Vermicelli Basmati Rice

Vermicelli Basmati Rice

Do you have any food quirks or traditions?

I do! I cannot make rice without eating a little tea cup saucer full of crunchy buttery fried vermicelli grains. Yes, I’m strange.

 It’s one of my earliest food memories and takes me back to being 8 years old when my grandmother came from overseas to live with us for a few months. She would often make Vermicelli Basmati rice and would sneak a little saucer of the Vermicelli rice to me, sprinkle salt on top and we’d eat the crunchy grains with our fingers, giggling like crazy. It was our naughty little secret.

 My Grandmother passed away not too long after that but this memory lives on. Now, when I’m making rice as a side dish to a stew, I have put some Vermicelli aside and hide in the laundry while I eat it. I don’t know why I hide, my husband is well aware of my crunchy rice eating habit, but eating my little saucer of rice in secret takes me back to being the giggly 8 year old with my Grandmother standing next to me, sharing the love.

Vermicelli Basmati Rice

  • ½ cup of Vermicelli/Filini pasta
  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wash your Basmati rice in a colander until the water runs clear, removing all the starch from the rice. Be sure to use your hands to massage the grains under the tap. You will find that this removes even more starch.

Vermicelli Basmati Rice

Raw Vermicelli with Butter

Brown the Vermicelli till golden brown

Brown the Vermicelli till golden brown

In a saucepan, add the butter and Vermicelli and pan fry it on high until the Vermicelli is a lovely shade of golden brown. Be sure to keep stirring, the browning will happen very quickly and can burn very easily.

(This is the part where my grandmother and I would take a tablespoon of the fried Vermicelli, add it to a tiny saucer and sprinkle it with some sea salt and eat it gloriously crunchy)


Add the washed Basmati rice to the fried Vermicelli, add a teaspoon of salt and add the hot water to the saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat to the lowest possible temperature to cook the rice until soft and done.

I find that sometimes I may need some more water, if the grains are still not quite cooked, add some more hot water from the jug, close the lid and turn off the heat. The remaining steam in the pot should cook the rice.

Enjoy the fluffy and buttery rice as a side dish to any meal.

Vermicelli Basmati Rice

Sprung eating the crunchy buttery and salty Vermicelli. Uh-Oh!

Sprung eating the crunchy buttery and salty Vermicelli. Uh-Oh!


31 thoughts on “Vermicelli Basmati Rice

  1. I’ve tried making a similar dish (I think it’s Egyptian or Lebanese in origin?) but I always end up with the noodles going soggy. If I add the vermicelli at the very end, after the rice is cooked, do you think they’d stay crunchy? Thanks Lisa, lovely dish! 🙂

    • Oh Celia, I think you’re referring to Egyptian Koshari (google it!) its a mix of rice, lentils and yes, crunchy fried pasta. That dish has to be assembled at the table so the pasta doesn’t go soft.
      This Vermicelli rice very well does go soft as the Vermicelli is fried in butter, but then added to the rice and steamed together. It’s certainly meant to be soft. I’m just the strange one that puts some aside to eat it crunchy before I properly cook it with the Basmati 🙂

  2. That’s a lovely family memory you have associated with this recipe. And pasta and rice together in one dish – my daughter is going to love this… I’ll be sure to try some of the fried vermicelli too!

  3. For the biggest non-Asian rice eater in the world, this is a bit of a newie which just has to be tried 🙂 ! SO interesting!!

  4. What a great memory. One of the things I still do since I was a kid is peel the outside crunchy crust off fishfingers before eating them. Eat the fishy stuff in the middle first then save the best for last the crunchy stuff on the outside. We don’t eat fishfingers very often but I just can’t shake this habit. Silly I know but I am sure you sympathise with me.

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