Hello FITME family, I just finished the last revision of my cookbook hoo wee! As I get ready for the printing phase, I thought I would share with you a little recipe in the meantime that is foundational to Middle Eastern cuisine. Sometimes you just want a rice that goes with everything, and vermicelli rice is an all around favorite dish throughout the Levant, from Lebanon and Palestine to Syria and Jordan. Basically thin vermicelli noodles are sauteed in olive oil and butter until they are golden brown, which adds a buttery and nutty flavor to the rice.
I used to literally eat gobs of this rice all by itself as a kid (I really miss those carb loading days). I had cousins that mixed cinnamon and sugar with this rice as a dessert, but I loved it plain or with any kind of stew that my mamma used to make. There is a similar variation of this rice that is also popular in Mexico called Fideo. That is what I love about universal dishes like this–people can enjoy this rice from the Middle East to Latin America and not realize they are connected through food! This recipe is vegetarian, as I used water to cook the rice, but you can also change it up by using any kind of broth, or use an extra tablespoon of olive oil without the butter to make it vegan. So, if you need an easy side dish for Easter or any night of the week, give this a try! Check out the easy method in the video drop below!
Arabic Style Vermicelli Rice
- 2 cups white rice
- ½ cup vermicelli noodles broken into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups plus 2 tbsp water
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil, then add the vermicelli noodles. Saute the noodles until browned and crispy, then add the rice and stir for another minute. Add the water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.