Delicious Rice Dishes From Across the Globe

Delicious Rice Dishes From Across the Globe

From the spicy and aromatic streets of Asia to the vibrant and soulful kitchens of Latin America, rice is an ingredient that often stars in the main dishes of many cultures around the world. It's truly a testament to this simple grain - it has amazing versatility and a fantastic ability to complement numerous different flavours. So today, let's forget about plain white rice and jump into a world full of flavour, texture, and colour. Here are 25 delicious rice dishes from different countries all around the world.

1. Paella (Spain)

A classic beloved Spanish dish, Paella is a true symphony of flavours and textures - its vibrant colours draw the eater in too! Originating from Valencia, it's traditionally cooked in a large, shallow pan that's filled to the brim with a variety of seafood, meats, and vegetables. The key spice to this delicious dish is Saffron, imparting a unique flavour and giving the rice that iconic yellow hue.

Sandra-Wei-Z0Iq Tx-Fhu-UnsplashPhoto by Sandra Wei on Unsplash

2. Biryani (India)

Coming all the way from India, Biryani is a fragrant and spicy rice dish that's cherished for it's unique and complex blend of spices and herbs. Typically cooked with basmati rice, the dish is layered with marinated meat (chicken, mutton, or beef) and slow-cooked until everything is tender and delicious. What's awesome about this rice dish is that each region in India offers it's own spin and unique twists.

Atikah-Akhtar-Didqp3Humxq-UnsplashPhoto by Atikah Akhtar on Unsplash

3. Sushi Rice (Japan)

Can we really bring up Japan without bringing up sushi rice? A piece of sushi is only as good as its rice, but don't go underestimating its preparation. Seasoned with the perfect balance of vinegar, sugar, and salt, sushi rice is crafted to expertly complement whatever fish or seafood it's topped with. This sticky, short-grained rice is the best canvas for any sushi variety, from nigiri to maki rolls.

J-Xclsyprif3K-UnsplashPhoto by j on Unsplash

4. Risotto (Italy)

Italians love their pasta, but they also know how to make a tasty rice dish! Risotto, a quintessential Italian dish, is the epitome of a creamy and heartwarming meal. Cooked with arborio rice, it's simmered slowly in broth, turning the rice into a rich and smooth consistency while still retaining a satisfying bite. This dish is typically flavoured with complementary ingredients like mushrooms, seafood, or saffron, each elevating it to new heights.

Lucas-Lobak-Neves-Gdb1Bouiwbk-UnsplashPhoto by Lucas Lobak Neves on Unsplash


5. Jollof Rice (West Africa)

Coming from West Africa, we've got the iconic and delicious Jollof Rice - a one-pot wonder that's loved for its bold flavours and vibrant red colour. This dish is typically cooked with tomatoes, onions, and peppers, but it can also include a variety of different meats and vegetables. When it comes to celebrations or family gatherings, Jollof Rice will always be the star of the show!

Rakhmat-Suwandi-Asei9Y Ochs-UnsplashPhoto by rakhmat suwandi on Unsplash

6. Arroz con Pollo (Latin America)

Arroz con Pollo, meaning 'rice with chicken' in Spanish, is a beloved dish throughout Latin America. It's a hearty and flavorful meal, combining rice with chicken, vegetables, and a rich blend of spices. Each country adds its unique touch, making it a diverse culinary experience.

Dr-Muhammad-Amer-77Itgp98S6G-UnsplashPhoto by Dr Muhammad Amer on Unsplash

7. Nasi Goreng (Indonesia)

Nasi Goreng is Indonesia's take on the classic fried rice, a flavourful and spicy dish that's often enjoyed as a hearty breakfast, but really, it can be enjoyed any time of the day. It's typically stir-fried with kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce), garlic, tamarind, chili, and then mixed with chicken, prawns, or eggs. Once served, you'll find it's usually accompanied by some cucumber slices and fried shallots.

Nasi Goreng Pete KambingGunawan Kartapranata on Wikimedia Commons

8. Dolma (Middle East)

Dolma refers to a family of stuffed vegetable dishes, but one of the most popular ones in particular is a rice dish wrapped in grape leaves. It's a Middle Eastern specialty that combines rice with flavourful pine nuts, currants, and plenty of spices which is then wrapped in grape leaves and slowly cooked until its unique, tangy flavour is permeated throughout.

1024Px-Smaki Regionow 2019 In Poznan Mtp (Persian Deser) (Dolma)MOs810 on Wikimedia Commons

9. Congee (China)

Congee is a type of rice porridge that is known as a comfort food staple across all of China. It's slowly cooked until the rice is a soft, creamy consistency. While the congee itself might be quite plain in flavour, it's the toppings that make the dish. It's often served accompanied by pickled vegetables, eggs, meat, or quite frankly, whatever you like! Each region in China has it's very own version, making it a special dish that can undergo many transformations.

Brett-Wharton-Wql0Slfyg9W-UnsplashPhoto by Brett Wharton on Unsplash

10. Galinhada (Brazil)

Galinhada is a traditional Brazilian dish, a simple yet flavorful combination of rice and chicken. Cooked together with saffron or turmeric, it creates a vibrant yellow colour. While already tasty on it's own, tt's often further enhanced with peas, carrots, and bell peppers, making it a wholesome and comforting meal.

GalinhadaSérgio Savaman Savarese on Wikimedia Commons


11. Kimchi Fried Rice (Korea)

A beloved Korean comfort food that's gained widespread popularity around the world is Kimchi Fried Rice. Making use of the Korean staple food, Kimchi, this rice dish is vibrant, spicy, and so so flavourful. It's made simply by stir-frying rice with kimchi, and a variety of other ingredients like gochujang (Korean chili paste), vegetables, meat (typically pork), and then topped with a runny fried egg.  

Emanuel-Ekstrom-1C Rsvhy32Y-UnsplashPhoto by Emanuel Ekström on Unsplash

12. Pilaf (Central Asia)

Pilaf, also known as Plov, is a delicious Central Asian rice dish. It features rice cooked in a seasoned broth that's then thrown into a pot with onions, carrots, and large pieces of meat (lamb is the favourite meat of choice!). The key to its rich flavour and fluffy texture is all in its slow cooking process, allowing each and every grain to fully absorb the aromatic spices.

Ignat-Kushanrev-Wbsqi6I7U7E-UnsplashPhoto by Ignat Kushanrev on Unsplash

13. Cajun Jambalaya (USA)

Originating from Louisiana, the Cajun Jambalaya is a hearty and spicy one-pot rice dish that's perfect for bringing everyone together. It's typically made with a hearty mix of chicken, sausage (like Andouille), and seafood, cooked with rice, then blended with flavourful Cajun spices. This rice dish is an absolute staple when it comes to Southern cuisine, allowing everyone to enjoy its bold, heartwarming flavours.

1024Px-A Plate Of Cajun HeavenPhil Denton on Wikimedia Commons

14. Thai Sticky Rice with Mango (Thailand)

It's about time we put something sweet on this list! Let's stray away from the savory for a moment to highlight the famous Thai dessert, sticky rice with mango. It's such a simple dessert, but it's a delightful treat you can't help but want seconds of. Glutinous rice is cooked in a sweet mixture of coconut milk and sugar, which is then served with ripe mango slices, and topped off with some more coconut milk. 

Mango Sticky Rice Served In ThailandArthur Taksin on Wikimedia Commons

15. Arroz a la Cubana (Philippines)

Arroz a la Cubana, a popular Filipino dish, is a delightful combination of savory and sweet. It typically consists of ground beef sautéed with tomatoes and onions, served with fried rice, a fried egg, and sometimes with a side of fried bananas. You're probably thinking, "Bananas with rice?!" But hey, don't knock it till you try it - it works in this beloved rice dish! 

Arroz A La CubanaJacob Sunol on Wikimedia Commons

16. Hoppin' John (USA)

Hoppin' John is a traditional African-American dish, particularly famous in the Southern United States. It's a savory blend of rice and black-eyed peas (or field peas), often cooked with onions, bacon, or ham hock. This dish is not just delicious, it's also steeped in history and tradition.

1704398807848.pngSrjenkins on Wikimedia Commons


17. Mansaf (Jordan)

Did you know the national dish of Jordan is the rice dish, Mansaf? This tasty meal is truly a celebration of flavours; it consists of lamb cooked in a sauce made from fermented dried yogurt, and it's usually served with rice or bulgur. Traditionally eaten by using your hands, Mansaf is a communal dish that real emphasizes togetherness, community, and hospitality.

Préparation Du Mansaf-Jordanie (8)Ji-Elle on Wikimedia Commons

18. Kedgeree (United Kingdom)

Kedgeree, a British colonial dish with Indian roots, is an interesting blend of flavors. It's made with cooked, flaked fish (traditionally smoked haddock), rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, and curry powder. Quite the combinations, right? This dish, once a breakfast staple, is now a comforting meal at any time of the day. If you can't imagine what it'll taste like, you'll just have to try it!

KedgereeUser:Justinc on Wikimedia Commons

19. Lomo Saltado (Peru)

Have you ever heard of the Peruvian-Chinese fusion known as Chifa cuisine? If you haven't, one dish you absolutely must try is the Lomo Saltado. It's a stir-fry that contains all of the good stuff - marinated strips of sirloin with onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables all served over a bed of warm rice. The flavours are incredibly rich, with the combination of soy sauce and vinegar providing a deep and tangy taste.

1024Px-Lomo-Saltado-PerudelightsWikiHes on Wikimedia Commons

20. Tahdig (Iran)

Tahdig is a Persian culinary gem. It's not a dish in itself, but the crispy, golden layer of rice at the bottom of the pot. Often flavored with saffron and butter, Tahdig is highly coveted for its crunchy texture and delicious taste, and it's usually served with stews or other rice dishes.

Tahdig Rice DishStephen Howard on Wikimedia Commons

21. Bibimbap (South Korea)

Popping up on this list again, South Korea has a second delicious rice dish that we want to share with you all: Bibimbap. While it's fun to say, it's just as fun to eat! This dish is a colourful array of sauteed and seasoned vegetables (typically spinach, mushrooms, carrots), a fried egg, and sliced meat, all served over a warm bowl of steaming white rice. But wait, that's not all - everything is then mixed together with a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce that creates a harmonious blend of flavours and textures.

Nikolay-Smeh-Gppbfaekl00-UnsplashPhoto by Nikolay Smeh on Unsplash

22. Arroz Negro (Spain)

Arroz Negro, also known as Black Rice, is a stunning Spanish dish that gets its dramatic dark colour from squid ink. This variation of seafood paella combines rice with squid or cuttlefish, all cooked in a rich broth that's later garnished with aioli. You'll absolutely fall in love with the deep flavours of the sea that this dish is able to bring.

Arroz Negro 02RecoveryMinded on Wikimedia Commons


23. Chicken Machboos (Bahrain)

Chicken Machboos is a traditional Bahraini dish that's deeply aromatic and packed with flavor. It's a combination of spiced chicken cooked with basmati rice, a blend of Gulf spices, dried lime (loomi), and rose water. This dish is a celebration of the rich spices and ingredients typical of Arabian Gulf cuisine.

Mario-Raj-Ysmeqt1Dzcw-UnsplashPhoto by Mario Raj on Unsplash

24. Locrio de Pollo (Dominican Republic)

Locrio de Pollo, a Dominican twist on the classic Spanish paella, is a beloved Caribbean dish. It features rice and chicken cooked together with a flavorful mix of herbs, spices, and vegetables. The result is a comforting, hearty meal where the rice absorbs all the wonderful flavors of the chicken and spices.

Locrio De Pollo (Dominicano)Ll1324 on Wikimedia Commons

25. Arroz de Pato (Portugal)

Arroz de Pato is a Portuguese delicacy, a rich and savory fusion of duck, rice, and a variety of spices and ingredients. Typically baked, this dish combines tender, flavorful duck with chorizo, black olives, and an aromatic blend of herbs. The top layer of rice crisps up in the oven, adding a delightful texture to this luxurious meal.

Arroz Con Pato A La ChiclayanaDtarazona on Wikimedia Commons