides firmly. Leave the pot on the plate for 2–3 minutes then slowly and carefully lift it off. Garnish with the pine nuts and serve with the chilled yoghurt with cucumber.

Yoghurt with cucumbers

Peel the cucumbers and cut them into very thin slices. Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl, add the cucumbers and check the seasoning. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

From Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ebury, £27). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £21.60

Marcella Hazan’s risotto with parmesan

The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (3)

Serves 4 to 6
homemade meat broth 1.2 litres
butter 45g
vegetable oil 2 tbsp
onion 2 tbsp, very finely chopped
risotto rice 450g
parmigiano-reggiano 75g, freshly grated
fresh or tinned white truffle (optional) 15g

Bring the broth to a very slow, steady simmer on a burner near where you’ll be cooking the risotto.

Put 1 tbsp of butter, the vegetable oil and the chopped onion in a broad, sturdy pot, turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté the onion until it becomes translucent. Add the rice and stir quickly and thoroughly until the grains are well coated. Add 100ml simmering broth and cook the rice, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon, wiping the sides and bottom of the pot clean as you stir, until all the liquid is gone. You must never stop stirring and you must frequently scrape the bottom of the pot completely clean or the rice will stick to it.

When there is no more liquid in the pot, add another 100ml, continuing always to stir in the manner described above. Maintain the heat at a lively pace.

Begin to taste the rice after 20 minutes’ cooking. It is done when it is tender but firm to the bite. As it approaches that stage, gradually reduce the amount of liquid you add, so that when it is fully cooked it is slightly moist but not runny.

When the rice is about 1 or 2 minutes away from being fully cooked, add all the grated parmesan and the remaining butter. Stir constantly to melt the cheese and wrap it around the grains. Off the heat, taste and correct for salt, stirring after adding any.

Transfer to a platter and serve promptly. Shave the white truffle over it, using either a truffle slicer or a swivelling-blade vegetable peeler.

From The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan (Boxtree, £30). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £24

Giorgio Locatelli’s arancini di carne

The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (4)

Makes about 10
chicken stock or water 1.6 litres
arborio rice 500g
saffron threads a pinch (about 15)
pecorino cheese 60g, grated
fine breadcrumbs about 1kg
vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the filling
olive oil
onion 1 medium, finely chopped
carrot 1, finely chopped
celery stalk 1 finely chopped

minced beef (not extra lean) or pork 400g
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
red wine 120ml
chopped tomatoes 1 x 400g tin
cooked peas 50g
tuma (Sicilian unsalted sheeps’ milk cheese) or mozzarella 100g, cut into small cubes

For the pastella
plain flour 350g
water 500ml

Bring the stock or water to the boil in a pan, add the rice, salt and saffron, bring back to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, leave to rest for a minute, then quickly beat in the pecorino. Set aside to cool completely.

While the rice cools, prepare the filling. Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook gently until soft, but not coloured.

Add the meat, season with salt and pepper, cook for few minutes, then add the wine and bubble up to evaporate the alcohol. Add the tinned tomatoes and cook gently for 1 hour. You need the sauce around the meat to be quite thick. Set aside to cool down, then stir in the peas and the cubes of cheese.

To make the pastella, beat the flour, egg and 500ml of water in a bowl. Have ready the breadcrumbs, in a separate, shallow bowl. Wet your hands to stop the rice from sticking, then take a tangerine-sized ball of rice mixture and press your thumb in the centre to make a hollow. Spoon in a little of the meat filling, then close the rice around it and form it into a ball. Dip each one into the pastella and then into the breadcrumbs, making sure they are completely covered in crumbs and pressing them lightly, to make sure the crumbs cling.

Heat around 8cm of vegetable oil in a large pan, making sure the oil doesn’t come any higher than a third of the way up the pan. The oil must be hot, but not smoking, before you add the arancini (if you have a thermometer it should be around 170C, otherwise test it by putting in a few breadcrumbs – if they sizzle gently the oil is ready). Working in batches (being careful not to crowd the pan), fry the arancini for about 4–5 minutes, moving them around until they are golden all over. Drain well on kitchen paper and serve hot.

From Made in Sicily by Giorgio Locatelli (Fourth Estate, £30). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £24

The 20 best rice recipes: part 3 (2024)
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