Editor's note: About once a week our art director/chief photographer Robyn announces, to no one in particular, "Man, I just really like rice." About 45 minutes later, after polishing off her bowl of "rice and stuff," in her words, we'll hear, like clockwork, "Man, I ate too much rice." Here's more of her feelings about the grain.
During the depths of winter, when warm sunlight on bare skin seems like the stuff of unicorn-laced dreams, my favorite thing to eat is anything in the category of "hot stewy/saucy things with rice." The main reason is because this category features my favorite food, rice, and combines it with a moist binder of flavor that encourages me to eat more rice. It also helps that I can eat these dishes entirely with a spoon. If you're as lazy as I am, you know spoon food is the best.
Often the stewy/saucy substance looks like the end result of a virus that liquefies its victims or a digestive system gone awry. Do not let this deter you, for within that glop lies belly-comforting nourishment. For example:
Iranian stews with rice. Taste of Persia is great because you can get two stews in one dish over saffron-flavored rice for $12. You win on quality and quality. I also recommend Kabob on the Cliff for those around Bergen County, New Jersey.
Japanese curry and rice. I like pretty much any iteration of the stuff, but you could call Go Go Curry my...go go-to. Groan away, it only makes me stronger.
Any kind of soondubu (Korean tofu stew) with rice. Cho Dang Gol, BCD, and Seoul Garden used to be some of my favorites, along with Organic Tofu House in New Jersey, until I developed a serious food sensitivity towards spicy dishes—serious like, "My lungs are failing and I can hardly breathe and don't look at me, please, because my face is swollen and splotchy." But I can still remember the good times.
Please tell me I'm not the only one whose heart goes aflutter at the thought of eating stewy/saucy things with rice. If you have any similar dishes to recommend in New York City (or Northern New Jersey; my mom lives there and I'm always looking for recs), please share!
About the author: Robyn Lee is the editor of A Hamburger Today and takes many of the photos for Serious Eats. She'll also doodle cute stuff when necessary. Read more from Robyn at her personal food blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything.