Turning apprehensive foodies into culinary visionaries
This post is the most exciting post yet for me! It was a genuine “Aha!” moment in my kitchen and I absolutely love it (and may get too excited about it). I will admit though, to get to the end result of DIY rice pops/crispies/krispies it was an embarrassingly obsessive rabbit hole of experiments that even in its calmest moment ended up looking like this…
It all started when a friend of mine reminded me about my long-lost love of popping your own popcorn. Which is fun, cheap and far more delicious than a bag of microwave stuff. But then I started scanning my kitchen thinking “what else can I pop?!“
I started doing internet research and consulting a few books of mine and everything I read was so varied so I decided to just experiment. I had on hand: pearled barley, sushi rice and brown rice. I soaked about a tablespoon of all of them for 24 hours. Then started the popping experiment. My results ended up as that board of madness above, but the results were very clear. The dried rice ended up popping far better than the soaked ones and the sushi rice was easily the most edible but sadly, none of them were great.
Slightly discouraged, I did some more reading and found out that the reason rice is so hard to pop at home is because the outer shell on the rice is too hard so the inner kernel cannot pop out as it does in the case of corn (ie.popcorn). Which is why in a factory setting, a high amount of pressure and steam is used to pop the rice. But most of us don’t have high pressure steamers available to us, and if you do I am jealous. So, I did a bit of research on using cooked rice to “pop” thinking that the outer shell would be weakened with the cooking process and it may be a viable option for home popping rice. After some more experimenting this is the tasty and successful end result!
1) Take your cooked sushi rice* and lightly flatten it out into a thin patty, making sure not to smash the rice kernels. Place in a non-stick pan
2) Let it cook in an oven on the lowest setting until it is hard but still white, let cool and break into little crumbles
3) Place about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan and with a lid on, let it fry until golden brown (it doesn’t really pop much but it does puff ever so slightly)
4) Place rice on a paper town to drain
And there you have it- tasty tasty rice pops! I added them to my muesli for a new crunch, but I also tried it with milk and it legitimately tastes and holds together like Rice Krispies!! So give it a go and start making your own breakfast cereals. They could also be used as a new snack. When still hot out of the pan, try sprinkling your favorite spice mix (sweet or savory) on them for some personalized munchies!
…. I may be a bit too excited, but I hope you try it and enjoy it.
* for me, the easiest way to cook sushi rice is: wash the rice, then use equal parts water and rice let it come to a boil and then cover and simmer on low until ready.