Lebanese Rice

Lebanese Rice Photo: Tim Elwin

Lebanese Rice
Photo: Tim Elwin

A dish i have been eating since i was 1... I have had countless discussions with my sister and mum about the little differences we each do in getting this rice perfect.

We all agree that it must be a heavy based pot and must have a snug fitting lid, but how long we rapidly boil for in the beginning and how long we let it rest for at the end differs... This is my version and which of course is the best way.

Ingredients (Feeds 4 with a main)

  • 1 Cup fine Vermicelli Dry Egg Pasta Noodles (not the rice vermicelli)
  • 1 Cup long-grain rice, washed under cold water until the water runs clear
  • 3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or as a shortcut, use store bought
  • 75gms Butter
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • a good pinch of Sea Salt

What you’ll need

3 Litre heavy bottomed pot with a well fitted lid (must be heavy based and must be tight fitting lid) also no larger than 3 litres... 


Place the pot on a medium to high heat and throw in the butter. Once the butter is melted crunch in the noodles (i.e. break them into little pieces) and fry in the butter (stirring) until the noodles turns golden brown. Throw in the rice and stir together for a minute ensuring all the rice is coated with the butter.

Stir in the chicken stock, cinnamon stick and salt. You need to ensure that the stock is one inch above the rice (so you might need to add a little water to top it up). Turn to a high heat and rapidly boil for 5 minutes then place the lid on and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook for 20 minutes on the low heat then turn the heat off and do not touch for 20 minutes. It is important that you don't lift the lid until the very end as the steam is what’s cooking (well finishing off the cooking) the rice.

Once the 20 minutes is up, fluff the rice with a fork adding a little extra salt for taste and serve which whatever middle eastern goodness you have chosen…

© Tim Elwin 2015