Oriental Orzo; I won (at) the Lotto

This is so easy to make, put everything in the pan and cook. It gets quite creamy, almost like a risotto.

The flavors are complex and pair well with roasted salmon or chicken with an Asian flavor… like the Asian Baked Salmon.

Toasting sesame seeds is simple – put them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir / toss until lightly browned.

Oriental Orzo

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (4.5oz, 130gr) orzo
  • 1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300ml) chicken stock
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil – or walnut oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Oriental Orzo


  • Put orzo, brown sugar, soy sauce and stock in a small pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.
  • Turn heat to low and simmer until done, stirring occasionally, 15 – 20 minutes.  All stock will be absorbed.
  • Stir in sesame oil and seeds and serve.

Print Recipe

I thought you’d like to see a photo of our woodpile….

Isn’t it lovely?

The green field behind it is winter wheat. I love the way the fields turn green just as winter starts.


I always tell people visiting our house to, please, not walk around barefoot.

It’s not just the chance of stepping on a sleeping lizard or a bit of missed dog poo…..

We have things that come up from the ground.

Sometimes it feels like we’re living on an archaeological dig.

This fork is the latest discovery.

It’s obviously not silver or gold or plastic since it’s seriously rusted and corroded.

And notice how one of the tines is pointing straight up.


This is the reason I just updated my tetanus vaccination.

On another note…..

Something else that we have in France that I don’t think exists in the US: Lotto.

I was totally confused about this the first few years we lived here. I kept seeing signs for Lotto, followed by a date. Not big signs like one sees in the US for the lottery, but little, local village signs.

It’s not a lottery.

Well, it is, but it’s not the kind where you buy a ticket then wait for a drawing in hopes that you will win a billion dollars.

A lotto is a social event. Drinks and food are served. There is always a lotto at our village dinners.

One buys tickets, usually 6 tickets for 5 euro or something similar.

Over the course of the afternoon or evening, numbers are drawn for the prizes. The prizes can range from a box of chocolates to a bottle of whiskey to a bag of groceries to a haunch of wild boar to linen napkins to a set of knives. I won a bag of groceries at our village dinner.

It’s a leisurely procedure with much talking and joking and laughing and kids running around ‘helping’.

Usually the prizes are donated and the purpose is to raise money for the school or village or church or whoever is sponsoring it.

So if you ever are driving through France and see a sign for a Lotto – stop in. It could be your lucky day.

5 thoughts on “Oriental Orzo; I won (at) the Lotto”

  1. You have totally floored me! I love the orzo (risotto style), but what I just learned about Lotto is shocking me. I never doubted it was a lottery like in the US. How very interesting. Hmm…do I dare give it a try next time in France?…….

  2. Kate, a big bag of groceries – pasta, sugar, flour, cooking oil, instant potatoes, big tin of green beans, etc, etc…. lots of stuff.

    Zoomie, most of it we don’t use (instant potatoes, kilo bags of powdered sugar) so I took the majority of it to the local food bank.

    Gill, it’s a nice change (and I love orzo)

    Susan, absolutely give it a try. You’ll need to buy the tickets (of course) and either buy drinks or there will be a fee to get in that includes the apero. I’m sure you will be warmly welcomed.

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