Dining out at an inspired chef’s restaurant simultaneously motivates and chastens me. Often, I end the night well satiated yet lamenting, “Why can’t I come up with a meal like that?’ This is one of those dishes. In the mind and hands of a creative chef, this all-too-common kitchen disaster – burning rice –morphs into a crispy nutty culinary epiphanic filling for lettuce wraps. After munching down a few wraps, I couldn’t wait to purposefully burn my rice at home. Why couldn’t I come up with that?
Crispy Burnt Rice
- 1 cup Calrose rice
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Pinch salt
- Rinse rice with water until it runs clear. Combine rice with 1 cup water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove rice from heat and let steam, with lid on, for another five minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat about 30 seconds until vinegar is hot and sugar has dissolved. Transfer rice to a large greased baking dish and let cool slightly. Drizzle with vinegar and pat rice evenly into dish, about ¼ – ½ inch thick.
- Preheat broiler. Broil rice 6-10 minutes, turning baking dish as needed, until rice is golden brown with areas of dark brown on top. The rice should be crispy on top and slightly chewy underneath. Break into pieces.
- Serve as a base for lettuce wraps or as a crunchy counterpoint in Asian salads.