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Rice is a staple grain in many cultures. It's filling and goes well with a huge range of foods, plus it tends to be pretty cheap. You can find rice in European food like paella and risotto, Asian food as accompaniments to curry or dishes like sushi, and much more. You've probably eaten a lot of rice during your life, but perhaps you've never been too experimental with how to use it. The great thing about rice is that it has so many different uses. Here are some of the ways you can use it to keep your food and even drink exciting.
Boil or Steam It
Most of the time when you eat rice, you probably either boil or steam it. Whether you cook it in a rice cooker, slowly stir it into a risotto or simply put it in a pot of boiling water, you can do so many things with it. Plain rice is the perfect accompaniment to a huge range of dishes, from spicy curries to casseroles. You can also flavor it in many ways, adding herbs and spices vegetables, fish and meat, and lots more. Or you can get fancy and make things like sushi, which requires precision and patience.
Puff It Up
Rice is also great for puffing up. Most people don't do it themselves, but you can actually make puffed rice at home. Frying partly cooked rice is one way to do it for fun puffed rice. Most people are probably more familiar with breakfast cereals that use puffed rice, which can often be a healthy choice of cereal (as long as you don't add sugar). These cereals are fun for making easy desserts with the kids, though – just add melted chocolate or marshmallow. You can also find puffed rice in products like rice crackers, which make a low-calorie snack that you can add lots of flavors too.
Drink It (Sort Of)
Since rice is a grain, you can also use it to make drinks. You're perhaps not very likely to do that yourself, but you can buy drinks made from rice if you're interested. Of course, there are rice wines like sake, which you can easily find in many stores and restaurants. Then there are interesting drinks like Kikori whiskey, which is made using rice. There's also horchata, which you can find in Spain and Latin America, mostly. Or there's rice milk, which some people like as a dairy-free alternative.
Rice can make delicious desserts too. Apart from making marshmallow or crispy chocolate treats with puffed rice, you can discover lots of other fun things. There's the traditional rice pudding, often enjoyed with jam, and you can find variations of that around the world. For example, arroz con leche is a similar Latin dish. You can use rice in cookies or make sticky rice cakes too. Rice might usually be savory, but there are plenty of sweet options to try.
If you love rice, be experimental with how you use it. There are so many possibilities, so don't get stuck in a rut.