Sicilian Rice (Not Sicilian At All)


I decided to make “Sicilian Rice” for dinner for my brother and myself today.  This “Sicilian Rice” is not actually Sicilian at all but it’s a meal that is eaten in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu in Japan.  There are a few different stories why it’s called “Sicilian” but nobody seems to know the truth.  The interesting thing is that in Japan (and I’m sure in many other countries) there are certain food that is known only in a very small area and this is one of them.  A friend of mine who is from Saga told me that she thought it was just one of the dishes that all Japanese ate until she moved to Tokyo, when she found out people in Tokyo didn’t even know such a thing existed.


She made it for our mutual friend and myself once for lunch when she lived in Singapore quite a few years ago.  She was in Saga Prefecture recently and blogged about Sicilian Rice, which reminded me that I liked it very much but haven’t made it for a long time.


It’s basically rice covered and/or surrounded with thinly sliced BBQ style beef & onion, raw lettuce, cucumber, tomato and other vegetables you like.  I added avocado as my friend also used it when she made it for us.  You also put some mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise is much lighter and has some acidity, I think it’s similar to English Salad Cream – but not as sweet and a little more sour) and some Japanese sesame shabu-shabu sauce on top.




I’m happy to say my brother liked it, too.


I think I probably should have used a little more yakiniku sauce.  The balance was good when you eat the beef, onion and rice but when you have just the salad it needed more seasoning – I used sesame sauce like a dressing and it worked fine.  I think, though, I would probably add something spicy to the sauce next time.




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