Cover Image: Rice Is Life

Rice Is Life

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Member Reviews

A great little book about one of the best and most versatile foods there is! Yummy looking and good photography.
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Such an amazing cookbook. Like truly learned so much while also being extremely hungry. Every recipe ive made has been delicious.
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Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me this arc!
This cookbook was everything that I wanted it to be and more! I’ve been looking for a good cookbook lately because over covid I got really into cooking. I’m also planning on moving out with my boyfriend within a year and I want to start building up an arsenal of recipe books filled with things that I know I would like and recipes for food that would be new to me. This book had exactly all of that. Carbs, especially rice, are my guilty pleasure and I can’t wait for this book to come out so I can give people my money and make all the yummy recipes in this book!
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As an Italian American, I didn’t grow up eating a lot of rice at home. I married a rice lover so it’s been a challenge to learn how to make good rice. This cookbook is a game changer! First of all I had no idea so much went into growing rice (this book really is a love letter to rice). 

Terrific recipes!!
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The introduction to this book, the authors' description on how they coined the name "forbidden rice" and imported it to America, is intersting and sets off the cookbook well.  The history lesson of rice and how it became a staple of cuisine in many countries is also worth reading about.  The pictures that accompany the book, those of different regions and people, are breathtaking and colorful.  I particularly like the definitions of different rices and how they are used - for their healing properties as well as their nutrition.

Now, on to the recipes.  The photographs of the finished dishes are inspiring, making the reader want to run right out and purchase the ingredients to make the meals.  There are recipes for dishes from all over the world, like Furikake Rice Balls (made with a seasoning blend that contains sesame seeds and nori seaweed, along with other ingredients), Lentil and Rice Shakshuka, Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Green Beans, Breakfast Sausage Fried Rice, and many varieties of Rice Pudding.  

The biggest takeaway from this cookbook is that rice is a versatile ingredient that nourishes and provides sustenance to many people around the globe.  Readers looking for a good strong history of rice, as well as delicious dishes, will like Rice is Life.

Disclaimer: I was given an Advanced Reader's Copy by NetGalley and the publisher.  The decision to read and review this cookbook rests entirely with me.
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Things are tight these days with inflation, rice is a wonderful way to make a meal stretch. In Rice is Life the authors give us a history of rice and the different kinds, how to cook rice of different varieties, and then recipes that you can use to try out all the new things you learned in the first two parts. I thought this was a really fun book. I really enjoyed the section on rice puddings as I love rice pudding. Almost every culture uses rice and if you are in the mood to broaden your rice horizons, this is the book for you!
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A colorful, informative book full to the brim with delicious recipes for all courses and all dietary needs. Cultural, ecological, and nutritive insights enrich the text as much as the vibrant pictures of people working the land and delectable-looking morsels. I particularly liked that vegetarian and vegan options are included alongside omnivorous-friendly recipes from all over the world. Well-organized recipes include a sample picture of the dish, serving size information, ingredients list in standard and metric units (so many cookbooks have only one or the other), background information on the dish, and clear preparation steps in short paragraphs. This book is a great kitchen staple. As the title says: rice is life!
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A tremendous amount of information and 65 recipes make up this cook book about the tiniest, most powerful grain grown on almost every continent. Being from South Louisiana where Rice is Life for real, and such a huge part of the Cajun cuisine, this book is a treasure trove of recipes from all over the world. A book to gift to friends that enjoy learning about other cultures or a gift to your own family to enjoy and savor..
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What would you like to know about rice? There's a decent chance you'll find an answer in this book. It is the work of the founders of Lotus Foods which began by importing a black rice they had found in China. Obviously they have learned a great deal about rice and share it here. Rice is an important part of the lives of booth growers and consumers and it is meaningful to learn it's place in their lives. Levine and Lee are strongly committed to sustainability and support SRI which is a system of growing rice with less water, fertilizer and any variety of seed rice. 
 And then there's cooking - to rinse or not, to soak or not, the rice to water ratio, stove top, steam, Instant Pot, rice cooker - it's not as complicated as that sounds and there are some nice charts to sort it all out. The recipes are varied and for the most part don't include hard to find ingredients. Rice is not exclusively Asian and neither are the recipes. I especially enjoyed the section on eggs and rice including the tips on fried rice.
In addition to a good index there is a brief list of organizations the authors support. The book has gorgeous photographs throughout. A thorough and beautiful book.
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What amazinBook it was really interesting how rice played a very important part and it was really good. How Lotus food p Was interesting how they talked about politics but also was a really great Recipes. I learned a lot about rice especially with black rice and how they used it for medicine over in China. I also like how they talked about the ring revolution and how it really did a lot of damage to people and how they're trying to break the helm right back and how they're trying to show people you can make rice in the old fashioned way and not hurt the environment. You never knew there were so many different types of rice. And how rice was transported from Asia to Africa to America. How rice became like bread internationally. Everybody had a different way of cooking it and Presenting it in different messages.
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The humble rice grain gets its due...

Beautiful photographs, a brief history and backstory, and a variety of easy to make recipes make this a must have for anyone who counts rice as a staple food. Highly recommend for the refreshing take on something we all take for granted. 
Highly recommend.
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A really lovely book that covers history, cultivation, and sustainability of the world's most popular grain! The recipes look amazing and the photos are beautiful. Will make a perfect gift for any foodie.
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Rice is Life by Caryl Levine and Ken Lee
Release Date: 10/11/22

This was such a delicious cookbook to review! All of the recipes were easy and amazing and I really enjoyed learning about different types of rice! I didn't even know that there was black or red rice and the recipes that included these types of rice were delicious. I also really enjoyed the variety of the recipes as well. My favorite recipe from this book was the Creamy Chicken and Red Rice Soup, it was such a comfort food for me. 

Thank you Netgalley and Chronicle Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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This is great, there’s so much you can with rice and so many ways to eat it!  Rice is a staple in many countries, it’s accompanied by what’s grown in the garden and with meat or seafood.  Sometimes with sauce or plain, so many recipes to try!  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy.
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Lotus food founders Levine and Lee have put together a finely crafted volume focusing on rice.  They focus on varieties grown across the world, describing color, growth facts like where it is grown and nutrition levels, the reason for rinsing rice [getting asbestos levels down], and even harvesting.  They give simple instructions for cooking the grain in broth or water, as well as complex but easy to follow recipes for common dishes with rice as it is cooked by rice farmers around the world.  This is no white rice 🍚 cookbook either.  While recipes may call for white rice, it is just as common to use black forbidden rice, red rice, jade green rice, etc.  Variety is the focus and recipes run the gamut from soups to salads to traditional fried, pilaf, pullao, and desserts.  Instructions are given for how to create that treasured golden brown crust prized by any cultures.  A valuable addition to any cookbook collection for all those cooks struggling to make perfect rice.
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This book absolutely lives up to its name. Not only was this text full of recipes but it also contained a cultural and historical perspective that I was not expecting.  I found it to be fluid and easy to follow. The images were beautiful and the instructions were intuitive.  Admittedly I haven't tried every recipe in this book however the several that I did complete were delicious. There were several vegetarian recipes. Overall I think this is an excellent cookbook for anyone who enjoys rice.
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"Rice is Life" lives up to its name! I knew there was more variety of rice in the world than jasmine, basmati, and brown, but this book opened my eyes to how rice is consumed worldwide. The historical and cultural portions paired well with the recipes from different countries and created a beautiful, holistic narrative.

I loved the photography throughout the book and liked that the structure followed the traditional path from appetizers to mains to desserts. There was a lovely variety of recipes and none of them looked too hard for a home chef to follow.
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Rice is life has a fantastic variety of recipes And is very well presented. All of the pictures are beautiful and truly displays the dish and makes it look appealing. It is a perfect companion to other books for side dish ideas.
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Rice really is life! I loved the variety of recipes in this book. There is truly a recipe or food style for everyone here. Pictures are good as well. I recommend for those who has rice as a daily food.
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Rice Is Life was not exactly what I was expecting when I requested to read this title--it was so much more! I learned plenty about the cultivation of rice in different parts of the world, as well as ethical and sustainable practices. I know more about a wide variety of rice types, and have orders on the way to try a few new-to-me varieties. The photography is gorgeous (though I do wish there were more photographs of the actual dishes of the recipes), and the layout suits the book itself quite well. I appreciated the *wide* variety of regional dishes presented in this book instead of just similar versions of overdone ones that we frequently see.


My thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the opportunity to preview this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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