Mar 20, 2009

Rice Presentation

Filed under: Tips & Tricks,Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Kay @ 1:23 pm

I’m a very visual person, but you’ve probably noticed that by now. A considerable part of a dish’s flavor is determined by how it’s presented. At least to me it is. Simple, affordable every-day meals can be amazingly elegant and downright beautiful when you pay some attention to the details.

It’s all about presentation; some chopped fresh herbs, a dollop sour cream, some crumbled up bacon or even a little cracked black pepper can make a world of difference when put on top of your food. It just livens things up and takes it to a higher level. Not just my photos are influenced by that—my taste buds are as well.

That’s why I always serve rice this way. I’m sure a lot of people do the exact same thing, but for those who don’t; here’s a simple technique that instantly transforms an ordinary pile of rice into something a little more special.




Being this visual, it’s a good thing I’m surrounded by beauty! Oh yeah, the park is kinda pretty, too.


This is all you need. A simple bowl and a plate. Bowl size depends on your appetite. Size of the plate as well.

Pour a few drops of oil in the bowl. You can use any kind of oil for this; it’s mainly to let the rice slide out more easily. You can use the oil to your advantage, though. Chili oil, for instance, adds a little zing and color to the rice! You can also use oil with minced herbs for an instant color boost and contrast. Or garlic infused oil for a little added flavor. Even fruit pieces pressed into the rice create a gorgeous picture.

Rub the oil all over the bowl. No, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty but would rather not get oil on my camera. Hence the basting brush.

I’ve coated the entire bowl with a thin layer of oil.

Hot, steaming white rice. There’s something enticing about it. I know, I know… brown rice is far more flavorful, healthy and nutty, but there’s just something pretty about a big bowl of pristine white rice. Sue me!

Just fill the cup with rice and flatten it with the back of your spoon. Really push it down into the bowl.

Place your plate upside down over the bowl. Try to keep the bowl in the center of the plate.

Flip the plate (and bowl) over.

Gently and slowly lift the bowl. Because you first oiled it, it should go really smooth.

I’ve used this technique in my Oriental Express posting as well. When serving Bifteki, I add some lemon juice and green peas to the rice and use very small bowls. It just makes everything you put on top of it look much, much prettier.

Admit it, this looks much better than a messy pile of rice on a plate!

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    1. 1

      I have had rice served to me this way, but never thought of how it was done or trying it at home myself. I appreciate the presentation lesson/tip from the Queen of food presentation!

      Sheila on Mar 20, 2009 @ 3:26 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Wow – lovely post – thanks for the tip on the oil in the bowl – I’ve seen rice presented this way many times in restaurants, I think it will be fun to do at home!! I just started blogging, and am currently overwhelmed by the photos and the editing, you are a genius! How on earth do you get all those action shots done?

      Zaara on Mar 20, 2009 @ 4:29 pm Reply
    3. 3

      It does look good… but what I really covet is that basting brush! I’ve only ever used the kind with bristles, and the bristles always end up falling out. Where did you get the brush pictured, if you don’t mind me asking?

      Kake on Mar 20, 2009 @ 4:29 pm Reply
    4. 4

      I’m making Hawaiian chicken tonight, perfect time to try this.Thanks for the tip!

      Miss M.J. Ma'am on Mar 20, 2009 @ 5:18 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Zaara, I have a very steady hand so I’ll often shoot with the camera in my right hand while performing the action with my left hand. Or I use a tripod. Or I find myself an extra pair of hands (read:I drag anyone who enters the door into the kitchen and make them help:)

      Kay on Mar 20, 2009 @ 5:54 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Stunning photography! Thanks.

      Joyce on Mar 20, 2009 @ 6:15 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Ok, I think if you want people to pay attention to the food, you can’t put pics of your baby in the same post. He’s just absolutely darling!!

      Back to the rice… love it served this way! I’m with ya, I plate most of our meals. my kids eat it better.

      naomig on Mar 20, 2009 @ 6:31 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I’m making Hawaiian chicken tonight, perfect time to try this.Thanks for the tip!
      Love your site, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve tried foods that I never would have before. Good job!!

      Miss M.J. Ma'am on Mar 21, 2009 @ 1:38 am Reply
    9. 9

      Beautiful, simple, elegant. Rice is a staple in Korean cuisine (my people’s food!), usually without much attention to presentation. I agree with you that we eat with our eyes first!

      Christina@DeglazeMe on Mar 21, 2009 @ 5:11 am Reply
    10. 10

      Oh wow! Love the idea. Since I never plate the food, guess I haven’t given it much thought. (Wanted my family to learn to serve themselves only the amount for which they are hungry.) But it is beautiful. Again, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your recipes and photographs. Very inspiring.

      pz on Mar 21, 2009 @ 3:46 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Ok I must know how you got your sky so blue LOL

      Laura K, on Mar 21, 2009 @ 7:48 pm Reply
    12. 12

      I admit it… This does look great! I love a nice mound of white rice as well, especially Jasmine rice. Thanks for sharing this technique… I know I will use it next time I make rice.

      Farmer Gal on Mar 22, 2009 @ 3:28 am Reply
    13. 13

      When I used to have sit down dinner parties (now I only serve buffet style…easier), I used to always make rice timbales in little oiled ramekins.
      They looked so pretty!

      Stacey Snacks on Mar 22, 2009 @ 4:15 am Reply
    14. 14

      Very nice…………I also am a visual person and also eat with my eyes most of the time. If it looks good it usually is

      doodles on Mar 22, 2009 @ 5:08 pm Reply
    15. 15

      I love this! Who knew it was so easy to make something so elegant..

      maris on Mar 22, 2009 @ 5:36 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Very nice! :D I can’t present food to save my life! D: I wish I could, though. XD

      Anneli on Mar 22, 2009 @ 10:10 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Love the photos. I’ve never done too much with the rice but toss it onto a plate. I like the idea of appearing all FANCY with this trick. You ROCK!

      Kristy on Mar 22, 2009 @ 11:00 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Kay I am falling in love with your blog!! your food looks amazing and so your photography.
      Excellent work, Keep it up!

      Technogal on Mar 26, 2009 @ 12:43 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Kake, I have the same basting brush and it really is awesome. I found mine at the Dollar Tree.

      Ashleigh on Mar 27, 2009 @ 6:36 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Thanks Ashleigh! I had a look on Amazon and found one that looked pretty good, just waiting for it to arrive now.

      Kake on Mar 31, 2009 @ 4:45 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Hello, I am a Chef (glorified cook really!) and i use this method of presentation for my rice and my mash… But i found this site looking for a name of this style… basically i need a “posh” word for it so i can put it on my menu! thanks veyr much :)

      Matt on Aug 20, 2011 @ 6:31 pm Reply
    22. 22

      We do this at home too! With the exception of not oiling the bowl beforehand.

      Sil on Mar 16, 2012 @ 5:27 pm Reply
    23. 23

      Great Idea.
      What sort of size of dish is being used please.

      Bernard on Apr 4, 2012 @ 12:13 am Reply
    24. 24

      I tried this a couple of nights ago and … perfection! Thank you so much for the tip.

      Stephanie (New Zealand) on Aug 12, 2012 @ 10:28 pm Reply
    25. 25

      Thank you!

      Shawniece on Nov 3, 2014 @ 4:22 pm Reply

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