Saturday, October 10, 2009


I was rummaging in my pantry the other day, pawing through all my jars of pasta & rice and realized I had five different kinds of rice. Is this normal? Does one girl really need this many rice options? There was brown, aborio, jasmine, red/brown, and wild rice.

I have always loved rice. When I was a kid, Minute Rice was one of the first things I learned to cook. I would eat it alone with just butter and salt. Wild rice has always been the delicacy of rice with me. I was born on an Indian reservation in Minnesota where wild rice is still cultivated. Every once in a while my dad will send me a bag of this gold and I ration it as much as possible. Again, butter & salt is all I need in a big bowl of wild rice to make me purr.

I live in Hawaii, where sticky rice is the local rice of choice. When I first moved here and had some friends over, I served jasmine rice. A local girl pulled me aside and gave me the "Sister, what's up with the rice?" conversation. Sorry guys, but I must say, sticky rice doesn't do it for me. Jasmine or basmati is just much more fun.

All these years, I have never been a fan of brown rice. Ah, but things have changed. My favorite little hole in the wall Thai place in Chinatown, called Fort Street Cafe serves their killer curries with the choice of white or brown rice. I, of course, always opted for white. But the boyfriend always goes with brown. Which isn't just brown, but the brown & red rice. Slowly, I have been converted. It's not the dry, boring, oh too healthy stuff of my memories, but it's slightly nutty & actually really good. And now, my pantry has welcomed both of these new additions to the shelves.

The last member of my rice collection is aborio, which is the stuff of my beloved risotto. Sometimes it's hard to find it in my neighborhood. We are sadly lacking fancy Italian ingredients. So when I see it at Safeway, I always gobble up a box.

So whether it's swimming in a spicy chicken curry, sitting under some teriyaki chicken, or with a simple dressing of butter and salt, I guess for me, you can never have too many different kinds of rice!

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