5 of the Most Famous Rice Dishes

As someone who considers myself a recovering “carbaholic,” one of my main concerns when I decided to take up a healthier lifestyle was that I wouldn’t be able to indulge in something I loved…I’m talking pasta, French fries, all the carb-heavy foods. You name it, I loved it.

But thankfully, I discovered that there are much healthier ways to incorporate just a few carbs into my clean-eating diet. One of the best ways I have found is to incorporate rice dishes into my meal plans—it’s especially a lifesaver on the weeks I go vegetarian.

Rice has long been a staple food in China, but it’s also popular in several other places around the world. Because it’s one of the few foods that truly offers a blank slate, you can transform a rice dish into a meal with just about any flavor profile—Chinese, American, Mexican.

And, thanks to products such as organic brown rice, you don’t even have to consider a rice dish your cheat meal. In fact, rice is the most important grain consumed by humans with regard to the nutritional aspects.

What Are the Different Types of Rice?

The hearty grain, which originated in Asia, consists of 40,000 different varieties that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. This wholesome grain is placed into three different classifications: short, medium, and long grained.

Some of the most popular varieties of rice include basmati, jasmine, japonica, and American aromatics.

Tip: For an added health bonus, if you’re looking to get rid of some extra starch, rinse your rice with water, until the water runs clear, prior to cooking.

The Most Popular Rice Dishes

Now it’s time for the good stuff; here are some of the best healthy rice dishes you can find, and I promise you will be dying to try each one.

  1. Salmon Egg-Fried RiceThis quick dish puts a delicious twist on the classic Chinese-style egg-fried rice. Adding soy and honey to the salmon gives your dish a sweet kick and added nutrition—thanks to the antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon.
    Find the recipe here.

  2. Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils with Harissa AubergineIf your taste buds desire the heat found in the Middle East, this rice dish with chargrilled harissa aubergines is for you. And, if you’re looking for a vegetarian comfort dish that won’t ruin your healthy eating, you will thoroughly enjoy the seasoning found in this dish.From the subtly spiced rice to the lentils, all combined with the bite of the fresh parsley, this dish isn’t lacking in the seasonings department.
    Find the recipe here.
  3. Fish Burrito BowlsPrior to my healthier lifestyle, I could go to town on a burrito. But who says just because you’re eating healthy that you can no longer enjoy the satisfying taste of a loaded burrito? A deconstructed fish burrito bowl is a great way to save calories and carbs by cutting out the tortilla.This recipe takes the idea of bowl food to a whole other level!
    Find the recipe here.
  4. One-Pot Pork and Pea PaellaWith merely six ingredients, this one-pot dish not only makes for a great and healthy treat, but also for quick and easy cleanup. The frozen peas add a nice touch of veggies to this simple rice dish.
    Find the recipe here.
  5. Roasted Broccoli and Rice Salad with MisoIf you’re trying to keep your rice intake at a minimum to cut carbs, this dish might just make the list. Plus, the miso dressing gives it just the boost of flavor it needs to feel like an indulgence.
    Find the recipe here.


Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating bland—with a few spices, you can really elevate your healthy dishes. And, if you’re looking for a small meal with some additional carbs, eating rice dishes is a great, healthy way to incorporate some carbs into your diet.

After you sample one of these dishes, share what you enjoyed about it. Do you have your own healthy rice dishes that are a must-try? Let us know in the comments!

Image from iStock/fotoflare (main image), hanapon1002 (dad and daughter eating rice). 

David Smith

David Smith is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry and social media marketing in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. When not staring into a computer screen,
David is an avid badminton player and natural landscape photographer.

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