Rice is one of the most loved and cooked side dishes on Earth! In fact, rice is one of the most important food necessities and is a staple food on nearly all continents. Before I delve further into what makes rice such a necessity, let’s talk about this easy yet sophisticated White Vermicelli Rice recipe. Not only can you easily follow this recipe, but it leaves you with the perfect fluffy white rice mixed in with enchantingly golden vermicelli noodles. A rice dish fit for royalty that you can whip up in your own kitchen within minutes!
Lebanese White Vermicelli Rice is so simple to make and a staple in Middle Eastern Cuisine. In fact, White Vermicelli Rice is popular on its own, with a side of laban (yogurt) or salad, and most traditionally next to, at the base of, or on top of a stew. A few favorite stews (or what we call yekhni in Arabic) that are perfect with a side of rice include: Mloukhieh with Chicken, Hearty Kafta and Potato Stew, Lemon Mint Garlic Chicken Stew, and many other of your favorites like Peas and Carrots Stew or Cauliflower Stew!
Fun Facts about Rice:
Rice is such a common ingredient in our homes, but how much do we really know about it? Oftentimes, food items become a staple ingredient in our pantries without a second thought. Below are a few fun facts about rice you might enjoy!
- More than half of the world’s population consumes 20% of their daily calories from rice!
- Rice is one of the top three leading crops worldwide and is the oldest known food!
- As a carb, rice provides instant energy.
- It has been proven to improve bowel movements.
- Rice has been known to slow the aging process and help stabilize blood sugar levels!
- About 5,000 liters of water are required to cultivate about 2.5 pounds of rice.
- Cooked rice spoils easily whereas dry rice can last for years without spoiling if stored properly!
- Rice is naturally gluten-free.
- It is grown on every continent except Antarctica!
- On average, an American eats about 20 pounds of rice per year!
DELICIOUS FLUFFY RICE IN 15 MINUTES!
Is Cooking Rice as Intimidating as Many Claim it to be?
Short answer: no. Long answer: yes. LOL! Actually what I’m really trying to say is that it really depends on a lot of things. I would love to tell you that my recipe is failproof and every time you follow it to make rice it will be a success. But, the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of factors that affect the final result of your rice dish.
For starters, the type of rice you’re using affects cooking time and water measurements. Even changing sometimes from one brand to another may affect your final outcome! Another factor includes how you’re cooking your rice. Do you use the same pot no matter how much rice you’re cooking? If you’re adding veggies, meat, shrimp, chicken, or any other ingredients, are you taking that into account in terms of water measurement and cook time? Do you have a gas or electric stove, because heat levels affect outcome as well!
I believe rice isn’t a difficult feat to conquer and anyone can make a great rice dish. But I’m also a firm believer in practice makes perfect and that you should stick to a set recipe when it works for you. Don’t give up after a few tries. Everyone, even the best chefs, have cooked up a mushed batch of rice or a crunchy one lol! Make adjustments to where you went wrong for the next time and you’ll find yourself mastering rice in no time!
Tips for making the Perfect White Vermicelli Rice
I used Royal Basmati long grain white rice for this recipe. Other types of long grain rice you can use include any white rice, Basmati rice, or Jasmine Rice. If you don’t have long grain rice you can opt for a something an Italian or Egyptian rice but water measurements and cook time will change.
In this recipe, I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), which is perfectly fine to use. The oil is used to sauté’ the vermicelli noodles. It can also be replaced with butter or ghee for a nice rich flavor and I highly recommend it. I splurge and use butter on occasions, especially if I have guests visiting. Any other cooking oil like canola or sunflower would work well too.
Vermicelli Noodles are key in this recipe. This type of noodle is very thin and you can purchase it at many grocery stores or Middle Eastern stores near you. You can use Angel Hair Pasta or Capellini noodles if you can’t find Vermicelli in the grocery stores.
Another great tip if you’re pressed for time and can’t find the necessary noodles on hand is to fry a handful of rice in a bit of the oil or butter until golden as a substitute for vermicelli. Of course, this is more to add the golden color to the rice but obviously won’t substitute for the flavor of the noodle.
Middle Eastern women have an old-school set measurement for cooking rice: 2 cups water for every 1 cup rice. In my cooking research, I’ve learned that most cultures and cuisines call for the same ratio! So, it’s really no secret. But, some longer grain rice, especially after being soaked, may require around 1 3/4 of a cup of water to 1 cup rice, hence my suggestion above about trial and error and practice.
It’s usually noted that 1 cup of rice will need between 15 to 17 minutes on low heat to cook which I agree with. A good trick to keep in mind is if you feel the rice is cooked well enough around the 15-minute mark, but there’s still a bit of water at the bottom of the pot, you can turn off the stove and cover the pot. The remaining water will be absorbed slowly in the remaining two or three minutes on its own. Then you can fluff your rice gently with a fork to prevent clumping.
Step-by-Step Process for Making the Perfect White Vermicelli Rice
Frequently Asked Questions
It is made from refined flour or rice and is similar in the way it looks to noodles, but usually much thinner.
Vermicelli is very similar to angel hair pasta, but angel hair is actually much thinner. Angel hair is made from durum semolina flour while vermicelli is refined flour or rice. Vermicelli is a bit thicker than angel hair and is used more in Asian and Middle Eastern dishes while angel hair is traditionally used more in Italian dishes.
You can use angel hair pasta or capellini noodles if needed.
One of the easiest ways is to microwave it. You put the remaining rice in a microwave safe bowl and drizzle a little bit of water on top. Then you add a damp paper towel over the rice to help keep it from drying it out and heat it to desired warmth. You can also do stovetop, on low heat by also adding a bit of water before heating it up.
Maximum 5 days in the fridge in airtight container.
- long grain white rice
- vermicelli noodles
- olive oil or butter
- salt or to taste
Steps to Prep
Soak the rice in warm water for about 5-15 minutes, depending on how much time you have. Be sure to wash and drain your rice until the water runs clear to remove the starch. If you don’t have time to soak, just be sure to wash the rice well with warm water.
In a medium pot, heat your EVOO oil or butter, then add in the vermicelli noodles. Stir until they are golden in color. Add in the soaked and drained rice to the pot, continue to mix on high heat for another minute.
Add 4 cups of water and salt. Allow the water to come to a boil and leave it to boil on high for a good 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-17 minutes.
Turn off heat. Allow rice to rest for 10 minutes before you fluff it with a fork so it doesn’t clump up.
RECIPES YOU MAY WANT TO TRY:
- Kibbeh Bil Sanieh (Baked Kibbeh)
- Meat Pies – Lahme Bi Ajeen
- Freekeh with Beef Shanks
- Beef Shank Layered Fatteh
- Lebanese Veggie Pizza (Pie)
- Smooth Vegan Hummus Recipe
- Crispy Crunchy Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Chinese Mushroom Chicken over Beef Hotlink Rice
- Viral Air Fryer Pasta Chips (with zaatar)
- Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Easy Chicken Tikka Masala with Coconut Milk
- Cajun Salmon Rice with Tahini Salad
- The Tastiest Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
- Easiest Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
Lebanese White Vermicelli Rice
- medium pot
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup vermicelli noodles
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- ½ tablespoon salt or to taste
- Soak the rice in warm water for about 5-15 minutes, depending on how much time you have. Be sure to wash and drain your rice until the water runs clear to remove the starch
- In a medium pot, heat your EVOO oil or butter, then add in the vermicelli noodles. Stir until they are golden in color. Add in the soaked and drained rice to the pot, continue to mix on high heat for another minute.
- Add in the 4 cups of water and salt. Allow the water to come to a boil and leave it to boil on high for a good 2 minutes.
- Lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-17 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Allow rice to rest for 10 minutes before you fluff it with a fork so it doesn't clump up.