Rice is nice

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It’s no secret: I love rice.

I can eat it plain, topped with furikake, paired with Spam and nori, smothered in brown gravy, and even with garlic salt.

It’s the first thing I like to eat when I come home after a trip. And it’s often the last thing I eat before I go to bed.

Yes, I love it.

So when I was asked to contribute to a new book devoted to my favorite food group, I jumped at the chance.

“The Hawaii Book of Rice” ($15.95, Watermark Publishing), by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi features 101 recipes — or “rice-ipes” — and chapters on the history of rice in Hawaii, rice legends and anecdotal stories from rice-loving folks (like me).

Tsutsumi, who dedicated the book to her late father (who grew up wearing clothes made from rice bags in Waialua), has roots in Kauai, where her mother’s family had farmed rice in Huleia. But even this award-winning freelance writer who has seen it and done it all learned a few new things editing this book.

“Most people don’t know that in 1899 Hawaii ranked third in the U.S. in rice production after Louisiana and South Carolina,” she said. “People will learn so much by reading this book. It’s not just a cookbook.”

But there are 101 recipes, including a full chapter devoted to fried rice.

Are you hungry yet?

“Because of our large Asian population, it’s natural for rice to be a staple here,” said Tsutsumi, who admits her rice habits include stew and rice, chili and rice and mochiko chicken musubis. (I concur.) “Heck, nearly all kamaaina, no matter what their ethnicity, grew up with rice and know how to cook it.”

So I’m throwing it out there: how much do you love rice? How do you eat it? And what’s your favorite or most interesting rice dish?

I need to know!

***

Portion of sales from the book will benefit the Hawaii Foodbank — how fitting! — in feeding more than 183,000 people annually.

***

Book-signings

1-2 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall
11 a.m.-1 p.m., May 22, Longs Drugs, Windward City Shopping Center
4-6 p.m. Monday, May 23, Longs Drugs, Kailua

15 comments
Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

I am just so crazy about rice. I can have it with curry, yogurt, veggies, fruits, soysauce, soup or just plain. There was a time when I used to eat only rice but then eventually realized that it's too many carbs. I won't say that I have reduced it ;) Well, who am I kidding, I just love it :)

Here is a good source for Indian rice recipes, if you like indian food : http://www.daawat.com/recipes/indian/rice.htm

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

anyone who's been reading CAT for years knows her devotion to rice; hot, fluffy white rice. don't give her none of that healthy brown stuff.

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

anyone who's been reading CAT for years knows her devotion to rice; hot, fluffy white rice. don't give her none of that healthy brown stuff.

Cat
Cat

Risotto isn't anything to scoff at. That's good stuff, especially when done right! But I do like my, ahem, rustic dishes like stew and rice, loco mocos (though I don't need the egg) and curry and rice.

I had a friend whose mom used to put Ovaltine on super hot rice. I pass.

Cat
Cat

Risotto isn't anything to scoff at. That's good stuff, especially when done right! But I do like my, ahem, rustic dishes like stew and rice, loco mocos (though I don't need the egg) and curry and rice. I had a friend whose mom used to put Ovaltine on super hot rice. I pass.

matt
matt

if i wanted to be tantaran, I would say a simple risotto is my favorite rice dish. in reality, though, anything goes. corned beef hash, eggs and rice, bacon, eggs and rice, steak and rice, stew and rice, chili/rice...you name it, it goes.

matt
matt

if i wanted to be tantaran, I would say a simple risotto is my favorite rice dish. in reality, though, anything goes. corned beef hash, eggs and rice, bacon, eggs and rice, steak and rice, stew and rice, chili/rice...you name it, it goes.

Annoddah Dave
Annoddah Dave

CAT,
My favorite is chazuke with Nagatani Sake Furikake on top. It has bits of dried salmon, nori, and wasabi. Maybe it was how I was brought up but now my kids like it. However, I instruct them not to make chazuke at a restaurant...bad form.
My other favorite is rice with hot dog. Real simple, just plain. Of course, rice and lup chong is another one.

Annoddah Dave
Annoddah Dave

CAT, My favorite is chazuke with Nagatani Sake Furikake on top. It has bits of dried salmon, nori, and wasabi. Maybe it was how I was brought up but now my kids like it. However, I instruct them not to make chazuke at a restaurant...bad form. My other favorite is rice with hot dog. Real simple, just plain. Of course, rice and lup chong is another one.

jaydee
jaydee

I love rice and will eat it with almost everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I won't eat it like my wife does sometimes though; rice with hot water and bonito flakes. Or rice with natto, Ech!

My mom taught me how to cook rice on the stove when I was in 5th grade. From that day on I was called the "rice boy". Hah!

I'll have to buy this book.....always looking for more ways to enjoy rice.

jaydee
jaydee

I love rice and will eat it with almost everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I won't eat it like my wife does sometimes though; rice with hot water and bonito flakes. Or rice with natto, Ech! My mom taught me how to cook rice on the stove when I was in 5th grade. From that day on I was called the "rice boy". Hah! I'll have to buy this book.....always looking for more ways to enjoy rice.

MaxMaxMax
MaxMaxMax

Hey, I used to know Cheryl years ago. Good to see she's still writing books and freelance.

I actually love brown rice tons more. Funny, I just returned from the Philippines, and one thing the family I stay with trere asked me to bring was brown rice from Costco, since they don't have regular brown rice there.

I eat rice maybe five days a week. My dgos eat it everyday as it the carb in the food we cook for them!

MaxMaxMax
MaxMaxMax

Hey, I used to know Cheryl years ago. Good to see she's still writing books and freelance. I actually love brown rice tons more. Funny, I just returned from the Philippines, and one thing the family I stay with trere asked me to bring was brown rice from Costco, since they don't have regular brown rice there. I eat rice maybe five days a week. My dgos eat it everyday as it the carb in the food we cook for them!

che
che

I like locomocos. Gravy on the rice.

I also like the teri beef plate with the teri sauce over the rice and mac salad but it's not really a rice dish. It must be over 10 years since I went to Grace's. I think I'll go there soon.

Good luck with the new website.

che
che

I like locomocos. Gravy on the rice. I also like the teri beef plate with the teri sauce over the rice and mac salad but it's not really a rice dish. It must be over 10 years since I went to Grace's. I think I'll go there soon. Good luck with the new website.

Ynaku
Ynaku

I love rice. But it depends on what I'm eating. If it's local food, gotta be rice. If it's roast or turkey, then I'll opt for mashed potatoes.

But Rice is always my first choice. For me gotta be White sticky rice. Can eat it plain, with gravy or with what ever okazu I'm eating placed right on top. I'll attack a poke bowl with the rice underneath.

If there is stew, oh man, it's poured ALL OVER the rice.

I was raised on rice and probably die from eating all that rice, but I will die happy :)

Ynaku
Ynaku

I love rice. But it depends on what I'm eating. If it's local food, gotta be rice. If it's roast or turkey, then I'll opt for mashed potatoes. But Rice is always my first choice. For me gotta be White sticky rice. Can eat it plain, with gravy or with what ever okazu I'm eating placed right on top. I'll attack a poke bowl with the rice underneath. If there is stew, oh man, it's poured ALL OVER the rice. I was raised on rice and probably die from eating all that rice, but I will die happy :)

EdW
EdW

I enjoy rice. Not every day, but it is a staple in our diet. We used to make a pilaf using leeks and bacon. One of my favorites was to mix in bernaise sauce with my scoop.

EdW
EdW

I enjoy rice. Not every day, but it is a staple in our diet. We used to make a pilaf using leeks and bacon. One of my favorites was to mix in bernaise sauce with my scoop.

808marv
808marv

Not really a dish, but I always remembered being having rice on the side with lasagna when my Mom made it. I don't know, it worked for me! I guess it's kinda the same as the infamous Diner's spaghetti plate lunch that had (has? not sure that they serve it anymore) rice and macaroni salad. Obviously people liked it 'cause it was always on the menu. Yep lots of Hawaii folks love rice!

808marv
808marv

Not really a dish, but I always remembered being having rice on the side with lasagna when my Mom made it. I don't know, it worked for me! I guess it's kinda the same as the infamous Diner's spaghetti plate lunch that had (has? not sure that they serve it anymore) rice and macaroni salad. Obviously people liked it 'cause it was always on the menu. Yep lots of Hawaii folks love rice!

Watermark Publishing
Watermark Publishing

@Kim - It will be in the Longs Sunday ad on 5/22; see our site, www.bookshawaii.net/rice-book-events for details on the 2 Longs signings that week.

Mahalo to everyone for your interest! (BTW, you can also enter to win a copy, plus other rice goodies, by taking a donation of food for the Hawaii Foodbank to Territorial Savings Bank; see the link above for more details.)

Watermark Publishing
Watermark Publishing

@Kim - It will be in the Longs Sunday ad on 5/22; see our site, www.bookshawaii.net/rice-book-events for details on the 2 Longs signings that week. Mahalo to everyone for your interest! (BTW, you can also enter to win a copy, plus other rice goodies, by taking a donation of food for the Hawaii Foodbank to Territorial Savings Bank; see the link above for more details.)

WildeOscar
WildeOscar

OK, so I don't watch television, own very few electronic gadgets (daughter says we live like the Amish), and I have never really liked rice. It is a wonderful food and the basic staple in much of the world, but it has never grabbed me. Maybe, I need to check out the book, try some of the wonders that can be done with rice, and get with the program.

WildeOscar
WildeOscar

OK, so I don't watch television, own very few electronic gadgets (daughter says we live like the Amish), and I have never really liked rice. It is a wonderful food and the basic staple in much of the world, but it has never grabbed me. Maybe, I need to check out the book, try some of the wonders that can be done with rice, and get with the program.

Kim
Kim

Is it available at all Longs and maybe Sam's Club?

Kim
Kim

Is it available at all Longs and maybe Sam's Club?

Lcuy
Lcuy

I love Cheryl's books! This looks like an interesting one.

Lcuy
Lcuy

I love Cheryl's books! This looks like an interesting one.