Last Updated on 27th July 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
Most people know puffed rice as a breakfast cereal, but it’s a common snack in many Asian countries. You can mix it with spices, seasonings, and a variety of foods to make a complex dish, or you can serve it up as a breakfast cereal.
What Is Puffed Rice?
It’s also called popped rice, and it’s made by cooking rice normally and then baking it. In places where puffed rice is readily available, like India, most people won’t make it at home. They’ll simply buy it in the grocery store. But I will show you how to make puffed rice from scratch, using bagged rice you can buy for really cheap.
You can use the puffed rice as a snack or make it into a variety of dishes. You only need a few ingredients and a few minutes to make puffed rice.
How Is Puffed Rice Made?
You can start off with basic Jasmine rice, white rice, or whatever kind of uncooked rice you like. Prepare the rice according to the package directions to begin. That’s going to mean boiling the rice until it is done cooking. As it’s cooking, you can preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
How do you make puffed rice from there? When the rice is fully cooked and you drained out any excess water and the oven has fully heated, you can put your rice onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake the rice for 2-2 1/2 hours in the oven.
You know when the puffed rice is done cooking when it is dry and has no moisture left in it. Allow the rice to cool completely before you go to the next step. That’s right- you’re not done yet.
The next thing you need to do is pour a little oil into a large saucepan. You want to fill the saucepan with about 2 inches of oil. Then, warm that oil in the saucepan on your stovetop on medium high heat.
The oil should be about 425 degrees Fahrenheit before it’s ready to be used for cooking, and you can test that with an instant read thermometer.
If you don’t have one of those available, you can throw a few grains of rice into the hot oil. If they puff up right away, the oil is hot enough. If not, wait a little longer.
Add your rice about 1/2 cup at a time to the hot oil. It only needs to cook for about 5 seconds. Once it has puffed completely, it’s all done cooking. Pull each batch of rice out in turns with a metal sieve, making sure that you get all the rice out each time so you don’t have burnt rice in the pan.
The rice should be transferred to a baking sheet with paper towels lining it and allowed to cool all the way.
This is a great method for how to make puffed rice cereal, which is probably the best thing to make with puffed rice if you don’t want to bother to season it.
How to Make Puffed Rice Cakes
Puffed rice cakes are a little more complicated to make, and you’ll need some extra ingredients. What you want is a binder to hold them together. That’s typically a combination of sugar and honey, you can add some seasonings in there as well.
You can follow the directions I gave you above for making puffed rice, just adding in your extra ingredients and forming the rice into patties or cakes. Once the rice cakes go into the hot oil, you want to press them down to make sure they have a flat surface. That’s really the only difference between the two methods of making puffed rice dishes.
How to Make Puffed Rice in Microwave
You could also make puffed rice in the microwave, and I’ll show you how. However, you should know that you will have to work with rice that’s already puffed in order to cook it in the microwave.
You can’t take raw uncooked rice or boiled rice and cook it in the microwave to puff it up. That doesn’t work, since the microwave isn’t very good at removing moisture. It needs to be baked in order to puff up.
What you can do with your puffed rice in the microwave is mix it with marshmallows to make a sticky, sweet treat. Add in some butter as well and cook in a microwave safe dish for about 2 minutes. Then you have what’s known as rice crispy treats or crispy rice snacks. You can cut these into whatever shape you desire and serve chilled or warm.
The butter and marshmallows keep the rice stuck together and sweeten the dish as well so that you don’t need to add extra seasonings if you don’t want to.
What Is Puffed Brown Rice?
You can use brown rice to make puffed rice as well. Really, any kind of rice will work for this dish; you just need to follow the directions I’ve given you above.
Be sure to cook the brown rice according to the packaging directions and drain out any excess water. Bake it in the oven as I directed above, and then fry it up in hot oil, just as you would any white rice, Jasmine rice, basmati rice, and other kinds of rice.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll have puffed brown rice, but it won’t really have any flavor to it. As you know, plain rice is pretty bland, and you may want to add some salt, sugar, or some kind of topping to the rice to give it flavor.
Which Type of Rice Is Best for Puffed Rice?
There are several different kinds of rice you could use to make this food, and it doesn’t really matter which one you go with. it’s really up to personal preference, but if I were to recommend rice making puffed rice, usna rice would top the list. It’s just the right size and shape for traditional puffed rice dishes.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here
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