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I bought some rice from Turkish shop and as you can see in the picture it came with this spaghetti like strings with it, I’m not referring to the green stuff.

Do you know what it is and would it have been typically boiled with the rice or added at the end?

enter image description here

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  • Any chance you could pull a couple out and post them without all the rice, so that we can get a better idea of what shape and size it is? – bob1 Apr 20 at 20:28
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It's toasted vermicelli.

This dish is called şehriyeli pilav in Turkey, riz bi sh’arieh in Lebanon and Syria, shehrehi yeghintz in Armenia, and reshteh polo in Iran.

The basic idea is that you brown the noodles in a little bit of oil or butter, then add rice and cook basically as you would cook steamed rice.

Below are four sample recipes. Note that the Persian version (the last in this list) is more complicated, uses a different noodle (a kind that's more common in Iran) and has a crispy bottom.

şehriyeli pilav

riz bi sh'arieh

shehrehi yeghintz - and if you read that article (it's worth a read), you'll learn that this dish was also the inspiration for Rice-A-Roni. More like the "Yerevani treat"!

reshteh polo

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    Thank goodness for that. I was seeing worms. – RedSonja Apr 21 at 6:06
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    Vermicelli is Italian for "little worms" (a kind of pasta) so your worry was justified :-) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermicelli – Vorbis Apr 21 at 7:03
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    Neat. It's a variation I haven't really seen before. I'm more used to orzo rice, which I guess is the same thing but differently-shaped pasta ;) I see the first recipe says to use either. – Tetsujin Apr 21 at 7:29
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    and "rice-a-roni" in the US 😅 – Gramatik Apr 21 at 15:23
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    @Gramatik, thanks. I've had that jingle stuck in my head my entire life, but I've never actually tried rice-a-roni. According to wikipedia, rice-a-roni seems to have been based on the Armenian version of this dish. I'll update my answer. Definitely adds flavor. – Juhasz Apr 21 at 16:18
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You can relax, they are not worms. What this is, is vermicelli. It is a mild tasting noodle typically made of flour. You can boil it with the rice, although to make a nice tasting pilaf you should brown the rice/vermicelli mixture in a little fat before adding the water. I use butter. It adds a nice nutty, browned butter flavor to my rice dish at the end.

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    "What this is, is vermicelli"...which means "little worms" :-) – TonyK Apr 23 at 14:29
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This is single alfalfa sprout. My research: knowledge of the earth our giver of life.

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    The OP was "not referring to the green stuff". – Sneftel Apr 21 at 7:32
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    @Sneftel I agree, +1. But tbh, the OP never did point out which ones they were referring to (with some arrows or circles), so you can't really blame the answerer. Not everyone will find the appearance of alfalfa sprouts obvious :) – Anastasia Zendaya Apr 21 at 12:41
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    @AnastasiaZendaya the question clearly described “spaghetti like strings” and excluded the “green stuff”. I don’t think arrows or circles are necessary with the photo plus the verbal description. – Stephie Apr 21 at 14:15
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    @AnastasiaZendaya including the attached green “stringy bit” - see how it’s attached at the upper left corner. It’s thinner than the other brownish stringy things. Which means in the picture only the brownish stringy things remain as the subject of the question. In short, either the answerer misinterpreted the question (-> pointed out in comments) or the community deemed that the answer is incorrect (-> reflected in the votes). – Stephie Apr 21 at 14:22
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    @Stephie Very good point. Thank you, I stand corrected. – Anastasia Zendaya Apr 21 at 15:10

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