Seafood packs so much flavor, but it needs a beautiful base to elevate it to a full meal. I don't know about you, but going through marinading, frying, baking or grilling fish or other seafood and putting it atop a bed of plain white rice, french fries, or mashed potatoes just ain't gonna cut it!
Enter: Egyptian "Seafood" Rice.
This soft rice, made by deeply browning onions to create an aromatic flavor base, yielding the perfect foundation for delectable coastal Mediterranean food. We use medium grain rice, the rice mostly commonly used in Egypt, because it produces moist, chewy rice to contrast crispy fish (https://food52.com/recipes...), perfectly grilled shrimp, and a sauce-laded baked fish. Alternatively, you can use your rice of choice, or my favorite alternative: Basmati rice.
The onion flavor permeates every grain of rice and doesn't compete with the seafood flavors, cumin, and garlic we'd like to get MORE of. Drizzle with some tangy tahini sauce, and you've got yourself an explosive collection of flavors.
This is why I love Egyptian food -- simple kitchen staples we can put to work to produce aromatic, layered flavors that will have you craving seconds (and thirds, if we are being honest).
Bel hana wel shefa (Arabic: enjoy it with happiness and good health)! —Hajar D.
onion, finely diced
medium grain rice, rinsed until water runs clear (look for Goya or River Rice)
In a medium, non-stick pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
Add the onions and saute', stirring frequently, until onions are brown in color, but not burnt.
Add the water and salt, cover and bring to a boil.
Add the rinsed rice, stir and cover.
Once the rice has come to a boil, lower heat to the lowest setting. Keep covered and cook until all the water is absorbed (around 20 minutes).
Fluff with a fork. Serve warm with Egyptian fried fish or your favorite seafood dish!
NOTE: if you can't find medium grain rice, use 3 cups of Basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes prior to using. You'll need 4.5 cups of water but this will lead more cooked rice.
You can make this dish with some flavor additions if you prefer. Options include adding 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 packet Goya sazon seasoning powder, and/or half a diced bell or jalapeno pepper. These additions can be added when the onion is a almost fully browned.