How to make Lebanese rice

Lebanese rice pilaf with vermicelli and cinnamon

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Lebanese rice pilaf with vermicelli and cinnamon is a very simple recipe. It requires very few ingredients and pairs incredibly with mediterranean and middle eastern dishes… or anything else for that matter.

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Hello everyone!

How’s the quarantine treating ya? gone indoor crazy yet? I actually am okay, I do most of my work at home so it isn’t too bad. The one thing that has been bothering me tremendously is the fact that other people do not care as much about the situation as they should. By not caring they put everyone at risk and make this virus last a whole lot longer.

I am not going to entretain this issue too much because I am sure you too are trying to escape the never ending cycle of seeing all about the coronavirus on TV or social media then get anxious and panicky for a while.

So here I am trying to brighten your day with a super easy side dish that you can make yourself and your family at home with ingredients you probably have on hand… so no need to leave the house for this recipe!

How did this cinnamon Lebanese rice pilaf recipe come about?

I actually am not Lebanese, but I am mediterranean and the second I tried this rice at my friend’s Nagam’s graduation party, I absolutely fell in love with it. Her mom made it and I ended up getting all the leftovers because they were going on vacation the next day.

For the next few days, I became Monica. If you watch Friends at all you’d know which episode I’m talking about (Nestle Tollhouse cookies.) Trying tirelessly to find the exact ingredients of the Lebanese rice I had that night!

After a couple of trial and errors and some online research I did it! We made the perfect Lebanese rice. So now I wanted to share with you guys how to cook stovetop rice because I know that many have stocked up on rice for the quarantine without knowing how to make it exactly.

How to cook stove top rice

What is Lebanese rice?

You might be wondering what Lebanese rice is and why I’m so excited to share it with you guys today! Well, Lebanese rice is a super easy recipe, it is simply put a rice pilaf recipe.

It is made up of long white grain rice, vermicelli noodles and butter or oil. I personally prefer using butter for a richer rice dish but you can use whatever you have. It is flavored with salt and a dash of cinnamon. I have seen people dress up this side dish by adding toasted or lightly fried nuts and dried cranberries or raisins to the mix.

It makes for a very fancy side dish that everyone will fall in love with!

Ingredients for stove top rice pilaf

What ingredients do I need for Lebanese rice?

Like I said previously, this is a very simple rice side dish. The name might sound intimidating but you really do not need much. Below you will find the ingredients you need for this Lebanese rice pilaf recipe as well as some affiliate links to help you find the products that you need to make it.

  • Long grain white rice – The recipe asks for long grain white rice, but I did not have that so I used regular white rice because that’s the only rice I stocked up on for this quarantine.
  • Vermicelli noodles – Vermicelli noodles are basically short thin pasta noodles. Lebanese rice pilaf is also often called vermicelli rice.
  • Butter or oil – This is used to fry the vermicelli to get that nutty flavor. I like to use butter most of the time because it browns as you fry the vermicelli in it, but if you don’t have butter feel free to use oil at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Salt– This is going to be to taste. I would start with 2-3 teaspoons and then add more if you need to.
  • Cinnamon– This vermicelli has a light cinnamon flavor to it. If you’re not a huge fan of cinnamon omit this ingredient.
  • Parsley– This is an optional ingredient. I use the parsley to garnish the rice and give it some color.
  • Toasted nuts– I did not have any nuts on hand but if you do have nuts, your Lebanese rice side dish is going to be taken to the next level! You can use pine nuts, cashews, almonds…
  • Dried cranberries or raisins – This adds a light sweetness to the rice and makes it taste even better. I wanted

Substitutions

If you do not have vermicelli, you substitute it with angel hair spaghetti. Just make sure to break it into smaller pieces so it resembles the vermicelli noodles.

How do cook Lebanese rice?

  • First start by rinsing the rice. Continue rinsing the rice until the water runs clear. After rinsing the rice, soak it in cold water anywhere from 10-20 minutes. If you don’t have time you can skip this step but I highly recommend it.
  • Next step is to fry up the vermicelli pasta over medium heat. In a large pot, melt the butter then add in the vermicelli noodles and stir to coat them all. Stay close to the vermicelli noodles as they will brown fairly quickly. Stir frequently to avoid burning your noodles. The darker they are the more nutty the flavor will be. This step will take 4-5 minutes in total.
  • When the noodles are deep golden brown, add in the drained rice on top, top with the salt and cinnamon then give it a stir. Toast the rice for an extra 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Slowly add in the hot water into the pan and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil, stir one more time, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes.
  • Don’t uncover the pot for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the steam to finish cooking the rice. After that you can uncover the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.

Tips to make the best Lebanese rice

  • Soak the rice in cold water– You can get away with not soaking the rice for 20 minutes but I definitely recommend that you soak it if at all possible. When you soak the rice, you are eliminating excess starches from the rice. This will allow each grain to cook evenly from the inside out.
  • Stir vermicelli frequently so that it doesn’t burn – When you are frying the vermicelli you want it to turn golden brown. But it can easily burn completely if not watched and stirred frequently. This is a very easy but necessary step to get that perfect nutty flavor in the rice pilaf.

What to make with this Lebanese rice pilaf side dish?

Here are a few things you could make with this delicious rice side dish:

How to store rice pilaf

How to store this delicious Lebanese rice pilaf side dish?

Made too much? You can store your rice pilaf in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.

If you want to freeze it for later, store it in an airtight container as well and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat it again. thaw it in the fridge overnight, add 2-3 tbsp of water to it and microwave it for a couple of minutes.

IF YOU MADE SOMETHING FROM LIFESTYLEOFAFOODIE, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ALL YOUR CREATIONS AND KNOW HOW EVERYTHING TURNED OUT! SO DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND FOLLOW ALONG WITH ME ON INSTAGRAMPINTEREST, AND FACEBOOK.

Lebanese stovetop rice

Lebanese rice pilaf with vermicelli

An easy and delicious middle eastern side dish to have with anything from Kefta to vegetarian stews.
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
rest 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner, lucnh, Side Dish
Cuisine Lebanese

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup white rice
  • 1 cup vermicelli
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 4.5 cups hot water

Instructions
 

  • First start by rinsing the rice. Continue rinsing the rice until the water runs clear. After rinsing the rice, soak it in cold water anywhere from 10-20 minutes. If you don't have time you can skip this step but I highly recommend soaking the rice.
  • Next step is to fry up the vermicelli pasta over medium heat. In a large pot, melt the butter then add in the vermicelli noodles and stir to coat them all. Stay close to the vermicelli noodles as they will brown fairly quickly. Stir frequently to avoid burning your noodles. The darker they are the more nutty the flavor will be. This step will take 4-5 minutes in total.
  • When the noodles are deep golden brown, add in the drained rice on top, top with the salt and cinnamon then give it a stir. Toast the rice for an extra 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Slowly add in the hot water into the pan and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil, stir one more time, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes.
  • Don’t uncover the pot for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the steam to finish cooking the rice. After that you can uncover the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.
Keyword how to cook stove top rice, Lebanese, Lebanese cuisine, rice on the stove, Rice pilaf, rice recipe
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