Rice Vermicelli, East Meets West in the Middle

I really do not know who, where and why Rice Vermicelli was first “discovered”. I like to think that it was some poor mother making a simple stew for her family and had not enough rice, but some remaining vermicelli (thin spaghetti) and combined the two with butter / ghee. Rice Vermicelli is the traditional bed of starch in which most stews, with the exception of Molokia are served with in the Middle East. The combination of the rice with the short narrow pieces of pasta provides a light and fluffy bed in which to top the stew. The semi-hardness of the rice combined with the softness of the vermicelli creates a pleasing contrast of texture with each bite.

Rice Vermicelli

Lebanese Style Rice Vermicelli



Follow the instructions below and you will have no problem making Rice Vermicelli.


  • 1 Cup of White Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salted Butter
  • ½ Cup of Vermicelli
  • 1 ½ Cups of Water
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Rinse rice and soak it with hot water and salt for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the rice, rinse again and allow the rice to drain.
  3. In a pot melt the butter and sauté the vermicelli until it becomes golden brown. It must be stirred constantly so it does not burn. Trust me, it will burn if you are not paying attention.
  4. Add the drained rice to the vermicelli and sauté the two for a minute.
  5. Add the water, pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Once it has begun to boil, reduce the heat to Low, cover the pot and cook for 15 -20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and allow the Rice Vermicelli to rest in the covered pot for another 5 minutes.


Do not stir the Rice Vermicelli while it is cooking

When serving, fluff the Rice Vermicelli with a fork to make it light and fluffy.

Rice Vermicelli is a perfect partner to most stews and provides a nice alternative to plain steamed white rice. Although, I use Rice Vermicelli with stews, I do not see why you could not use this dish as a bed in which to placed your grilled kabobs or kafta / kofteh with vegetables.

Lebanese Bemyeh Stew

Lebanese Bemyeh Stew Served with Rice Vermicelli


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