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Rez b Shayriyeh
long-grain rice and vermicelli pilaf

Rez b Shayriyeh

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

In Arabic, Rez b Shayriyeh, simply means “rice with thin noodles.” It’s an absolute staple in Lebanese cuisine, and the foundation on which many other rice dishes are built. Crisp vermicelli noodles are blended with light, fluffy long-grain rice for a hearty base for any sauce, soup, or stew.



3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1⁄2 cup crushed vermicelli noodles,

or 1 angel-hair noodle nest

2 cups long-grain rice, unrinsed

1 teaspoon sea salt


In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Crush the vermicelli noodles over the melted butter and stir to make sure that all of the pieces are coated in the butter. Continue to fry, stirring constantly until the noodles are crisp and a deep, dark golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the rice and sea salt. Then, increase the heat to medium and toast the rice with the noodles for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously.

Pour in 4 1⁄4 cups cold water and stir a few times so that all the ingredients are incorporated. Taste the cooking liquid; it should be slightly salty. If not, add more salt by the pinch, making sure not to oversalt.

Cover the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring to a rolling boil, 5 to 7 minutes. Once the water boils, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Test the rice by placing the handle of a wooden spoon into the center of the pot and quickly removing it. If the tip is moist then continue to simmer, if it comes out dry, the rice is cooked. Make sure not to stir or uncover the rice during the simmering process.


Once the rice is cooked, immediately remove it from the heat. It will be moist and buttery. Fluff with a fork just before serving. Serve hot or warm.


VARIATION Instead of white rice, you can substitute brown rice, just be aware of the additional cooking time needed. Also, orzo can be used instead of vermicelli noodles.

TABOULIE TIP! Do not stir the rice while it is cooking. Simply follow my fool-proof recipe and you will have perfect rice every time, I promise, and no rice-cooker needed!

Copyright 2017 by Julie Ann Sageer in Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin. All Rights Reserved.

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