Most people think of Asian cuisines when they think of rice dishes, but in fact the most well-known rice dishes may be European: paella from Valencia, and risotto from Northern Italy. In the English-speaking world, the two most well-known rice dishes may be the Anglo-Indian Kedgeree and the southern US dish of Hoppin’ John (though some wags may argue it’s Rice Krispies.)
A Rice Dish is usually seen as a side or starter dish in Western eyes. Some cuisines such as Chinese, however, treat it as the central part of the meal. In the Western mind, some items such as sushi maybe be hard to classify — rice or fish? but to the Japanese, it’s the rice that is more important than the topping. It can be hard to know how to classify some dishes. An Etouffée (from New Orleans) might be seen more as a fish dish, owing to the crawfish in it, though the most abundant ingredient in the dish is the rice over which the sauce and crawfish are served.
A Rice Dish can be a plain bowl of steamed white rice, but is usually flavoured and seasoned more elaborately with added ingredients.
Items in which ground, powdered rice is used as a thickener or flour would generally not be classed as a rice dish. Consequently, a rice noodle dish would be classified as a noodle dish. Generally, the rice needs to be somewhat visible, even if pounded as for Japanese mochi.
A Rice Dish is usually a savoury, but it can be a sweet — English rice pudding or sweet Japanese mochi.