Growing up on a steady diet of rice, beans, and chicken, I was constantly reminded of the starving children in Africa and how they would have loved to eat the rice and beans I was bemoaning about eating for the fifth day in a row. I had failed to see the privilege it was just to have food on the table in the snot-nosed years of my childhood. Now, as I languish in adulthood and I am aware of such realities as famines, food shortages, and abject poverty (compounding upon several other factors) that lead to a chronically homeless and hungry population.
Out of the 50,000 edible plants in the world fifteen plants provide 90% of the world’s dietary intake, with such food staples as rice, corn, and wheat making up two-thirds of this percentage. In other words, out of a world population of three billion people, 1.6 billion depend on rice as a major food staple. It’s no wonder we were experiencing a rice shortage not too long ago.
For the average Joe and Jane at home that clicked on this article hoping for recipes and not a guilt trip about the TONS (literally 35 million tons) of food that Americans throw out every year, well… we all want things we can’t have. For the connoisseur that wonders, “How am I going to get my 6-11 servings of grains a day?”, here are a few ways to cook rice that might get you more excited about the prospect:
(Of Mexican origin, adapted from Allrecipes.com)
Over variations include substituting the 1/2 cup of milk with coconut milk, adding coconut flakes, or even rum!
i.e. : cha-han (チャーハン) or yakimeshi 焼き飯
(Recipe courtesy of JustHungry.com , Makiko Itoh)
For this recipe you will need:
According to Google there are about 6,990,000 fried rice recipes online, and out of these millions I recommend one: Makiko Itoh’s recipe on Just Hungry.com. You really can’t improve upon perfection. Though, it’s as JH notes, it’s a fun recipe and is perfect for using up old rice and leftover veggies loitering in the fridge rather than throwing them out. I’ve made this recipe numerous times and I have never came up with the same final product.
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com
3/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used the cup of rice from the previous recipe)
2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar (I used 1/3 cup of brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
** When I poured my beaten egg (a little too quickly) into the bubbling mass of rice, my rice pudding quickly became a rendition of egg-drop soup. It was recommended in the AllRecipes.com comments section to either 1. have the beaten egg out for a long while so that it reaches room temperature, or 2. mix in milk so that the egg mixture wouldn’t become shell-shocked (hehe) when poured slowly into the pot.I imagine the egg is for additional creaminess, but in the future I would just omit the egg. Too-much hassle.
Images are mine unless otherwise stated.