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  • Tye Cooks Austin

My Love Affair with Rice

As a child my palate soley desired french fries and cream of wheat as the only food options. Sometimes I could be bribed into sampling other things but never rice. All kinds of rice: steamed, fried, caked or even stuffed in pudding did not make it past my tightly squeezed lips. Whenever I went over to eat at a friend or family gathering rice was always featured I inwardly cringed and begin developing plans of how to make sure rice never reached my mouth. Yes, I was the guest who moved around food the plate, feed it to the family pet, or tried to hide it in my napkin (the last one resulted in a highly upset parent.)

It wasn't until my early twenties that I finally found a rice which made me fall in love with this verstile food found on all continents and culture. When living abroad in Seoul, South Korea as a elementary English teacher and later transitioned to an Associate Professor at large college; I found that rice was ever present side dish at every meal. Yes, the food I loathed stared at me daily quietly requesting for me to give it another try.

One day after seeing that my choice of foods were limited I ate the rice. Now, I must let you know the rice was 180 degrees different from rice in the United States. This rice was sticky, moist, and possessed a flavor which the American versions must envy. Rice became my number one go to food, aka comfort food, while abroad and when I returned home.

I starting pairing rice with seaweed, onions, and tuna on the days I was too tired to cook. Snuck it into expat potluck dinners or for the quiet initimate dinners I hosted for close friends. When I returned home, I invested in high quality rice cooker to keep my affair going strong to this day.

I learned a number of tips to make the perfect rice for the cusisine it wil accompany, various quick and easy methods for cooking, and the necessity of cleaning the rice properly to achieve the best taste.

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