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Seductions of Rice by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

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Notes about this book

  • IvyManning on September 03, 2010

    Don't let the title fool you, it's about what goes on rice. Quite simple the BEST cookbook I have ever owned.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Cucumber-sesame salad

    • Tommelise on September 20, 2011

      I made this recipe with out the sesame oil , as I have a severe allergy to sesame seeds/oil - it still came out very good. This is the only dish my daughter has liked with cucumbers - a vegetable she normally avoids

    • mfto on July 02, 2011

      p 78 I used a European cucumber with the skin on. It isn't easy to quarter this long cucumber lengthwise but I followed their instructions. Next time I think I will try cutting the cucumber only in half lengthwise first, remove the seeds using a spoon and then continue cutting as recommended. I rinsed and squeezed and think I removed as much salt as possible. Next time I will cut slightly the amount of kosher salt in the dressing. Also after tasting, I added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add a little freshness to the taste. Be sure to add the red pepper. Great salad.

    • L.Nightshade on June 18, 2011

      Based on COTM recommendations, I made the dressing 1:1 rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil. And it was perfect. I used a thin skinned middle eastern cucumber and left the skin on. This little salad was light, easy, refreshing and pretty.

    • PinchOfSalt on July 01, 2014

      I forgot the ginger but the salad was delicious anyway. I made it with pickling cukes (skin left on) instead of the long european kind. I expect to be making it many times this summer. Yum.

  • Red chicken curry

    • krusso119 on July 22, 2012

      I used jarred curry paste (I more than doubled the amount called for in the recipe, both because I used more chicken & because I didn' think it was enough), but I also used roasted chili paste, about 3 tbsps. I used 2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, and cooked the chicken in the hot oil first, in batches, and removed the chicken to a plate. Then I added the chili pasta to the hot oil, cooked that for a minute, added the curry paste and the chopped thai basil leaves, cooked for another minute than I added the chicken and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Served it with a cucumber and watercress salad with Thai lime dressing from "Raising the Salad Bar".

    • L.Nightshade on June 18, 2011

      I took the alternate route mentioned and used the jarred red curry paste. The result had a minimal kick (although I used a bit more than the recipe called for), and was definitely boring. I imagine one could find Thai food tasting like this in a mall food court: bland and simplistic. I'm sure there's a world of difference when the red curry paste is made from scratch. I don't recommend taking the shortcut with this recipe. However, I had lovely organic chicken breasts which cooked perfectly in the broth.

    • sarahawker on September 29, 2015

      Simple recipe, might benefit from a splash of fish sauce if you use the jarred paste like I did. I served with charred okra, which was delicious.

  • Tofu with tomatoes and coriander

    • westminstr on September 08, 2014

      This winning recipe is really delicious and easy. Far more than the sum of its parts. And both of my kids will eat it, hooray! Can't say that about many tofu dishes.

  • Eggplant with spicy sesame sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on June 14, 2011

      p. 86 -A wonderful dish that received rave reviews, even from K who had 3 helpings! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to obtain the Asian sesame paste so I made my own concoction by mixing tahini w some roasted sesame oil to heighten the sesame flavour. . . this seemed to do the trick. We elected to grill our eggplant. The book gives you a choice of basting the eggplant w sesame oil or chilli oil and we chose sesame. This really was delicious! Served at room temperature it made a lovely side dish that was unique in it’s texture, and flavour profile. Happy to recommend this recipe, two chopsticks up! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787690#6606575

    • okcook on June 14, 2014

      I would second that this is a terrific dish. I did my eggplant in the microwave a la Modernist Cuisine...split them in half, put on paper towels and then covered with same, microwaved for three minutes on high. For the sesame paste I roasted whole skin on seeds until dark brown and pulverized them in the mortar and pastel.

  • Smoky red pepper chicken

    • Breadcrumbs on June 14, 2011

      p. 96 - We enjoyed this dish though I wouldn’t say it was remarkable. I needn’t have worried about the heat, in fact we found the dish to be very mild, the heat was quite subtle. Not sure if my chilies may have played a role. I used 6 Tien Tsin peppers that I purchased from Penzeys approx 3 weeks ago. We also felt that this dish failed to deliver on the Smoky flavour. Presumably it’s the searing that imparts this to the dish but it simply wasn’t prevalent at all in our case. The sauce was flavourful though, onion was the predominant flavour and the sauce was nice w the rice. With so many other chicken dishes to try, I don’t see myself making this again. I hope I don’t deter others from trying it though as it is a tasty dish. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787690#6606616

  • Snow peas with a hint of pork

    • Breadcrumbs on June 14, 2011

      p. 101 -Tender and crispy with a delicious pork-infused sauce this dish was the star of the evening in my view. We loved this dish and I’ll happily add it to my repertoire. I messed up somehow and purchased ground pork shoulder instead of a piece (which is supposed to be sliced). If the dish suffered at all for this mix-up, we certainly didn’t notice it because w loved this dish. I do believe that the stock is a key flavour component in this dish and I was fortunate to have some delicious vegetable stock on hand, which made for a fabulous sauce. I’d happily recommend this as the final dish was greater than the sum of its parts and exceeded our expectations. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787690#6606584

  • Egg fried rice

    • Breadcrumbs on June 14, 2011

      p. 105 Having finally mastered my new Zoji rice cooker, I was keen to try out my new perfectly cooked brown rice in this dish. Prep is simple and quick. Eggs are mixed w salt and soy sauce (I skipped the salt). Scallions, ham or lean bacon are finely chopped (I used a smoked ham). Carrots are listed as an optional ingredient and I didn’t use them though I did elect to used the optional sliced cucumber as a garnish. The rice was good, nothing special but it did serve as a fairly neutral canvas for the other saucy dishes. We enjoy the nutty flavour of brown rice and the ham did lend a smokiness to the dish but I can imagine this would be fairly bland if you were to use white rice . . . but perhaps that’s the point. I don’t think I’d make this again. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787690#6606595

    • Bloominanglophile on November 06, 2013

      I have made this for many a lunch when I find myself with leftover rice and ham or bacon. It is a simple, easy, quick recipe that makes a satisfying lunch or side dish.

  • Tangy lime sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 128 - Made this to accompany Grilled Satay from this book. I'd heard that the sauce was a bit too tangy so I added 1 Tbsp of water to my sauce. In the end, we enjoyed this, really liked the salty sour combo but I felt that the cayenne was "raw" tasting and that the sauce could have been improved by adding a liquid hot sauce instead of cayenne powder. I'll definitely make the sauce again but giving a hot sauce a try instead of cayenne.

  • Red curry sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 131 - This is a very standard Thai sauce and it worked well w the satay. I personally prefer to add peanut butter instead of chopped peanuts as we prefer a smooth texture. I have better recipes and likely wouldn't make this version again.

  • Jamaican rice and peas

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 410 Are you asking yourself the same thing I was. . . why is this Jamaican dish in the North American section of this book? I’m really not sure but as folks who happen to love the dish, I was keen to try out a new recipe. We thought this produced a tasty, non-traditional version of rice and peas however we do prefer the tastier, more traditional version which also would typically be made w chicken stock instead of water. We did incorporate green onions (escallion in Jamaica) which are also traditional. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787699#6624973

    • sosayi on May 29, 2018

      Solid, but not flashy, rice and peas variation. Worked a treat in the rice cooker, as well, for a large party. Subbed chicken stock for water, based on Breadcrumbs' review and that may have added a bit of flavor. Left out the habanero, due to serving for a large group with kids, but did add the optional tomato for more color.

  • Grilled pork satay

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 156 - We really enjoyed this recipe. I made my satays w pork tenderloin vs the loin. We elected to cook our pork on the grill and really enjoyed the smokey flavour. The meat was juicy and quite flavourful after marinating for 9 hours. We garnished w the suggested lettuce and cucumber and I made all 3 sauces w the Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce being the house favourite.

  • Classic Thai fried rice

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 159 - We liked but didn't love this dish. It was a bit too garlicky for our tastes and I'll definitely make it again but will use less garlic next time. This is a very flavourful dish. I did opt to add the tomato, scallions, and the mushrooms though mine were a mix of cremini and shitake. We garnished w scallion, cucumber and lime. While I did add the fish sauce to the rice itself, we didn't garnish w the fish sauce with Hot Chiles. Maybe next time. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787691#6608357

    • clcorbi on February 28, 2017

      Delicious. This dish is certainly quite garlicky, but we are garlic lovers so that wasn't a problem. We diced the mushrooms mistakenly, but I actually quite liked how they ended up blending into the rice once they cooked down. We omitted the optional tomato, and garnished the dish with lime wedges, sriracha, cucumber slices and fried eggs. This is an extremely speedy, flavorful dinner which I wouldn't hesitate to make again.

  • Banana salad

    • Breadcrumbs on June 15, 2011

      p. 252 As soon as the cumin seeds started to sizzle in the hot pan their warm, mellow aroma told me that they’d pair perfectly with banana. My mouth started watering. I couldn’t wait to sample this simple yet exotic dish that this book’s authors describe being served to them on a small piece of banana leaf. I’m delighted to report that this lovely salad exceeded our expectations and the final dish is far, far greater than the sum of its part. At once sweet, hot, creamy and tangy with the wonderful nutty, peppery crunch of the cumin seeds; this little salad was just fantastic. Delicious on its own, it also made an excellent condiment for our Indian-spiced grilled chicken and was delicious smeared on our toasted whole-wheat naan breads.

  • Gita's dal

    • Breadcrumbs on June 15, 2011

      p. 259 The book’s authors suggest that this Dal makes a good accompaniment to grilled meat and since I’d planned to make Indian-spiced grilled chicken, I knew I’d found a side dish! This was a nice, light tasting dal that was looser in consistency than dals I’ve made in the past. We served the dal warm along with some naan bread and steamed brown basmati rice for dipping, our grilled Indian-spiced chicken and the truly amazing Banana Salad from this same book. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787693#6610824

    • kitchen_chick on March 12, 2017

      Nice basic dal. Easy. Mine cooked faster than time listed. I didn't have mustard oil, so I added some mustard seed with the nigella.

  • Spring pilaf with fresh greens

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 291 - I likely have no business reviewing this recipe because I didn’t have the extra time to prepare the dish as intended so in the end, I did use all the ingredients called for in the dish, I just prepared them in a different manner. Once my basmati rice was cooked (I used brown btw), I heated up the butter/oil mixture in my wok then stirred in the rice and, using the author’s technique from another rice dish, pressed the rice against the side of the wok to form a crust. Once a sufficient amount of crustiness had developed, I stirred in the herbs to incorporate then made a well in the centre of the wok and poured in the egg/yogurt mixture and gradually stirred to incorporate into the rice mixture. While what I did may not have been what was intended and, undoubtedly produced a result unlike the author had envisioned, it sure was a tasty dish!!

  • Pomegranate onion salad

    • Breadcrumbs on June 28, 2011

      p. 302 I’ve never prepared onions in this manner. Onions are tossed in course salt and set aside for 20 minutes in order to remove any strong tang according to the book. I used Vidalia onions which, in my view, don’t normally have much of a tang however, I did like the resulting texture and flavour of the onions produced by the salting process. The onions take on a satiny-soft texture. I would reduce the amount of lemon juice to 2tbsp next time I prepare this dish as we did find the dressing to be somewhat bitter. The bitter-sweet crisp pop of the pomegranate seeds provided the perfect contrast to the silky, sweet onions. I used chili flakes vs cayenne. We loved this dish, it was perfect w our souvlaki and the rice. We treated it more as a condiment rather than a salad. Delicious, we’ll definitely have this again and I’d like to try it with lime juice next time. I used basil vs mint.

  • Steamed fish heaped with scallions and ginger

    • JoanN on July 04, 2011

      Best version of steamed fish with scallions and ginger I've ever had. Sauce is superb. Must serve with rice.

    • mfto on July 09, 2011

      p 94 I followed the recipe using sea bass. I would not change anything. The fresh ginger adds all the zip you need. My fish was a little under 1 1/2 lbs and I had the tail removed but kept the head on. It barely fit in my steamer and a pie plate was the only thing I had that would fit. I used a long strip of foil folded in thirds under the plate. This allowed me to remove the cooked fish and plate without spilling any of the delicious broth.

    • mfto on August 16, 2011

      There is a similar recipe by Self on Epicurious. Readers suggest other fish migh be red snapper, grouper or tilapia. Also suggest stuffing fish with cilatro stems.

  • Yunnanese spicy ground pork sauce

    • JoanN on September 04, 2017

      Chinese comfort food. Omit salt; use at least 2 star anise; use 2 dried red chiles; consider doubling recipe--freezes well.

    • clcorbi on March 09, 2017

      This dish is pretty different from a typical Chinese stirfry, but we really enjoyed it. I decreased the amount of dried mushroom slightly, because my dried black mushrooms bloomed to huge proportions after soaking and had sort of an odd texture to them. I also omitted the cinnamon, just because I didn't have cinnamon sticks on hand. Even after simmering the open pot for half an hour, the sauce was still more like a soup---I wouldn't say it ever became anything like the smooth gravy the author describes. I ended up letting it simmer for an extra 10-15 minutes before serving to try and compensate. Even though it was pretty liquidy, this sauce had a delicious, rich flavor, and was great over rice. The leftovers really improved overnight, too. I also appreciate how easy this was to throw together--it takes about an hour to cook overall, but most of that is inactive time.

  • Stir-fried shrimp, Kerala style

    • JoanN on June 12, 2011

      Terrific! Recipe is easy to halve, making two generous servings.

    • kitchen_chick on March 14, 2017

      Very nice! All the work is in the prep. The cooking is fast.

  • Rhubarb-lamb stew

    • amraub on April 10, 2012

      This just didn't work for us. I love rhubarb, but the final sauce was way too sour. Maybe it would've worked with less rhubarb or more sweetness to offset it?

  • Shrimp, pork, and watercress salad

    • mcvl on August 05, 2013

      Good, pleasant, not special.

  • Grilled eggplant salad

    • mfto on December 14, 2011

      p 134 - I made this to accompany fried rice. I used a baby eggplant and broiled as directed. I made the full dressing recipe using some of the bird chiles from Fish Sauce with Hot Chiles p 123 in Seductions of Rice. I was afraid it would be too spicy but it was the perfect complement to the fried rice. I did not have lettuce for the salad.

  • Quick and easy Chinese greens

    • L.Nightshade on July 11, 2011

      My greens included mizuna, tatsoi, chard, red spinach, kale buds, broccoli raab, and arugula. I used purple spring onions where scallions were specified. These were a bit bigger than scallions, so I cut them in shorter pieces. Garlic, scallions, and ginger are stir fried for 30 seconds, then the greens are added and cooked for a scant couple minutes. Then a mixture of chicken stock, oyster sauce, Chinese wine, soy sauce, and sugar is added to the greens for a three minute simmer. Near the end, cornstarch mixed in water is added and the pot is stirred until the mixture thickens. I thought this was quite a tasty treatment for the greens. The sauce has a good flavor, but does not overwhelm the fresh green taste. I served this with plain black rice.

  • Chinese black rice

    • L.Nightshade on June 04, 2011

      The Chinese black rice has a nice nutty taste, but is plain enough to make a good foil for sauces. It is not a glutinous rice, and the grains remain separate, and retain a pleasant toothy texture. The recipe as is makes a LOT of rice.

  • Spinach and mung dal

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Watching this cook I thought the end product might be a brown mush, but the separate colors held, and it was really rather pretty. I didn't have quite enough spinach so I cut down the proportions a bit. I may not have added quite the right amount of water. My final dish was not quite soupy enough to make me want to serve it over rice. However it was perfect as a standalone dish. There is definitely some heat to this dish (although, had I served it over rice, that heat might have been cut a bit). Mr. Nightshade has a discerning palate when it comes to peppers. He was instantly aware that there was only one source of heat, the cayenne. I used only Indian cayenne, next time I will combine it with a little African cayenne and/or another pepper. Also, I think that this dish calls out for a little dab of cooling yogurt, but I had none on hand. We settled on cooling our tongues with blood orange sorbet for dessert.

  • Risotto alla birra

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I feel like we ate dinner at the bar; risotto with beer, and pork with gin! This risotto starts in the regular way, with onions and garlic sauteed in oil, then rice is added and sauteed. Then cream is added, but instead of wine, dark beer goes in next (I used Obsidian Stout). The beer is followed by the usual heated stock. When the rice is finished, parmigiano reggiano is stirred in. The result is a very interesting flavor, not readily identifiable as beer. If I hadn't known, I might have guessed coffee, or maybe mushroom. Mr. Nightshade loved it, wants it to become the house recipe for risotto. But he is the birra drinker in the house. I liked it quite a lot also, but it's not very pretty to look at, just beige. I do think it would be very good plated with sauteed wild mushrooms.

  • Soupy chicken with mushrooms

  • Kerala coconut chicken curry

    • sarahawker on February 06, 2016

      This was quite good. Had to substitute ground for some of the whole spices so I just threw those in at the end of the roasting period. My kids thought this was too spicy but my husband and I loved it. Took the potatoes twice as long to cook.

  • Spicy simmered tofu

    • kitchen_chick on March 15, 2017

      You know when you look at something and think that's not a good idea, and then you do it anyway? That's what I did when I read 3 TABLESPOONS of soy sauce for this dish. I figure this cookbook has been great so far, so I ignored my gut instinct and tried it. Too much! And this in spite of doubling the pork in the recipe. I added another 1/2lb of tofu cubes to dilute the saltiness. Maybe it's a typo and should be 3 tsp (i.e. 1 Tbs)? Adjust for the salt and it's a solid and easy but not spectacular spicy tofu and pork dish.

  • Central Asian rice and bean stew

    • kitchen_chick on March 16, 2017

      Used a pound of lamb (for alternate meat version listed in cookbook) instead of the half pound. Adjusted spices and salt. Worked great. Also, used Aleppo chili flakes instead of generic chili flakes.

  • Summer stir-fry

    • clcorbi on September 05, 2017

      Yum. Easy and good. The flavor is not very intense, but as long as you salt adequately, it's very nice. The stirfry also turns out very pretty from the corn, green zucchini, and browned peanuts.

  • Grilled beef salad

    • clcorbi on May 22, 2017

      Yum. This is a delicious salad that I expect I'll be repeating throughout the summer. Prep takes a little while, but only because you have to let the beef chill for about an hour after broiling or grilling it. We broiled the meat, but next time I'd be tempted to just pan-sear it instead, because the house got VERY smoky from all the oil splattering in the oven. Anyway, once the beef is chilled you slice it very thinly and toss with lime juice, fish sauce, chiles (I used sambal oelek instead of diced chiles), cilantro, shallots, and scallions. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve with cucumbers. I thinly sliced a half-cucumber and tossed it right in with the beef, upping the lime juice and fish sauce to taste, and served the salad over rice. This dish would make excellent picnic food, maybe with the rice mixed right in. We had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they improved overnight. This makes such a delicious, refreshing warm weather meal.

  • Tofu fried with basil

    • clcorbi on February 24, 2017

      This was pretty tasty, but not great enough that I'd make it again. Neither of us particularly enjoyed the "scrambled egg" consistency that the tofu took on. Also, even once the fish sauce was added, the dish was still quite bland and we had to add quite a bit of salt and some sugar to help jazz it up.

  • Bengali potato and cauliflower curry

    • clcorbi on April 09, 2019

      I thought the instructions for this dish sounded unnecessarily fussy, so I adjusted and cooked the whole thing in one pot, starting with the spices and onion and then adding in the cauliflower, potatoes and water afterwards. This worked just fine, which makes me think there's no reason to dirty two pots. I also omitted the mustard oil, because I didn't have any, but added a generous teaspoon of ground mustard seeds to the oil. I also threw in a tablespoon of tomato paste just because I had it, and used mostly ground spices instead of whole ones. The resulting curry, even with all my changes, was excellent and flavorful. The leftovers have only gotten better, too.

  • Shrimp gumbo

    • clcorbi on March 15, 2017

      This was my first time making gumbo, so I'm no expert, but I was really happy with this recipe. I got to use my homemade fish stock for it so I had high expectations. I did make a few changes--I crumbled in one link of chorizo during the sautéeing stage (obviously not authentic, but I didn't have andouille), and I used 3/4lb of okra rather than the full pound. I also added a diced thai chile for some extra heat. I probably let the soup simmer a bit longer than was called for before I added the shrimp, because I really wanted the flavors to meld. The final result was lovely and thick, with a nice depth of flavor. I was worried it wouldn't be spicy enough for us, but it was actually verging on too spicy--I must have gotten an especially hot thai chile. With cornbread, this made a really nice dinner.

  • Assamese salad with radishes, chiles, and lime

    • jnstewart on February 11, 2017

      So easy and delicious. It would go great with tacos. Just make sure you eat it all day-of, because the lime juice goes acidic very quickly.

  • Easy rice balls (onigiri)

    • mjes on April 25, 2018

      A very good basic recipe well worth knowing. When introducing people to umeboshi plums, remind them it is a strong flavor best approached like wasabi. That way I find most people like it whereas if they just dive in, many find it strong and distasteful. This is also a recipe where making it a mixed rice with an accent of other grains or seeds can add visual appeal to the final results.

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  • ISBN 10 067931251X
  • ISBN 13 9780679312512
  • Published May 27 2003
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 474
  • Language English
  • Countries Canada
  • Publisher Random House Canada
  • Imprint Random House Canada

Publishers Text

They've done it again! The authors that brought you the Cookbook of The Year, Flatbreads and Flavors, have traveled to the major rice eating regions of the world and experienced firsthand dozens of varieties of rice with unimaginable subtleties of taste, as well as the staggering array of foods that must accompany them.


In Seductions of Rice, they bring it all home: hundreds of delectable dishes, from the worlds latest rice cuisines, illuminated by stories, insights,and photographs.


Chinese stir-fries served with steaming rice, smokey Carolina low-country pulaos, Japanese sushi, Indian thorans, Thai salads, Turkish pilafs, Italian risottos, are shared not just as recipes, but as time honored traditions.



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