Growing up in the Midwest rice was not consistently a part of our diet every single day. Often in the Midwest you hear people talk about the meat and potatoes diet. I was no exception to that rule and enjoyed that most evenings in our home in Illinois. So the challenge of finding good rice is a challenge that spread over 5 years through my college career. It wasn’t until I had an Asian professor directly from China that I really learned to appreciate rice at its very basic level.
I was introduced to a race called Nishiki rice. It’s a longer grain white rice that is perfectly symmetric. This particular rice when cooked correctly has an unbelievable stickiness to it that remind you of the type of rice that you would get from a sushi bar. What I learned from this very simple style cooking and rice appreciation was that simple ethnic food cooked correctly can be absolutely amazing.
It is not uncommon for us to have a rice cooker on our counter and rice in it. Nowadays I enjoy rice for breakfast lunch and dinner. For the first few years of my life being married, rice was unusual to some of her family members as well. The idea of me eating rice in the morning seemed to be somewhat foreign and I’m sure that it is. A majority of the world enjoys rice three times a day. Having some type of protein in that rice is often very rare for some countries. I have learned to appreciate the simple ethnic foods that are around me. It helps me really appreciate the more complex flavors that I’ve also enjoyed through ethnic dining.