Rice Crust -- Tell Me More
Reading through a thread on authentic Chinese I saw a posting that mentioned rice crust dishes. I LOVE (to the point of cravings) Persian rice crust (Tah dig and Tah Chin) dishes. I didn't know of a rice crust tradition in China. Can anyone give details??? What are these dishes like -- where can I eat them?
The most commonly-available Chinese rice crust dish is "Sizzling Rice Soup" - the sizzling rice is a deep fried rice crust. Have you ever tried that?
That's the pretty much the extent of my Chinese rice crust knowledge. I expect others will have more to offer.
You can buy rice crust in larger Asian stores. They come as 2 inch squares, maybe 1/3 of an inch thick.....ready for deep frying in hot oil. OR you can make your own while cooking rice - I usually do this with long grain rice (jasmine would work also) Use a pot on the stove top (not a rice cooker) and use the traditional Chinese method of cooking rice. After the rice is done.....scoop out all the rice except for a thin layer on the bottom and leave it on a low flame. Add peanut oil - enough to create a thin film on the bottom of the pan. Let this cook slowly until the rice crust begins to pull away from the pot and the crust gets nicely browned and smells toasty. A little bit of salt and you're in for a treat!
Except for the sizzling rice soup and the one Szechwan restaurant noted below, I can't recall seeing rice crust being served in restaurants. I think it's more of a home cooked thing like Gordon Wing described. You can get the same effect when frying rice noodles or rice cakes, which produces a crispy thin film of rice flour at the bottom of the wok. With respect to sizzling rice soup, you will notice that some restaurants use the prepared rice which come in rice krispy type squares while others use their own rice that they've browned. The restaurant browned rice is much better.