A family recipe passed down for generations, Hushwee Rice is a humble Lebanese side dish made with rice and beef flavored with warm cinnamon, clarified butter and toasted pine nuts.
If I had to pick my last meal, it would be a buffet of Lebanese food prepared by my Aunt Paula with a giant bowl of this hushwee rice front and center. While others dream of mashed potatoes and stuffing, this is the dish we beg her to bring to Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.
A family recipe passed down for generations, I knew I had nailed it when my mom recently said my version tasted as good as her sito’s (Arabic for Grandmother.)
Made with clarified butter, warm cinnamon and toasted pine nuts, this irresistible side dish tastes delicious on its own or served with lemony Chicken Tawook and a giant Middle Eastern Green Salad. It is also traditionally served with roasted chicken stirred in the rice mixture.
Honestly, though, you could serve it to me on a platter of mud and I would still clear my plate.
The real star of the dish? A generous helping of pine nuts toasted until nutty and golden brown. This dish is rich, it is aromatic, it is comfort food at its finest. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love it and I urge you to challenge me on that.
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Hushwee Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts
For Hushwee Rice
For Hushwee Beef
For roasting pine nuts
- ¼ cup pine nuts (toasted)
Preparing Hushwee Beef
- In a deep pan, melt butter over medium high heat then add the minced onion. Sautee until translucent, 4-5 minutes.
- Add ground sirloin and spices. Cook 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break up meat.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and set aside.
Toasting the pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a small cookie sheet place raw pine nuts and cook for 5-7 minutes or until they are at a light brown in color. Keep a careful eye on them as they can burn quickly.
- While hushwee meat is browning, melt clarified butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add vermicelli noodles and toast until deep brown.
- Stir in rinsed rice and cook for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the rice. Add reserved hushwee to the pan and stir to combine.
- Add chicken broth, salt and pepper to the pot and stir once. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, leaving the lid on the entire time.
- Fluff rice and meat with a fork then serve with additional toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.