If you like the light, crispy texture of puffed rice, learn how to make it at home. For the lightest, fluffiest rice, cook your favorite type of rice until the grains are tender. Then dry out the rice and fry it in hot oil until it puffs up. If you prefer to make smaller, denser puffed rice, skip cooking the rice and just fry the grains of uncooked rice until they pop.
- 1 cup (200 g) of rice
- of water
- 1 to 2 pinches of sea salt
- Sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil, for frying
Makes about 3 cups (75 g) of puffed rice
EditCooking the Rice
- Rinse your choice of rice. Place 1 cup (200 g) of rice into a bowl and fill it with cold water. Use your hand to swirl it around and then pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer so the water drains. Return the rice to the bowl and add fresh water. Keep rinsing until the water that’s draining runs clear. This will remove excess starch from the rice so it doesn’t clump or stick together as it cooks.
- Use any type of rice, such as basmati rice, sushi rice, brown rice, or long-grain rice.
- Bring the water to a boil and add the rice with the salt. Pour of water into a pot and cover it with a lid. Heat the water over high until it boils. Then add 1 to 2 pinches of sea salt and the rinsed rice.
- Cook the rice until it’s soft. Put the lid on the pot and turn the burner down to low so the water bubbles very gently. Simmer the rice until it’s tender and the grains are soft. Begin checking the rice after 18 minutes.
- The amount of time it takes will depend on the type of rice you’re making. For example, wild rice will take 25 to 30 minutes to cook although short-grain rice will cook much faster.
- Spread the cooked rice on a baking sheet. Get our a rimmed baking sheet and transfer the hot rice onto it. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the rice so it’s in an even layer.
- The rice will dry faster and more evenly on a baking sheet than in a bowl.
- Dry the rice in a oven for 2 hours. Preheat the oven and put the baking sheet of rice into it once it’s hot. Cook the rice at this low temperature for 2 hours to remove all of the moisture from the rice grains. Once the rice is dry, remove it from the oven and turn off the heat.
- The rice should be completely dry and hard once it’s ready to fry.
- If you prefer a more hands-off method, spread the rice on a dehydrator tray. Place the rice in the dehydrator and dry the rice for at least 8 hours or overnight.
EditFrying the Rice
- Pour the oil into a pot and heat it to . Put enough sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil to come up the sides of the pot and set the pot on the stove. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the pot and heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches .
- It’s important to use a neutral-high that you can heat to high temperatures. This is why you shouldn’t use extra-virgin olive olive oil.
- Add a few grains of rice to test the oil temperature. Once the oil reaches , put a few of the dried rice grains into the pot. They should puff up instantly if the oil is ready.
- If the rice takes more than 10 to 15 seconds to puff up, heat the oil longer and check the accuracy of your deep-fry thermometer.
- Put the rice into the oil and fry it for 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the dried rice into a small fine mesh strainer and lower the strainer into the pot. The rice will begin to puff up after 5 to 10 seconds of being in the oil.
- The puffed rice will float to the top of the oil.
- If you’re using dried rice that you didn’t cook first, it may take closer to 20 seconds for the rice to puff up.
- Lift the rice out of the oil and transfer it to a baking sheet. Turn off the burner and place paper towels on a rimmed baking sheet. Slowly lift the fine mesh strainer with the puffed rice up and out of the hot oil. Then dump the puffed rice onto the paper towels.
- The paper towels will absorb the excess oil from the puffed rice.
- Let the oil in the pot cool completely before you store or discard it.
- Cool the puffed rice and use it. Let the puffed rice cool for at least 5 minutes before you season and enjoy it. For seasonings, sprinkle salt, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar over the puffed rice according to your taste.
- To store leftover puffed rice, put it into an airtight container and keep it at room temperature. Use the puffed rice within 5 to 7 days.
- Try scattering puffed rice over your favorite salad or use it in trail mix and granola.
- Always use caution when heating oil and frying things. Hot oil can splatter and cause burns.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Fine mesh strainer
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Spoon or spatula
- Measuring cups
- Pot with a lid or rice cooker
- Deep-fry thermometer
EditSources and Citations
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