Crunchy Rice Excitement at Dinner


Not many families stop and marvel at their side dishes, especially when they are as humble as rice. But the other night our crunchy rice made us do a double take. Each rice grain on the top of the casserole was standing on end, with golden brown tips rising above the surface. We stared a minute, wondered how it happened and took a few pictures before digging in. There was some discussion on how, and why it happened, but we came to no conclusions.

I make rice fairly often as a side dish, and I make crunchy rice when I want to get everything in the oven at one time. That night I used the last of my Texmati rice (a trademarked brand from Rice Select. Worth picking up if you see it in the grocery store). I needed just a bit more rice, so I used a couple of dribbles and drabs I had stashed in the freezer at some point – about a tablespoon of Arborio (now why didn’t I just throw that in the pot instead of saving it?) and about a third of a cup of basmati rice from Trader Joe’s.

I was in a hurry, and I’m not sure if I stirred the rice after I added the hot broth. I also used a deeper dish than normal, hoping that more of the rice would be fluffy and it would keep better for leftovers. When I use my usual shallow dish the rice gets nice and crunchy, but it is like eating little hard pellets when reheated the next day.


I’m not sure if the changes I made led to our little rice grains standing at attention, or if it was just a fluke. But whatever caused it, it was pretty impressive, at least to us. What can I say? We are food nerds.


11 thoughts on “Crunchy Rice Excitement at Dinner

  1. That is too cool! You do realize that I work for the company that make that rice dont you? It is wonderful!!!!!!!!! Love ya! Marya

    • I did remember that! You got us started on Rice Select with the free samples you brought to a family reunion eons ago. I did have a few more sentences about the rice and that my cousin worked for them, but it was starting to sound like a paid advertisement, so I took them out. Hope to see you soon! XXOO

  2. Some cooks have all the luck of having something turn out fantastic – when it was just a throw together. 🙂 Take Care, Mary. Keep up the the good work on your blog, helps my spirits stay bright when I’m in the thros of chemo.

    • Thanks, Mary! This is a dish I do all the time, with many variations. I have never had the rice all stand up – no idea why it did.

      Thinking about you and hoping your treatments are going smoothly. Glad I can help a tiny bit with the blog!

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