Red rice #1/Provided 

You can find red rice in Charleston any day of the week, but the Lowcountry tomato pilau in many households is reserved for Fridays. When local restaurateur Nigel Drayton was growing up, it always appeared on Fridays in the company of fried pork chops or fish.

In other words, tonight is the perfect night on which to try out one or all of the red rice recipes published by The Post and Courier over the month of September. Red rice was the first dish featured in our weekly Bussin’ School recipe contest, which was designed to introduce area newcomers to traditional Charleston dishes. Over the coming months, we’ll print reader-submitted recipes for pound cake, okra soup and other icons.

But before moving on, we have to pick a red rice winner. Or, more precisely, readers have to pick a winner from our entry class of four.


Red rice #2/Provided


Red rice #3/Provided


Red rice #4/Provided

The competition has already sparked controversy. The Post and Courier received a letter to the editor from a reader scandalized by Lee Anne Leland’s vegan version of the classic. But every featured recipe deviated from the others in one way or another. Kathy Smith’s red rice calls for green pepper and fennel. Vivian Williamson’s red rice is made with half a stick of butter. And Celeste Albers’ recipe stipulates Carolina Gold rice middlins.

Which one is best? You tell us: The poll is now posted at The Post and Courier Food Facebook group.

Voting will remain open through the end of the month.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.