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Vermicelli Rice Pilaf

Vermicelli is a type of noodle used in many Middle Eastern and Asian dishes. It's a very thin noodle that is generally fried or roasted and then steamed or boiled into a dish.

Vermicelli rice is a dish I grew up eating not at home, but at all the local Mediterranean restaurants in Michigan. It wasn’t until I moved away, that I longed for golden vermicelli rice with potatoes. Lucky for me, I happened to move next door to an amazing Palestinian cook who turned into a lifelong friend. (Aala if you're reading this now, I heart you and miss your food!)

She would fulfill all my Mediterranean cravings and I owe it all to her for teaching me all my childhood favorite Dearborn food.

Here’s a spiced spin on the classic: Vermicelli Rice Pilaf with Potatoes!


  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Oil

  • 4 medium Golden Potatoes (small cubes)

  • 3/4 c. Vermicelli Noodles

  • 1 large Onion (chopped)

  • 2 cups Rice (presoaked for 30 mins)

  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube

  • Salt (to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder

  • 1 tsp 7 Spice (Bharat Spice)

  • 4.5 c. Water


  1. Soak your rice for at least 30 mins in water.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot.

  3. Once oil is heated, fry your small cubed potatoes until golden brown.

  4. Once tender and golden (about 10 to 15 mins), remove from pot onto a paper towel.

  5. Sprinkle a little salt over the potatoes.

  6. Now add your vermicelli noodles to the same pot you fried your potatoes.

  7. Fry the vermicelli until golden.

  8. Remove them as soon as they turn brown, this happens fast!

  9. Now in the reserved oil, add your onions and saute them until light golden brown.

  10. Now add your spices, chicken bouillon cube and mix.

  11. Now add your water and give it all a mix.

  12. Drain your soaked rice and add to spiced water pot.

  13. Bring the whole mixture to a boil.

  14. As soon as it reaches a boil, cover the pot and put the heat to low.

  15. Let the rice steam and cook halfway (until you see little holes and bubbles at the top of the rice, about 10 to 12 mins).

  16. Then add your fried vermicelli noodles, give it a quick, gentle mix.

  17. Cover and let steam on low heat for an additional 10 mins.

  18. Turn heat off and let sit for an additional 10 mins.

  19. Then fluff with a fork.

  20. Serve alongside your fried potatoes.

  21. Optional: Garnish with fried almonds and freshly chopped parsley.

I hope you give this delicious Pilaf a try and enjoy it as much as my family does! Serve it along side some of our favorites:

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