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. My mom always made Spanish rice with brown rice. Saute garlic, onion, and green pepper in olive oil then mix it up with cooked rice, a can of tomatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, and maybe a spoonful of sour cream or some cooked beans. Put it all in a casserole dish topped with some shredded cheese then bake till it’s bubbly. Good filling for stuffed peppers too.

  2. my favorite rice-heavy dish is moros y christianos (what a name): http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/foodie-friday-coming-up-for-air/

    but also, there’s always the “throw whatever it is you usually eat over a pile of rice” method. not so hot with noodles or salad, but otherwise pretty simple and effective.

    and, if you don’t have a pest problem in your house, you can make draft-dodgers for your doors – helpful if you live in a super-drafty old house like we do. i made mine with heavy-duty tights that got holes in the toes – cut the leg off, fill with rice, knot end. they’re kind of too squishy, though, so i would really recommend the sew two long socks together method i’ve seen elsewhere (or you could actually make them out of fabric or something).

  3. We make our own dog food with brown rice:

    6 cups water
    2 cups brown rice
    1 pound ground chicken or turkey
    1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
    Pinch of herbs for flavor (rosemary or thyme, or whatever you have on hand)

    Put the water, rice, meat and herbs in a large pot on the stove. Break up the meat, bring to a boil, then back the heat down to medium and cook until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen veggies about 5-10 minutes before the water is completely absorbed.

  4. Not sure if this has been mentioned, but rice can be used to wick the moisture out of small electronics that have taken an unsolicited dip in some liquid. Cover the wet item entirely in a bowl of rice and don’t touch it for 24 hours to pull out as much moisture as you can. It doesn’t always work, but it has rescued a few iPods in our house!

  5. I love rice! Mostly we eat it with stir-fry and curry (tons of good Indian curries!), but probably the most rice-heavy dish I know is Gallo Pinto.

    To make Gallo Pinto (“Painted Rooster” — basically rice & beans):

    Soak and cook some dried beans (black, pinto, kidney, romano, whatever floats your boat), or use canned ones. Keep some of the liquid.
    Cook white rice with an equal volume of water (e.g. 1 c. rice with 1 c. water). This will take less time than rice usually takes to cook, and the rice should still be pretty chewy. (For the foodies out there, I find that a short-grain rice, such as calrose, works really nicely. However, any rice will do).
    Fry some onion in a fair bit of oil (so that the rice doesn’t stick later). When the onion is translucent (not browned), add the half-cooked rice, the beans in their juice, a good-sized splort of ketchup (or some tomatoes and a little sweetener), and a nice squirt of lemon juice (use a little more if you aren’t using ketchup), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook it all together for a bit, until the rice and beans are hot, and the flavours combine a bit. The rice will still be a bit chewy when done. If you like cilantro, you can throw some on when you bring the gallo pinto to the table; if not, just leave it off.

    (Sorry this isn’t a more detailed recipe, but I learned how to make it from a friend who spent some time in South America, and this is about the specificity of her “recipe”.)

    The good news is that rice keeps basically indefinitely, so aside from it taking up more than its share of your living space, there’s really no problem with taking a while to go through it. I like different kinds of rice for different things, and we generally get our rice in fairly large bags from the local Asian grocery, so I think we probably have 15+ lbs of rice right now — basmati for Indian food, calrose for gallo pinto and other things I want short-grain rice for, sushi rice for (what else?) sushi, and I think we have a smidge of ordinary long-grain white rice (although once we use that up, I want to get some jasmine rice to go under thai food…).

  6. Rice keeps just fine for long periods, being a dried grain and all that, I wouldn’t stress too hard.

    Having said that, my Hubby’s South African, a common practice in that country/culture, is to eat rice with roasts etc. Hubby is also kind of a freak, and doesn’t like potatos (nope, not even chips) so rice is a frequnt replacement for mashed potato in our house, and eaten in the same way, drenched with gravey. Sounds weird when you first hear about it, but trust me, it’s delicious.

  7. When I was a kid, whenever we had rice for dinner Mom made twice as much as we would need. Then the next morning for breakfast we top it with cinnamon, sugar, raisins and milk. It’s yummy hot or cold.

    • We made this at the summer camp I went to as a teenager and I still do it sometimes when I have leftover rice. I put brown sugar and/or maple suryp and whatever fruit I can get my hands on (Raisins, dried cranberries, diced apple, banana) in the rice and microwave it. I usually do it with brown rice, but it would probably be good with white rice, too. Not sure how well it would work with long grain rice.

  8. To help clean a small necked bottle or vase, you can but a little bit of rice in the bottle with some soapy water and shake it vigorously. The rice adds some abrasion to scrub the inside of the bottle.

    Rice is also good for absorbing water. You can put a few grains in a salt shaker to keep the salt from clumping or dry out electronics that have gotten wet by burying them in rice. You might also be able to use a cloth packet of rice to keep moisture down in storage boxes. I’ve never actually heard anyone suggest it, but it seems like it should work okay.

  9. 2 things! Pilaf and kedgeree.

    Although it’s a bit odd, kedgeree is our xmas breakfast every year. I love love love it. With day old cooked rice, put in a wok/frying pan with flaked smoked fish, chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped parsley and then add cream to “gel” it all together. Just enough to heat everything through, should not be “cooked” as such. It shouldn’t be too wet, but just enough to hold it together rather than the rice being fluffy and dry. Crack a good amount of black pepper on the top. YUM!

    I used to regularly make an amazing chicken pilaf with leftovers. Cook up thinly sliced chicken, then cook up your chopped veges (anything you want), add rice and fry for a minute then add chicken stock and bunches of pesto. Simmer until the rice has absorbed all the stock and is cooked through. Nom.

  10. My husband actually uses white rice to clean out his coffee grinders (one standalone and one in the uber-coffeemaker). He runs the grinders with the rice instead of coffeebeans.

  11. Fried rice, stuffed bellpeppers, jambalaya, curry… This would be a great excuse to try a large number of different east Asian cuisines, as a lot of those cultures enjoy a rice heavy diet.

    I know a little bit more about Japanese food than the other cultures, but gyudon (beef and rice bowl), omurice (omelette stuffed with fried rice), sushi-bowls (you don’t have the short grain rice that’s sticky enough for rolls, but it’ll still taste delicious), and congee (a rice porridge) come to mind.

  12. An easy way to always have rice on hand: cook rice as you normally would do. Let cool. Scoop into squares of Saran wrap, twist and freeze. When you need a quick starch, microwave the whole thing for 30sec to 2 min and TA DA! Hot, fresh rice to make any of the previous dishes without having to wait for the rice to cook. We always have some on hand for a quick meal– even for the dog (with leftover meat or a raw egg).

  13. Season with a little rice wine vinegar, and top with your choice of fish and veggies for a yummy sushi bowl! Since its just plain long grain rice, it won’t stick together like sushi rice does, but this way is less work anyway. 🙂

  14. I like to eat white rice for breakfast, I cook it up (or reheat it if it was left over) add some butter, sugar and milk to taste and consistency. I add in fresh berries if I have any on hand. Plus some whole wheat toast, YUM.

    Maybe have a party with rice dishes so you have an excuse to you a lot at once, and get the bulk that you don’t have room for out of the way?

  15. So, like, just cook it and then eat it with your dinner. There isn’t a recipe for that. Just make rice and then eat it. Done.

    You don’t have too much rice. It’s a dry good and doesn’t go bad for ages. Pick away at it until it’s done.

  16. The great thing about rice is that you can put it in everything – from salads to soups to casseroles. Precook a giant batch and freeze it in smaller portions, and then add a bit of it to every meal. (You could also make vegan “cream” sauce using rice – fry diced onion and garlic in a pot, add broth and rice, simmer until the rice is soft, add salt and pepper (and everything else, to taste) and blend.)

  17. I didn’t read all the comments but besides all the curries, stir-fry, sushi (if your rice is round) etc., you could also try some sweet recipes with rice:

    1 liter whole milk
    1 vanilla pod
    150 g rice (better with white round rice)
    120 g sugar

    Bring milk to boil, add vanilla pod.
    Sprinkle the rice.
    When the mixture boils again, put on a low heat and let simmer for 40 minutes.
    Add the sugar and let cool.
    The final texture sohould be creamy. You can eat with jam or fruits, add cinnamon, coconut or chocolate…
    It’s an old French favourite 🙂

  18. The Japanese food lover in me says: Make Onigiri! It’s quick, easy to make, and very versatile. You can stick just about anything inside it. Some of my fav’s include BBQ Pork (shredded REALLY well) and Tuna salad with Kewpie mayo in it. (I also like to put easy cheese in the center, though that’s likely weird and just me… hahah) It’s also easy to stick Onigiri in a small container and stick it in your purse for a snack on the go 🙂 Note, your rice doesnt have to be short grain to make onigiri… Just has to be cooked a bit differently than you might normally, here’s how I do it (with medium grain rice):

    1 cup rice into a hot pan with 1T of oil (I typically use olive or coconut), cook on medium heat for a bit, letting the rice get a little bit of color. While that’s happening heat to boiling 2 cups of water with 1T of mirin added (note mirin is optional). Once water is boiling, turn down heat on rice to as low as it will go and add water. Immediately cover and set a timer for 16 minutes. DO NOT TAKE LID OFF! Then when the timer is up, remove lid. If there is still liquid, turn off heat, re-cover and let cook for another 4 minutes. Then uncover again (if no liquid before, continue from here) and fluff lightly with fork. Let sit for another 5 minutes. And there yo go! Perfect pan rice for making onigiri (actually I make my rice like that all the time…)

    The Southern food lover in me says: RICE PUDDING! You can make bunches and freeze it even, to warm up whenever you want 🙂 It’s not complicated to make (though takes more work than onigiri) and is very tasty.

  19. For the most part, white and brown rice can be used interchangeably. As for recipes, I strongly recommend Allrecipes.com It’s a free site with thousands of reader submitted recipes, which can be search by main ingredient, meal, occasion, etc. Plus, if you become a member (which is also free) you can submit recipes as well. It’s basically a world wide recipe swapping club. And there is an Android App, so you can take it with you when you go shopping. I would assume there’s an Apple App too. I’m a professional chef and I go up there all the time just for ideas and inspiration.

  20. My suggestion, as the bags are open, would be to make up gifts with it. Put together all the dried ingredients you would need for a meal, make up little recipe cards, and then put it in sealed mason jars or a cloth bag if it’s just rice, or any of that sort of variation. Then next time you have a new neighbour, a friend who could use a quick little gift, a new coworker, etc, you have gifts pre-made and ready to go. Or you crack one yourself and it’s a meal idea that is half prepped. Works best with things that can all be dumped in together, obviously, but you could separate out the spices in little containers or plastic baggies if you’re not averse to them.

    Or get together with friends to try out a recipe. Everyone comes together, you make a big batch of rice, make different recipes, and then everyone takes some home. (Or you eat all the tastiness together.)

  21. When I was growing up, we had baked chicken and ‘dirty rice’ about once every two weeks, because it’s super easy to make and it all cooks at the same time/temperature. Basically, our (non-meat) dirty rice is:
    1 cup rice
    1/2 stick butter (cut into 5 pieces)
    1 can chicken or beef broth
    1 can mushrooms
    1 can french onion soup
    Combine it in a covered baking dish and cook for one hour at 350. You know, the same temperature and time you’re cooking chicken breasts in your oven. All you need are some veggies and you’ve got a quick, yummy meal, if you’re of the meat-eating variety.

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