Sherpa’s Rice

noc-restaurantI discovered this dish at Nantahala Outdoor Center in western North Carolina during a high mountain hiking retreat.

Sherpa’s Rice has a deep, rich centering flavor. One of their cooks lived in Nepal and adapted this dish of the Sherpas, who porter for climbers up Mt. Everest without using oxygen!!!

SHERPA SAUCE: This makes enough for several recipes. It is a great all-around sauce!

soy sauce, 1/2 cup

garlic, 1/2 tsp. grated

ginger, fresh, 1 tsp., grated

Rice, Barley & LentilsGRAINS & BEAN BASE:  Colorful splash of veggies top this staidly base

brown rice, 3/4 cup, rinsed

barley, pearled, 1/4 cup, rinsed

lentils, green, 1/4 cup, rinsed and sorted for debris

sea salt, 1/2 tsp

boiling water, 2 cups


vegetable oil, 4 tsp., neutral flavor

onion, 2 cups (1 large), 1-inch square pieces

bell pepper, 2 cups (1 large), cored, 1” square pieces

mushrooms, 2 cups, halved (or quartered, if large)

tomatoes, fresh 1 cup (1 medium), cored, chopped

herbs: a big splash of parsley, chives, and/or mint for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS: You can easily double or triple the recipe; it makes a great planned-over main course.


Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid. When water comes to the boil, add rice, barley, lentils, and sea salt, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Do not peek—simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered.

Alternatively, you can bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes (starting with boiling water)

MAKE THE SAUCE: Combine soy sauce, garlic, and ginger


In a large skillet, fry the onion in oil until they soften a bit and take on some color; add bell pepper and mushrooms and fry until softened. Add tomato and reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook a few minutes, the tomatoes will yield their liquid, and make a sauce—almost like a stew.


Add about 3 TBS of the Sherpa sauce to the veggies and stir. Wait a minute, then taste and adjust if needed.

Serve the grain on individual plates or platter and ladle the vegetables on top. Top with chopped herbs.


Serve topped with a fried egg and toasted sesame seeds

Add chunks of chicken or shrimp to the simmering veggies and cook through


You will add deeper flavor if you sauté onions until they brown a little


“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” – Mother [Saint] Teresa



2 thoughts on “Sherpa’s Rice

  1. Thank you for sharing. My family frequents the NOC, and often we eat at River’s End. My search for Copycat NOC Sherpa Rice led me here. We followed your recipe last night, and had no leftovers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you also had the experience of enjoying Sherpa’s Rice at NOC. I spent an extra day back in the late 90’s trying to nail down the recipe. It’s been in my rotation over all these years!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s