We are in the final testing stages for our Thanksgiving Event, which is happening next week and thought this would be one of the cooler things to share. We found that our mackerel dish needed some texture; and I remembered learning about this cool method for making some crispy, tasty treats which are gluten free and yet still delicious. Unfortunately I can't stop snacking on them and I reckon others might struggle with this too...
We will be using the puffed rice with mackerel, ponzu and lemongrass (keep an eye on our gallery page OR just get yourself a ticket to come and have a taste of the dish itself!) These are really easy to make, especially if you're not a rice-cooking master. To cut a long story short the steps are pretty simple: boil your rice, dry your rice and then fry your rice!! Just think of light, salty snacks and you'll motivate yourself all the way to the end of the process. This will also work with other grains like quinoa, barley & rye, but we've done it using basmati rice (again, other rices will work too).
Bring the rice and water (3x the amount of water to rice) up to a boil in a pot then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.
Work the rice gently with a wooden spoon until all the water is absorbed and the rice is very soft but the grains are still distinguishable (you might need add a bit more water depending on your heat levels).
I wanted individual grains (like Rice-Krispies) so strained the rice and rinsed off the rice starch under some cold running water, although if you do want rice-clusters you don't need to take this step.
The next step involves a dehydrator (if you are lucky enough to own one!) but I've done it using a microwave or a low oven.
Microwave method: Spread rice onto a sheet of parchment paper on a plate then microwave on 50% power for 15 minutes and then at 30% until the rice is dry (in my microwave it took about 1h 45mins).
Oven method: Spread the rice on a tray and dry for about 2 hours at 100 C (210 F)
VERY CAREFULLY...heat at least an inch of oil to 190 C (375 F) using a thermometer to check the temperature. If it's too low you won't puff quickly enough, but instead, will just caramelise the rice.
Using a slotted spoon or sieve, fry off the rice until it puffs to a white colour and immediately remove then place on a paper napkin to drain, seasoning with salt.
The next step is to enjoy the fruits of your labours! If you decide to recreate this snack be sure to share them with us on instagram or twitter using the hashtag #smokeandsaltldn.