How to Make Crispy Rice
A thorough walkthrough on two of my favorites methods on how to make crispy rice. I like serving it with tons of dishes or just with a simple egg.
How to Make Crispy RiceJump to Recipe
It goes without saying that rice is a popular food and so many recipes call for it. But don’t you ever get bored with it?!
*PUTS ON MY INFOMERCIAL SMILE* What if I could tell you the ONE thing you can do to rice to make it completely revolutionary? You will have people knocking down your door for your special rice!
The trick is to make it crispy.
I’ve been doing this with rice in a few different formats the last few months and finally thought I would share my method. The amazing part about this is how versatile it is. You can make crispy rice with (I think) any rice and can serve it with anything you would serve with non-crispy rice.
But it’s so much better when it’s crispy.
The recipe is barely a recipe, but the crispy rice devil is in the details.
- 1 skillet
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons oil or butter
- If you are using freshly cooked rice, spread it out on a baking sheet and let it cool and dry for 5-10 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a nonstick skillet and melt warm over medium heat. Once shimmering, add a cup of cooked rice. Let rice sit without stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Gently stir rice occasionally until it is crispy. Season rice with salt and serve with egg or any other topping.
- To make a crispy rice patty:
- Pack about one cup of rice into a patty that sticks together. Slide the patty into the skillet after the oil is warm. Let cook, undisturbed, for 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and let sit for another 3-4 minutes. Serve with toppings!
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.
How to Make Crispy Rice: The Basics
The basics of making crispy rice is pretty straightforward. You need:
1) RICE. Any kind of rice will work but if you use freshly cooked rice, you need to make sure you dry it out first (more on that later).
2) OIL. Let your imagination go on this but you need something. Butter? Coconut oil? Olive oil? Lard? Anything will work.
3) A Good NONSTICK PAN. You can also use a cast iron skillet that’s well seasoned, but you need something that the rice won’t stick to while it gets crispy.
I’ll walk through two different ways that I’ve made it recently to show you some of the options!
Leftover Flaky Crispy Rice
This is a fantastic way to bring old, leftover rice back to life. You don’t have to reheat it or anything. I had some leftover black rice that I used for this version.
When your rice is selected, add some fat to the skillet and let it heat over medium heat. You don’t want it to get too hot.
I used butter for this round, but seriously any kind of fat will do the trick.
Then add your rice and let it sit without touching it for 3-4 minutes. That will give the rice a chance to crisp up.
Then gently stir the rice to keep the grains separate.
This method works really well for hearty rices like black rice, wild rice, and brown rice.
Because the grains stay separate, this dish ends up having great texture. Some of the grains are crunchy and some are soft and it’s perfect for soaking up sauces and stuff. You could serve this method of crispy rice with any stir fry under the sun.
I kept mine simple with a poached egg and some chopped scallions!
Crispy White Rice Patty
The second version covers a very different scenario. I cooked a fresh batch of short grain white rice for this. You can use freshly cooked rice, but you want to dry it out so it crisps nicely.
After it’s cooked, just spread it out on a baking sheet and let it dry and cool for a few minutes.
For this version I switched up my oil to coconut oil. Again, there’s really no rhyme or reason to what oil you use. I think both butter and coconut oil give it a nice, light flavor.
For this version, I packed about a cup of rice into a patty with my hands and then slid it into the hot pan.
Again, let this sit for 3-4 minutes until it’s getting crispy on the bottom.
This method will really work best with short grain and/or white rice. Sturdy grains won’t stick together well for a patty like this.
Carefully flip the rice cake after a few minutes and crisp it up on the second side.
Again, I just served my version with an egg and some scallions on this day.
The crispy patty is really fun to cut into and has a great crust.
So that’s it! My new favorite trick to bring something extra to rice!
Have you ever tried crispy rice? Thoughts?!
More great Rice Recipes!
20 Responses to “How to Make Crispy Rice” Leave a comment
I love it! Kind of like a cheater’s version of fried rice :)
I love rice, any kind, and could eat it every day. I’ve had crunchy rice…due to not getting it done, but never crispy rice. Must try this! Where does one find black rice?
Good point Vivian! Crunchy rice and crispy rice are two very different things!
Black rice is getting more common and can be found in a lot of bulk bins in various stores (whole foods, sprouts, etc.) I’ve never seen a packaged version of it… only bulk. It’s not terribly expensive though and is essentially a kind of wild rice. Really good if you can find it! One tip though… be sure to rinse it well before cooking and cook it separately from other foods because it turns everything a dark color.
Just an FYI, I found packaged black rice at Trader Joe’s for a decent price ($2-3 range).
You cam get black; red and about 30 other different and tasty rice varieties at Whole Foods. You can scoop as little or as much as you want. I get all my grain variety’s there
LOVE crispy rice! The white rice version is just as the Italians do with leftover risotto, “Risotto al Salto”. I use the crispy risotto patty as a base for a salad, piling on favorite greens topped with a piece of chicken or salmon. With some fresh bread, fruit and a tasty glass of wine, it makes for a yummmmmmy meal! ;)
That’s a great idea Marieileen. I’ve never thought to do that with leftover risotto! Thanks for the idea.
You might enjoy one of my favorite Risotto cookbooks, “Tales of Risotto: Culinary Adventures from the Villa d’Este” by Jean Govoni Salvadore and Luciano Parolari. I have tried nearly every recipe in it. Fried Risotto Milanese is on Page 120. Naturally, this also works with other risottos, as well. I could copy it and send along as a PDF to you, if you would like. Marcella Hazan has a Risotto al Salto recipe in her “Essentials of Italian Cooking”. However, she uses an egg to bind it. I find it works well with or without. The main thing is, it’s tasty! Enjoy!
Thanks Nick and Marieileen. I love risotto too but always just warmed it up as is. Thanks for this idea.
I have eaten this all my life. A favorite is too add a couple scrambled eggs and continue to stir until the eggs are cooked. Season to taste. You can add your favorite veggies too.
Leftover risotto crisped up this way is heavenly!!!
Finally made this and I wish I made this sooner! Who knew that such a simple meal could be so good.
Awesome Rob! Glad it came out alright. Cheers man!
I read through both recipes. I didn’t see any kind of liquid added , or mentioned, after frying in oil on 1st recipe. My question: am I suppose to fry/cook rice only in oil? Do I follow recipe exactly as shared? Or do I use the ratio 1:1, like cooking reg. rice when adding a liquid?
Hi! You have to start with cooked rice. You can cook it however you normally do. I like to you leftover rice for it. Good luck!
Thank you Nick for replying so quickly to my confusion of “how to make “”crispy” rice. Thanks again!
Crispy rice sounds amazing right now!! Thanks for sharing this I will have to try it out
I use leftover garlic white rice. Mix some chicken broth with a hint of dissolved brown sugar. Heat pan with coconut oil. Let sauce reduce as rice browns crispy. Serve sweet crunchy rice with something zingy like lemon chicken. Beware your mouth will dance!
I make quinoa crisps using my dehydrator, have you ever tried it for crisp rice?
haha, us Dominicans have been crispifying rice since the taino days! We call it “con con”. But good stuff. I tend to take leftover rice and make dominican chow fan!
I found this because I still can’t crispify cauliflower rice!