Pilipino Pantry: Puffed Red Rice
Pilipino Pantry is a series I started in January 2017 as a way to share Filipino recipes and ingredient substitutes to help myself and others feel more confident using our lokal varieties. Pilipino Pantry is a way for me to embrace Filipino food and ingredients. I hope you find it helpful as well.
Rice Is Life. I love this Filipino motto, it is the truth for Filipino way of life. We have champorado, garlic rice, bagoong rice, kakanin, suman, puffed rice and so many other varieties. I am amazed at how a culture can utilize one grain in so many different forms.
Recently, I was writing at a favorite cafe while simultaneously working my way through the breakfast menu. When it came to the yogurt bowl I asked if the puffed rice could be substituted instead for granola. "Sorry mam, not possible." Slightly frustrated and If I am being completely honest, I probably rolled my eyes a little because I frequent this cafe many times a week, they know me! My entitled self got smacked down - ha! But there is a happy ending to this story, I am so glad they told me no because the puffed rice topping has now become a favorite of mine in my own home. I would have never stumbled upon this fun crunchy rice if they had have given me the granola. So Universe, I thank you for not granting my request and giving me something else wonderful in return.
I know it seems silly to write about puffed rice in a food column but I see this as one more way the Philippines continues to surprise me. Have you ever had puffed rice like this? I had never, nor would I ever think to pop rice! And here we are eating it on our yogurt, salads and soups. I had red rice on hand from Holy Carbao and it has proved to have the best taste and pop. I also love knowing that I am supporting a local farmer, way to go girls!
THE TECHNIQUE IS QUITE SIMPLE. WARM YOUR PAN TO MEDIUM HeaT AND SHUFFLE the RICE UNTIL YOU SEE THE SEAMS POP OPEN JUST BARELY. REMOVE AND LET COOL COMPLETELY.
WE HAVE HAD FUN SPRINKLING THE RICE ON FRUITS, YOGURT BOWLS, SALAD AND SOUPS.
I am learning that rice can be a simple staple or a fun variant to any meal, you choose! Kain na tayo!