I’m drowning in rice — someone throw me a buoy!

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What do with all this fucking rice? By: Rob & DaniCC BY 2.0
A month ago or so I was at the grocery store and brown rice was on sale. I said to myself, “Self, we’ve been meaning to make the switch to brown rice, looks like now’s the time” and I threw a big ol’ bag in my cart. I got it home, to find that not only did I buy entirely too much for just me and my husband, but I also still had a metric crap-ton of white rice sitting in my pantry.

What can I do with all this rice? It’s taking up valuable real estate in my pantry, but I hate waste so I don’t want to just throw it away. Any ideas for fantastic rice-ridden recipes or other uses for rice, of both the white and brown variety? -Kathleen

Comments on I’m drowning in rice — someone throw me a buoy!

  1. Gumbo! Since it’s Mardi Gras, laissez les bons temps rouler!

    There’s a lot of recipes for Gumbo online, here’s a fairly basic one for a crockpot. The great thing about gumbo (besides the fact that it’s delicious and talking about it is making me really, really hungry) is that you can use whatever kind of meat you have on hand (chicken, shrimp, sausage, duck) in any kind of combination.


  2. I use a lot of rice, probably because I can’t really eat pasta or bread (gluten). I almost always make sure to have extras in my fridge. We throw it in stir frys, slow cooker soups, jambalaya, stews and a ton of other stuff.

    My favourites though:

    Rice Burrito Bowl: (basically a burrito or taco in a bowl, on top of rice).
    Meat or Veggie toppings of choice,
    Greek Yogurt (or sour cream),

    Put about a cup of rice in a bowl and top it like you would a taco, burrito or fajita. Then NOM. Super easy, which is why I love it for lunches. Makes killer use of leftover meat, rice and veg from the night before.

    Brown Rice Tea (Genmaicha): I use the linked recipe, it’s pretty foolproof.

    Rice Tuna bowl thingy:
    1 Can of Tuna,
    Stir Fry Sauce of Choice (I like to keep it simple with a mixture of soy, honey and fish sauce).
    Frozen veg (corn, peas, edemame, etc)
    Grated cheese
    Leftover rice from the night before.

    Mix everything into a bowl (or two, this usually makes enough for two if you have enough rice and veg). Pop into the toaster oven (or microwave), and cook until the cheese is melted and the frozen veggies are warm.

    I’m also totally addicted to bibimbap, this is probably one of my favourite ways of eating rice. I could actually eat this everyday.
    (I use thinly sliced round steak for this one, or go veggie with kimchi)

    • I did this for this past Christmas! I made like 18 of them (went through two of those HUGE bags of rice) mixed a few drops of peppermint oil into each batch. I gave them to various family members and important people in my life. I saved a lot of money and every one of them was thrilled with the gift. 🙂

      • Similar concept, but you could probably make a super-long one out of old pantyhose or long socks to use as a draft blocker at the base of doors and/or windows.

    • You don’t even have to sew, I bought some cheap “boot” socks, filled with rice, knotted the ends. Nuke for 3 min to heat up, make great foot warmers in a cold bed and the sock shape is great for draping over a shoulder to sooth sore muscles after shoveling snow.

  3. I keep the metal pieces to my food processor/blender/grinder in a bag of rice to keep them from rusting. The rice wicks any moisture away from the metals which keeps them from oxidizing so quickly.

  4. Gumbo, fried rice, paella, pilaf are all good go-to rice recipes. You could also toast the rice and mix it with loose green tea for homemade Genmaicha. You can also put some in your salt to prevent it from clumping. I also like the suggestion of making your own heating pads (like a Magic Bag)

    Otherwise, my only other suggestion is…make a lot of dinners that include rice as a side dish (curry, satay, etc)?

    • Mmmm paella. So good.

      I make fried rice almost every week as one of my staple meals, but I really do it up into a whole meal and vary the seasonings. Take a whole bunch of vegetables that are in the fridge or freezer and stir-fry or saute those first (experiment! fresh beets, bell peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, onions, broccoli, bamboo, snow peas, pineapple…). Then add cooked rice (it doesn’t clump/mush as much if it is cold, but hot also works). Mix it all together with soy sauce and optional spices (some combination of cayenne, curry powder, lemongrass, ginger, etc). Taste and adjust. When the rice is hot, carve out a spot in the middle or on one side of the pan and cook a scrambled egg or two, then mix that in too. If you want an extra protein, cook it in a separate pan and mix it in at the end.

      101cookbooks.com also has some great brown rice bowl recipes.

  5. Soup!! Take any good soup recipe, switch the potatoe for a cup of rice. Rice is much creamier than potatoes for texture, it’s simply delicious. Here’s my favorite carrot soup:

    1 cup of uncooked rice
    3-4 cups of grated carrots
    1 tablespoon of ground ginger
    Salt and pepper as desired
    Cover with chicken broth
    Boil until the rice is cooked, add water if needed
    Put everything in the blender
    Enjoy. 🙂

  6. Would you be opposed to giving it away? If the rice is unopened, you could donate it to a food pantry, or you could give it to friends. Maybe do like those hot chocolate jars some people do at Christmas, but it’s a rice pudding recipe, and you include the rice and spices in the jar with the instructions to add the milk? I like the rice heat bag suggestion above.

  7. Rice milks and/or horchata! Soak rice overnight (or longer), blend w/sugar or honey to taste (add cinnamon for horchata), strain through mesh sieve. Makes a good milk for cereal, drinking etc and so much healthier, cheaper and easier on the planet than dairy.
    Also, lightly toast brown rice, grind it up, and cook it as a hot cereal like oatmeal.

  8. Rice pudding and stir fry over rice are pretty much the main way I eat rice. My very Italian aunt makes these fried cheesy rice ball things that are pretty darn good (and yes I realize how non descriptive that is!)

  9. Stir fry. Whatever vegetables you like, saute them in olive oil and throw in some steamed rice. Meat of any kind is optional. My favorite quick stir fry is chicken, peas, and rice seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper.

  10. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that includes brown rice:

    Indian Lentils with Rice
    Serves 4

    2 tbs vegetable or olive oil
    2 medium yellow onions thinly sliced ( 2.5 cups)
    3 cups chicken broth or water
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tsp. each ground curry and cumin powder
    1/2 tsp each ground cardamon, cinnamon, ginger
    1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
    1/8 tsp sugar
    1 cup tomato juice (tomato sauce diluted with water is what I used)
    3/4 cup long-grain brown rice
    3/4 cup dried brown lentils
    4 small carrots, peeled & sliced 1/4 inch thick (2 cups)
    1 cup nonfat plain yogurt (optional)
    1 tbs. minced parsley (optional)

    1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over moderately high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth or water, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Uncover, raise the heat to moderate, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes more or until the onions are golden.

    2. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder, cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, red pepper, sugar, remaining 2 3/4 cups of broth, tomato juice, rice, lentils, and carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

    3. Uncover and stir the mixture. If it seems dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water until the liquid just covers it. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Top portion with 1/4 cup of yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs if desired.

  11. After living in Thailand for 2 years my best advice is to channel the Thais who eat rice 3 meals a day! You don’t honestly need to eat it that often because it won’t go bad but research some Thai recipes online for tons of options over rice. Indian food incorporates a lot of rice too. Also you can try fun rice things like rice pudding and homemade rice cakes. The possibilities are endless!

    • We eat rice like it’s going out of fashion! Hubs and I are totes white European types, but eat stir fries and curries 5 times a week.
      So… I don’t see your over abundance of rice as a problem actually ;D
      Good luck!

  12. I was just thinking this morning that I need some ideas for rice for lunch this week, since I made a big batch yesterday! I love all of the suggestions on here – it all looks so tasty!

    My favorite rice is what I call Garlic Stir Fry. I came up with this after my doctor told me I could no longer have soy:

    2 tablespoons butter
    1.5 cups cooked, day old rice
    1 cup frozen mixed veggies
    1 Egg
    Garlic powder
    Kosher salt (not necessary if using salted butter)
    Black pepper, preferably from a grinder
    Large skillet/fry pan or Wok

    Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat. Add rice and veggies and toss to coat. Sprinkle on spices to taste (in my case, a lot of garlic powder) and stir it up. Push some the rice and veggie mixture over to the side a bit to clear a space in roughly 1/4 of the pan. Crack in the egg and season with spices. Let cook for a minute or two, then scramble yolk with spatula and flip. Allow to cook for another minute, then break the egg up into smaller pieces with your spatula and incorporate into the rest of the dish. Everything is done as soon as all of the rice and veggies are heated through.

  13. As someone who buys white rice in 20 lb increments and keeps 2-5 lb of brown rice on hand, I never really thought of anyone having “too much” rice. Of course, we eat rice all the time, so there’s that.

    Dishes that can be served with rice: curries (Indian, Thai, Japanese, etc), lentils, stir fry, chili, soups.
    Dishes that are almost solely rice: Spanish rice, pilaf, Jambalaya, Indian Pulao/Biryani, Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice, Tomato Rice, Coconut Rice, fried rice.

    My Lazy Spicy Rice: Cook diced onions and minced garlic (if you have it), add 1 cup rice and lightly brown (if you have other veggies, add them too). Add packet of taco seasonings (probably only half the packet, but that’s your judgement call), a can of tomatoes, and water. Cook for about half an hour or until the rice is soft. Eat with warmed black/pinto beans and whatever else you have on hand (cheese, guacamole, salsa, etc.). I tend to make a lot of rice, so that I can have plenty of leftovers. You can add the leftovers to breakfast burritos (rice + eggs = yum), tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, whatever you wish.

    • We just don’t have the storage space to have that much on hand. Fantastic ideas though! I love your lazy spicy rice recipe. Basically any recipe with the word lazy in it works for me. 🙂

      • We cook with a LOT of rice, so buying large bags are cost effective and convenient for us (we probably go through 50+ lb of rice a year). We don’t have a lot of kitchen space, but we bought a rice dispenser at the local Asian grocery store and it’s definitely helped us keep our rice fresh and handy.

        Most of my recipes involve a variety of leftover ideas. I’m lazy, and cooking one large thing to combine with 3-5 small things lets me eat the same stuff all week without getting too bored 🙂

    • That’s more or less what I would suggest too – I really like the taco seasoning idea, though. Even faster & easier! To summarize:
      – rice
      – canned tomatoes (some are even already spiced)
      – tomato sauce, water, broth or a mixture of them
      – chili powder / other seasonings
      (- anything else you want: bell peppers – possibly also canned, beans, frozen corn, olives, salsa, etc.)
      If you’re of the meat-eating persuasion, you can also sautee some chicken with chili powder, taco seasoning or whathaveyou (onions, garlic, peppers) and then just add the tomatoes, rice & liquid on top

      You can do basically the same thing as a very rice-heavy curry:
      – sautee chicken in some oil and curry powerder (or skip it)
      – add water or broth
      – add rice
      – cook
      It’s not much (especially when you leave the chicken out), but then you can add some almond slivers, a can of pineapple, a can of mandarin oranges, raisins, coconut flakes, etc.
      You can also sautee some little pits of spaghetti to make those little brown-bits like in rice-a-roni, but I’m usually to lazy for that.

      Anyway, I love these because it’s one-pot cooking! 🙂

  14. You know, as a whole grain, rice can last in a sealed container for several years, so you don’t need to hurry to eat it up.

    If you have any dried flower arrangements. you can put rice in the vase instead of those weird styrofoam blocks. Rice also takes food coloring really well, so you could go crazy with colors.

    If you make a ton, throw some cooked rice in a pot with some milk and honey to make rice pudding. Our favorite use of rice in cooking is to make a stew, like gumbo or cacciatore, for cold nights.

    You can mix it in with wet food to feed to your pets (only use brown rice, I would hate to think what white rice would do to your pets)

    The interenets suggested running some rice through your coffee grinder to get rid of the coffee oil build up. We put some in all our salt containers to keep it from clumping.

    • I don’t think that white rice should do any harm to pets that brown rice wouldn’t. White rice is just brown rice minus the husks. There is nothing in white rice that is not in brown rice, white rice just has less vitamins and fiber than brown rice.
      But I would check with a vet or other reliable source of health information about your particular species of pet before feeding pets rice, or any other people food, in any large quantities. Things that are fine for one species to eat can be toxic to another species (e.g. chocolate is dangerous to dogs and turtles can happily eat plants containing levels of alkaloids that are toxic to humans).

  15. How about making some art. mix the rice with food coloring and water (pretend you are in pre-school again) If you have any pets you can DIY pet toys with the rice inside so it makes a noise when you shake it. Cats and dogs with sensitive stomach will be put on a rice and chicken diet. You can call a local pet shelter and see if they have any need for the rice. You can do a pay it forward, make a couple of rice dishes and pass then off to your neighbors. Maybe they will feel incline to send something back (if you are lucky it wont be rice based)

  16. We use it to display our jewelery at craft shows. It makes a nice offwhite background fo lage pieces including those which are uneven on the back because they nestle into the rice.
    Make your own pre-mized dishes. (***There’s another offbeathome post that talks about rice cookers – I’d go find it but my browser cant’s handle more than a few tabs.***) Dehydrate some veg a nd herbs and mix with rice. Then just toss it into your cooker!
    And here’s a thought: 1. Cooked Rice freezes well (Actually, I imagine raw rice wouldn’t suffer from being frozen either) 2. It’s a good idea to fill up empty spaces in your freezer for energy efficienccy/in case of a power outage, . ‘ . (That’s a therefore) Store rice in the freezer. If you store portion sized cooked rice (freeze in in muffin cups) It’s pretty much instant meal.

  17. Risotto! Sure, it wouldn’t be 100% authentic if it’s not arborio rice, but regular rice still produces a yummy dish. And then you can make risotto balls with the leftovers!

    Also, at times when we’re not feeling inspired or energetic, we’ll have a dinner of rice mixed with bits of whatever veggies and protein we have on hand, topped with cheese sauce.

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