One ingredient travels across 4‭ ‬continents‭ in 5 variations‬

Craving something different? Well, you don’t have to break the bank to get it! Rice is a cheap ingredient that is incredibly versatile. It can be eaten as a main dish or a side at any time of the day. Here are five dishes from five Baylor students from five different countries, all featuring rice.

Sarah Wang [Zhengzhou, China]

Dish: Chinese Stir-Fried Tomatoes and Eggs

Ingredients: rice, tomato, egg, oil, green onion, ketchup, spices

“Something that’s very popular is taking tomato and egg and cooking it together and pairing it with rice. The flavors mix together really well. Rice is among the most universal ingredients in Asian countries, and as a student from China, I would definitely say that is has been universal in our place. Having cheap, easy meals is very idealized for college students because it can fit into their busy schedule. That’s why I love this dish.”

Kritchai‭ -‬

Freda Uchebenu [Lagos, Nigeria]

Dish: Jollof Rice

Ingredients: rice, oil, tomatoes, red poblano peppers, red onion, tomato paste, curry powder, thyme, bay leaves, hot peppers, stock, unsalted butter, spices

“Jollof rice is a very common rice dish in Nigeria. It’s not hard to make and it’s just so juicy. It has everything in it. It’s premixed and you can adjust seasoning and flavors to your liking. It’s so flexible. Having access to cheap, easy meals is definitely something of high importance in college students’ lives. That’s why I believe rice is definitely a universal ingredient. It allows you to combine different ingredients together in different ways.”

Abi Olayiwola-‬

Rohitha Akkaraju [Hyderabad, India]

Dish: Curd Rice

Ingredients: rice, milk, plain yogurt, spices

“Curd rice is my favorite rice dish to eat. It’s basically a mixture of milk, yogurt, rice and salt. It’s a staple in a south Indian household. It’s a very common meal finisher. You put all the ingredients together and mix it. The yogurt has lots of probiotics in it that’s good for your gut health. I like it because it’s easy and nostalgic. Since not every student has reliable modes of transportation to a store, or even time to make an extravagant meal, making meals like this, with little to no prep time, can help with that.”

FomaA‭ -‬

Rita Dicarlo [Rutigliano, Italy]

Dish: Arancini

Ingredients: rice, shredded cheese, salt, breadcrumbs, oil, eggs, marinara sauce

“I definitely think rice is a universal ingredient. From risotto con patate e cozze from the south of Italy to rice balls in Japan, the whole world has relied on rice. It’s a staple of nutrition and one of the most versatile ingredients to prepare. My favorite rice dish is Arancini. It’s rice with a filling. It can be meat or cheese or vegetables, and then you fry it. They are so good and so affordable to make. I think it’s super important to have cheap, easy meals because college schedules can get really frantic, and often eating slides to the bottom of our priorities. We’d much rather study or work or meet with professors than ‘waste time’ getting a good meal. Having easy meals available fixes this reality.”

FomaA‭ -‬

Sheilyn Subia [Honoka’a, Hawaii]

Dish: Spam Musibi

Ingredients: rice, spam, seaweed, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce

“Rice, for many cultures, continues to be a vital food, and I believe it’s because of its remarkable versatility. You can cook it in many different ways and incorporate it into many meals. In Hawaii, spam musubis are a staple. Over in our island we have spam musubi festivals, luaus and concerts dedicated to it. You take spam, add rice, wrap it in seaweed, and you can put shoyu [a type of soy sauce] on top if you like. It’s sold everywhere on the island, even at gas stations. If there’s a potluck, spam musubis are always there. As a college student, time is valuable and often hard to find. Therefore, having a cheap, easy meal that can be quickly prepared like spam musubi allows students to stay healthy and accomplish the tasks that they need to do.“  

Ahirao‭ -‬