My rice lusts for your delicious recipes!
December 11, 2006 1:32 PM   Subscribe

I need some tried and true suggestions for stuff to go on top of my rice.

I'm getting into the habit of making large batches of rice, making something to serve on top of it the first night, then making fried rice the second night and beyond. But I am out of ideas of things to put on top of it. So far I have been doing chicken/sausage (like a smoked sausage) stir fried with some garlic, onions, veggies, and oyster sauce, oil, etc etc.
So what are some other great things I can serve up on top of white rice.
Things to know:
I have a cooking skill of 16 with a +1 Apron of chefery.
I do not live in or near a large town, so my ingeredient selection sucks, and my nearest ethnic store is a hour away.
I'm not a huge bean fan. At least not baked or in chilli. I can be influenced though.
posted by Jonsnews to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 74 users marked this as a favorite
One of my favorite quick, easy, cheap lunches is rice with peanuts. It sounds a bit bland, but it's really quite good and has lots of protein.
posted by rossination at 1:37 PM on December 11, 2006

Chili verde.

Assuming your grocery has a salsa section, they should have at least one brand of green chili salsa. Get two jars, plus about four pounds of lean pork. Cut the pork into cubes of about an inch and saute till browned, then throw into a crockpot along with the salsa and a cup of water. Cook on high till done, then serve on rice.

We are having this for dinner tonight, leftover from yesterday.

If you are more of a purist there are other recipes out there, but you'd probably have to get to the ethnic store for the ingredients.
posted by konolia at 1:38 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Anything is good on rice. I just had an Indonesian (I think) desert at a restaurant: Mango slices on sticky rice with a sweet cream/vanilla sauce. Fantastic. Also, with a halved mango on a star of sticky rice, they looked like sea turtles.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 1:39 PM on December 11, 2006

If you make sushi rice, it actually can be very good for a next day dish. You can make rice balls with a filling inside them from well made sushi rice.
posted by slavlin at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2006

I like to use a crock pot and cook up some make shift kalua pig, which is a hawaiian dish. All you need a pork roast, some liquid smoke and some salt (preferably Hawaiian rock salt, but kosher salt will do fine). For about a 3 pound roast, you use about a tablespoon of liquid smoke and a tablespoon of salt and rub the meat with it, then just put it in the crock pot or an oven would work too for about 8 hours. The meat becomes very tender and you just shred it up and enjoy.

You can also use this in your fried rice if you feel like it too.

Egg is also something that goes well on top of rice. Sometimes I scramble an egg with some soy sauce and sugar to eat over rice. Delicious.
posted by harrumph at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2006

Let's try it again:
posted by frosty_hut at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2006

A fried egg.
posted by OmieWise at 1:44 PM on December 11, 2006

Make a paste of chunky chopped garlic (about a head per person), ground cumin, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Smear it over some fleshy white fish, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. Fry it. The fish goes next to the rice, and the delicious pieces of cuminy garlic, which you're going to continue to fry until they're brown-black, go on top.
posted by textilephile at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Congee. It's rice porridge, and basically the asian equivalent of chicken noodle soup (comfort food, good when you're sick, etc). It also is amazingly easy to make. See also.
It's not something to go on top of the rice, but I think it qualifies as an equally good use.
posted by mjbraun at 1:47 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

Another rice idea, this one stolen from the illustrious Chipotle: toss (hot) rice with some lemon and/or lime juice and cilantro. Delicious.
posted by rossination at 1:50 PM on December 11, 2006

Basic: Tin of tuna, with chopped shallots or maybe chives and dried chili on top.
Advanced: Tuna cooked in fry pan with chopped tomatoes (tinned is fine) and onions, with curry.

Cupasoup - add water to soup like you were going to drink it. Pour over rice.

Mushrooms and beef stock (kinda a la faux risotto)

Warning: these recipes will reduce your cooking skill by 15.
posted by b33j at 1:52 PM on December 11, 2006

Curry! It's cheap, good for you and easy. You can buy Golden curry in cubes and dissolve it in a little bit of water and add your ingredients, or even better, buy some yellow or Massaman curry paste and add peanuts, onions, carrots, potato and chicken or whatever you like. It'll last a couple of weeks in the fridge and will be good with fried rice or steamed.
posted by luriete at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2006

posted by Iron Rat at 1:56 PM on December 11, 2006

I like to cut up some cucumbers into big chunks, and put on top of rice with some cashews, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and a bit of sesame seeds sprinkled on top. YUM!
posted by necessitas at 1:57 PM on December 11, 2006 [3 favorites]

Beef stroganoff, skip the egg noodles of course

Beef and gravy--saute chopped onion until translucent, brown lean ground beef, drain, add a jar or package of brown gravy, add desired spices like a bit of sage, black pepper, etc.

Swiss steak or Swiss Steak Italian Style

Stewed tomatoes

Chicken and gravy --same concept as beef and gravy. You can use leftover cooked chicken, or roast or bake boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Shred or chop, and mix with chicken or turkey gravy OR use cheese and broccoli soup (OMG) as the gravy with a squeeze of lemon.

All of the above sound very cafeteria don't they? They may not be gourmet, but they are easy and tasty.
posted by LoriFLA at 1:59 PM on December 11, 2006

For retro comfort food: brown some pork chops, then simmer with cream of mushroom soup until cooked through. Dump pork chops and soup over rice.

For something a bit more sophisticated: dredge halibut fillets in seasoned flour. Pan fry fish in oil. Make a simple fruit salsa using mango or canteloupe, red onion, lime juice, and cilantro. Dump fish and salsa over rice. Sauteing some peppers (red and green) to go with it is a nice touch.

Another fish dish: marinate salmon filets in soy sauce, mustard, honey, garlic, and rice vinegar (roughly equal proportions of everything but honey). Pan fry. Dump fish over rice.

Other things I serve on rice: tofu with peanut sauce (see Harrowsmith cookbook), curried lentils (see Harrowsmith cookbook), miscellaneous curries (usually involves curry in a can or curry paste from ethnic grocery stores, natch), miscellaneous stir fries.
posted by crazycanuck at 2:04 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

i love sauteed bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, chorizo w/ rice. good lord im hungry now!
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 2:07 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Seconding LoriFLA's recommendation of beef stroganoff. Yes, I know egg noodles are traditional. Personally, I like beef stroganoff over rice a lot better than beef stroganoff over egg noodles.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:07 PM on December 11, 2006

Salmon sauted in olive oil with jarred red bell peppers and/or cherry tomatoes.
posted by donajo at 2:10 PM on December 11, 2006

black-eyed peas or red beans and rice.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 2:11 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Three words: Furikake, Furikake, Furikake!

It's basically the equivalent of crack, sprinkled on steamed (or cold) rice.
posted by melorama at 2:15 PM on December 11, 2006

This is a japanese dish called oyako-don; search on that if you want more specifics.

Take a little bit of soy sauce and a little bit of rice wine (substitute cooking wine if you can't find any), and add a little sugar. Poach some finely cut-up chicken in that mix. In the last few minutes of cooking, stir in two beaten eggs. Pour the whole mixture over rice. Add scallions or green onions on top if you're so inclined. Leave your leftovers on top of your leftover rice overnight, and fry up everything together the next day.

Japan has a lot of rice+ something on top dishes, called donburi. Very good.
posted by Jeanne at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2006

Gambas al ajillo (Garlic shrimp)

You'll need:

raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
fresh garlic, minced
coarse sea salt
dried chile japones or substitute crushed red pepper
olive oil.

1. prepare the shrimp (peel, devein) and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
2. in a large frying pan, sautee minced garlic and one or two chilies in olive oil. Don't skimp on the garlic!
3. When the garlic is golden and the olive oil has taken on a reddish hue from the chilies, add the shrimp and sautee until cooked through.
4. Remove the chilies before serving.

Serve on top of rice, or with a nice crusty bread to soak up the tasty garlicky juices.

The sea salt is key, it does something special to the shrimp that I can't explain, but it makes the dish.

( I know you said the nearest ethnic store is an hour away, but the chilies and the sea salt will last you a long time once you get them, and both are available for purchase over the internets.)
posted by ambrosia at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Try properly salted brown rice some time too. I prefer it to white rice with spicier dishes, and it is a little lower on the glycemic index and has more nutrients and fiber. Maybe start with mixing 1/2 brown with 1/2 white. Sometimes white rice feels like wonderbread to me.
posted by mecran01 at 3:01 PM on December 11, 2006

Broiled fish (I like tuna) and a bit of soy sauce. Simple and tasty.
posted by wanderingmind at 3:07 PM on December 11, 2006

Bread and fry some chicken cutlets, sautee onion and vegetables with soy sauce (and ideally dashi), slice up and add the cutlets, kill the heat, and stir in an egg until it's loosely cooked. Serve it on top of the rice: Torikatsudon!
posted by nicwolff at 3:17 PM on December 11, 2006

Curry-- I know you said you didn't have a ton of ethnic food places, but if you do get a chance and stock up it's pretty easy to make.

4 tsp curry powder, fry in some oil for a bit to bring out the flavour, add a chopped onion, some pieces of chicken (optional), a drained can of chickpeas, some frozen vegetables, a can of coconut milk, and a couple of chopped tomatoes. Bring to boil and allow to summer for 30 minutes. Goes great on top of rice.
posted by perpetualstroll at 3:18 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

seconding melorama's furikake- it's what I grew up on. I could (and do) eat that stuff right out of the jar- no rice needed. I found it online at

also, and this is weird but really good, pot roast. just crock pot a pot roast with one of those Lawry's packets, shred meat, mix whole glop with plain white rice. it looks remarkably like canned dog food, but it's really good.
posted by deedeep at 3:33 PM on December 11, 2006

Dal Bhat (Lentils and Rice). I guess it qualifies as ethnic (Nepalese), but I can get everything for it in my small town without trouble. Throw some onion in a pot with oil with some or all of the following spices: ginger, anise, cardamom, pepper, turmeric, dried chillies. Cook for a few minutes, then throw in any kind of lentils and about 3 times as much water and boil until the lentils start to disintegrate. For kicks add some spinach or serve with plain yogourt.
posted by ssg at 4:22 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Gungbao jirou! (aka Kung-pow Chicken)

Make Marinade:
Two pinches cornstarch
couple spoons of soy sauce
dash vinegar
dash sherry (though you can use more vinegar if needed)
1 egg white
pinch salt
chopped green onion
red pepper to taste

Mix marinade with chopped chicken or pork or whatever. Let marinate overnight.

Next day stirfry chicken and marinade, add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and some more green onion, add half a handfull of unsalted peanuts or cashews, stir often to keep nuts from burning. Then you will add:

2 pinches cornstarch
dash or two of soy sauce
teaspoon vinegar
dash sherry (agin can substitute vinegar if needed)
pinch salt
pinch sugar
4 or 5 teaspoons oil

stirring often to prevent the sugar from burning before it carmelizes.

Once this starts to thicken up and stick to the chicken, pour it over the bed of white rice. Play with the ingredients until you get it to your taste. Can skip overnight marinade if needed, but the longer the chicken/pork/whatever soaks the better.

Hen hao chi!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:22 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Here's a simple one: stir fry eggs with tomatoes.
posted by roomwithaview at 6:52 PM on December 11, 2006

I always like kedgeree for an easy breakfast; fry up some scallions and eggs, and raisins if you like them; then mix it with your rice, some smoked fish, and plenty of curry powder.
posted by escabeche at 7:38 PM on December 11, 2006

I forgot to mention in my above mention of black-eyed peas, that I am not a huge bean fan - I hate baked beans and don't like the grainy texture of other bean dishes.

Yet I find black-eyed peas, cooked with a lot of bacon, onions, peppers, and bay leaves quite tasty.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:19 PM on December 11, 2006

When I was broke once, I had to make do with the very little I had in the pantry. I threw together some rice, cheese, and sweet chili sauce. It was surprisingly beautiful! You stir through the cheese and it melts, like some sort of crappy risotto. Tasty though!
posted by mjao at 3:03 AM on December 12, 2006

I have to have rice with every meal. Nothing satisfies like a bowl of rice. My favorite way to eat it is with soy sauce, a bit of sesame seed oil on it, some sesame seeds, all stirred together with crushed red pepper for some heat. Great as a side dish. Deliciousness - I eat it almost everyday.

I make something called lazy fried rice - cook up a bunch of rice, scramble an egg, add some defrosted frozen peas and carrots and broccoli. Add soy sauce. You can add chicken breast sautéed in sesame seed oil on top or chopped and stirred into the mix.

If you're willing to take on some beans, simmer up some black beans (undrained), canned tomatoes (drained), and Adobo seasoning to taste. Serve over rice.

Rice + cheese + broccoli = yummy cheesy delicious rice and tasty broccoli!
posted by sephira at 5:14 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

The favored rich dish in our house has ground beef, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes, with roasted garlic, oregano, and usually crushed red pepper and/or chili powder.

Also rice with cheese is surprisingly good (I like Romano). I’ll sometimes add in steamed carrots and zucchini, but when I’m especially lazy, it’s just the rice and cheese.
posted by curie at 9:07 AM on December 12, 2006

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