You will learn how to make the perfect Vermicelli Rice, also called Lebanese Rice or in Arabic (Ruz Be Alshereiah). It is fluffy, buttery rice with toasted vermicelli pasta. It’s a popular Middle Eastern rice dish that goes so well with stews and grilled meat. Below is a step-by-step image of making rice with vermicelli and a video tutorial to guide you through.
Vermicelli rice is toasted vermicelli pasta in ghee, butter, or olive oil and then cooked with soaked rice, water, and salt. It is called by different names like Lebanese rice and Rice Pilaf, and in Arabic (Ruz be al sheriyah), Ruz means rice, and sheriyah is vermicelli.
You can make this dish with Calrose rice or long-grain basmati rice. I will explain how to cook it using both rice types. I have used butter and ghee in this recipe. However, you can use olive oil.
🍚 WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- The ratio of water to the rice and vermicelli is perfect, and following this recipe, you will always get fluffy rice.
- This is a quick recipe. Other than soaking the rice, it will take you 17 minutes to cook it.
- It has simple and easy-to-find ingredients.
- The flavor of toasted vermicelli adds great flavor.
- You can serve it with grilled meat or gravies; it tastes so good you can enjoy it with plain yogurt.
Rice – Although you can use Basmati rice to make vermicelli rice, I promise it will taste much better if you use Calrose Rice, which I always use.
Vermicelli – It is different from vermicelli rice pasta and vermicelli rice noodles. The texture and cooking method is different from Pasta Vermicelli. You can find it in stores selling Middle Eastern and Indian products, but it is available online.
Butter – I always prefer to use unsalted butter to control the seasoning.
Ghee – Since we are making a special dish, I use ghee that adds abundant flavor.
Salt – To season the rice.
Boiling water – We will add boiling water over the vermicelli and rice to proceed with the cooking.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE IT
If you follow these steps, the recipe cannot go wrong. Below are the main steps, but the detailed steps are in the recipe card.
Wash and rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Soak the rice for 15 to 20 minutes.
In a large pan, add the ghee and the butter. When the butter melts, add the vermicelli and toast it until it is light golden brown on medium-low heat.
Add the drained rice to the vermicelli and toast them for a minute on medium-low heat.
Add the boiling water and gently stir the mixture. Season with salt and mix again for two seconds.
On medium heat, allow the mixture to boil. Once it boils, turn the heat to the lowest heat setting and cover the pan to prevent steam from escaping.
After 16 to 17 minutes, uncover the pan and fluff the rice.
👩🏽🍳 PRO TIPS
- Washing and soaking the rice is essential unless otherwise mentioned in the cooking method on the package. Washing the rice rids it of impurities accumulated while packaging. Soaking it for 20 to 30 minutes helps the rice get rid of excess starch and cook faster.
- Toast the vermicelli on medium or low heat to prevent it from burning. If the vermicelli burns, you can’t salvage it, and you’ll have to toss it away.
- Do not use Arborio or Sushi rice. These types of rice won’t work in this recipe because of the amount of starch they have.
- Do not uncover the pan after the mixture comes to a boil and you cover it. You need to trap the steam within the pan to help the rice fluff.
- Always add boiling water to the rice. If you add cold or warm water, the temperature in the rice grains will drop, and the cooking time will increase, leading to more starch release from the rice, and it won’t come out fluffy.
- Use Vermicelli pasta and not vermicelli noodles or rice noodles. They won’t cook or taste the same.
- When using long-grain rice, use 2 cups of boiling water.
Cinnamon – Add an inch-long cinnamon stick to give the rice an earthy flavor.
Chicken broth – If you plan to serve this rice with grilled meat or plain yogurt, cooking the rice in chicken stock is a good idea.
Olive oil – I like to cook rice with butter and ghee for rich flavor, but olive oil is a good option.
Different types of rice – You can use brown rice but follow the amount of liquid mentioned on the package.
You can use basmati rice, brown rice, and jasmine rice. If you cook with jasmine rice, the flavor will be slightly different.
Vermicelli pasta is made of wheat, and vermicelli noodles are made of rice.
You can use angel hair pasta. Break them into small pieces before using.
🍴 HOW TO SERVE VERMICELLI RICE?
Vermicelli rice taste great with almost every dish. You can serve this rice with Beef or Chicken stew, but it is mostly served with Homemade Molokhia and Bamya (Okra stew). The texture of Okra stew and Molokhia go so well with it. You can also serve it with grilled meat or fish.
🌡️ STORING AND REHEATING
Place the leftovers in an airtight container after it reaches room temperature and refrigerate. It keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge.
To freeze the rice, let it cool and place it in a freezer-friendly bag. You can freeze it for up to two months.
To reheat the refrigerated rice, microwave it for 40 to 50 seconds.
To heat frozen rice, place it on a microwave-friendly plate, and sprinkle a teaspoon of water. Cover with a damp kitchen paper towel and microwave for a minute or until it heats.
🍲 MORE RICE RECIPES
- 1 cup Calrose rice read notes
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vermicelli pasta
- 1 ¾ cup boiling water read notes
- Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Soak it in lukewarm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a large pan, add the ghee and butter. When the butter melts, add the vermicelli and toast until brown. Keep the heat on medium-low to prevent the vermicelli from burning.
- Drain the rice and add it to the vermicelli. Toast the rice with it for one to two minutes, ensuring the ghee and butter coat all the rice.
- Pour the boiling water over the rice and stir gently. Season with salt and stir for a few seconds.
- Turn up the heat to medium. When the mixture comes to a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat to the lowest setting on your stove.
- Allow the rice to cook for 16 to 17 minutes without removing the cover. If you remove the cover after reducing the heat, the steam will escape, and the rice won’t turn fluffy.
- After 17 minutes, turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Fluff the rice using a spatula or a fork. Cover the pan and let it set for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can use basmati rice instead of Calrose, but avoid using Arborio or Sushi rice.
- If you are using basmati rice, add an extra ¼ cup of boiling water to the rice.
- Do not remove the cover after lowering the heat, or the rice won’t cook properly.
- Always add boiling water. Pouring cold or warm water on the rice will reduce its heat, and it won’t come out fluffy.
- I have used 1 ½ teaspoon salt, but you can add one teaspoon salt if you want less salt in your rice!