Chinese crispy or sizzling rice is also known as “Guoba” (鍋巴). There are two different types of Guoba in Chinese cooking. The first kind of Guoba means scorched rice. Traditionally Chinese people boil rice in a giant metal wok over a flame and the result of this kind of cooking method causes the bottom of the wok to form a layer of crusty or scorched rice. This scorched rice has a hard and crispy texture with a delicious toasted flavour and Chinese people eat this guoba as a snack.
Some people might find it hard to believe Chinese people enjoy eating scorched rice but it’s just like some people like well-fired bread or toasted marshmallows.
Another type of guoba is what we call crispy or sizzling rice. This guoba is often used in different kinds of Chinese dishes. It is usually served with thick sauce and seafood. One of the interesting things about this kind of guoba dish is it’s not only delicious and smells good, it also makes a “sound”. The moment waiting staff pour thick sauce on the guoba it will start to make a popping noise. When I was a child I always loved a guoba dish called “sweet and sour prawn with guoba” because the whole combination of guoba and sweet and sour tasted delicious. However the thing I always liked the most was the sound of this dish. For a young child this dish is magical.
Another interesting fact about guoba is during World War Two, there was a dish called “Bombing Tokyo”, which was prawns, cooked shredded chicken and tomato sauce pourced into guoba. In case you can’t guess why, it’s called “Bombing Tokyo” because the sound of this dish is really dramatic so Chinese people named it what it is.
You should be able to purchase pre-cooked or cooked guoba in Chinese or Asian supermarkets but it’s also very easy to make at home. Below is the sizzling rice recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
Edited by Liv Wan
- 1 cup of long or medium grain rice.
- 1 1/2 cups water
Rinse 1 cup of long or medium grain rice in a pot. Add 1.5 cups water (1 ¼ if using medium grain rice) to the rice and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer at low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from burner and alow to cool.
While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the rice on a baking sheet, making sure that it is about, but no more than, ¼ inches thick.
Bake the rice for 50-55 minutes until it’s dry.
Cool and cut into 2-inch squares. Store in a container until needed but don’t freeze.
The rice is now ready to be deep-fried. The trick to using deep-fried crispy rice is to make sure that both it and the sauce or soup it is being added to are very hot. That way you will hear the crackling sounds. Unfortunately, this makes for a lot of last minute work – you can’t deep fry the rice crusts and then set them aside to add during the final stage of cooking. Instead, the rice should be deep-fried before the dish is served, with the soup or sauce being kept warm during this time. Deep-fry a few at a time, turning constantly, until they brown and puff up (this will take only seconds). Drain on paper towels. Bring to the table, quickly pour the hot liquid over and listen to the rice snapping and popping.
Safety Tip: If not handled properly, cooked rice has the potential to grow a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. To prevent this, make certain the rice is completely dried, then rapidly cool, cut into squares, place into a container and refrigerate for no more than seven days before use.