I Might Make You Fall In Love With Me...
Crunchy rice. Until I met my husband, I had never heard of such food. I always thought the browned rice left on the bottom of the pan was burned rice, due to my lack of rice cooking know-how. But crunchy rice is much, much different than burned rice. My husband made me crunchy rice when we were dating … and let me tell you, it changed my world (and, perhaps made me fall in love with him!) Known by different names in various parts of the world - socarrat in Spain, nurungji in Korea, rasguño in Latin America, and tahdig in the Middle East - the toasty and golden layer at the bottom of the pan is an intensely flavored treat (think corner sides on a brownie pan or crunchy edges of a baked casserole). Crunchy rice only requires the same ingredients you would use to make regular rice - the true alchemy is in the technique. Allow me to change your world and teach you how to make crunchy rice….no promises that you won’t fall in love with me!
Crunchy Rice - Yield: 4 cups
- 2 C long grain white rice such as jasmine or basmati
- 4 C water
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS grass-fed unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sea salt, my favorite is THIS ONE
- Stainless steel 4-Quart saucepan with tight-fitting lid (yes, the pan is an ingredient here, I’ll explain why)
- Rinse the rice several times in running water until the water runs clear
- Place rice in the stainless steel saucepan and cover with water. Using a stainless steel (i.e. NOT ‘non-stick’) saucepan here is imperative. Along with questionable health consequences, the teflon coating on non-stick pans won’t allow the rice to form a golden, crunchy layer. Do yourself a favor and get a stainless steel pot.
- Add butter, oil, and salt and let rice sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, bring the pot to a boil, stirring frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with the lid wrapped in a dishtowel (to absorb excess steam, which makes rice soggy).
- Cook 45 minutes, or until the bottom of the pot sizzles when the outside is touched gently with a wet finger.
- Remove from heat, and carefully place the bottom of the pot under cool running water. This helps loosen the rice and prevents sticking.
- Let sit 2-3 minutes, open the lid, and scoop the rice onto a platter.
- Using a spatula, carefully loosen the crunchy rice from the bottom of the pot and serve alongside the rice.
Top with your favorite roasted vegetables, enjoy as a side dish, or heck - eat by itself!