The Faithful Companion of the Lebanese Cuisine:
The Vermicelli Rice of Sha’iriyeh
And it’s the main reason why it earns a page in my blog despite its simplicity. Our Vermicelli Rice is so cooked in our daily cuisine as an essential dish to many of our stews, yogurt dishes and you name it!
The name might sound Italian to you, but it is only an indication. It is, in fact, called Rez Sha’iriyeh,
Sha’iriyeh is the very finely made ingredient we produce from our abundance of wheat. It is also a main component of several Lebanese pastries.
Our Vermicelli Rice is the unfailing companion of the Beef and Green Bean Stew, the Lamb in Yogurt known as Laban Oummo, the Green Pea Stew, the Shish Barak which is made of meat dumplings cooked in yogurt, and the list goes on and on.
To brief it in its simplicity, the Vermicelli is crushed by hand to make them even smaller as we drop them in hot oil. We stir constantly for a couple of minutes until softly brown.
We then add the soaked rice, season with salt, mix it all well, and leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Easy measy 🙂
TIP: For an even healthier recipe, without salt, here is a tip I learned from my mother and that I have adopted for years.
Substitute the salt with 1 small clove of minced garlic. The garlic will flavor the rice well enough to avoid the salt, and the rice turns even… Yummier!
You might want to bookmark this page as I will be referring you to it constantly to complete our other main dishes requiring this rice.
A Golden Tip to maintain your cooked rice warm or hot until serving time:
We do wish so when we are receiving guests and have various dishes to prepare, don’t we? This practice will allow you to prepare your rice four hours ahead, maintaining its temperature.
Enjoy it! Life is Good!
Lebanese Rice Vermicelli
- 2 cups Rice (long grain) washed and soaked with cold water for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup Vermicelli
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Salt + an optional dash of Pepper
- 3 cups Water
Heat the vegetable oil in the rice pan.
Press on the vermicelli to crush them as you drop them on the oil.
Decrease the heat to medium, and stir until they turn a dark beige or a soft brown.
NOTE: Be pending on this part as it is quickly done and the vermicelli tend to burn.
Strain the rice from its water, and mix it in the vermicelli for 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
At boiling point, cover the pan and reduce the heat to Low.
Leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all water has evaporated.
Your Lebanese Vermicelli Rice is now done! Enjoy!
TIP TO CONSERVE YOUR RICE TEMPERATURE UNTIL SERVING TIME
I learned this trick from my mother and have been always practicing it for decades with all my Rice recipes when I am cooking for guests. It applies to all culinary preparations that include rice. I recommend it to make it easy on you when you are preparing several dishes and you have to cook hours ahead.
When your rice is completed, top it with the lid, wrap well the pan with two thick clean towels, and store it in a closed area: the (unheated) oven or the microwave.
Your rice will remain hot for 4 hours!