By Casey Feehan
Often, chefs demand perfection in the kitchen, obsessing over every minute detail. But sometimes, an ingredient's imperfections are exactly what makes a dish stand out. Take broken rice: a bi-product of the milling process, the result is grain that, when cooked, has a softer and stickier texture than provided by perfect grains. Less expensive than intact varieties, broken rice—occasionally referred to as Mali rice—is the base of many rich, homey dishes commonly found throughout Southeast Asia and West Africa. Fragrant, flavorful and thoroughly satisfying, Chef Instructor Michael Garrett's recipe is an example of how some things are perfect just the way they are. He recommends using West African dried fermented fish to impart a pungent, nutty aroma to the dish.