Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sizzling Rice Soup

We used to have a Chinese restaurant down the street from us, and I LOVED their sizzling rice soup. They would bring out the soup, basically a broth with mushrooms, bamboo shoots and chives, and then the waiter/waitress would add the crispy rice to the soup and it would sizzle beautifully. The soup was slightly salty, crunchy because of the rice, and very delicate. It was my favorite thing to order. Unfortunately, not enough people ordered food there, and they had to close the restaurant. I've often wanted the soup again, so tonight I decided I would make my very own version of it.

I don't have all the traditional ingredients, but I made a pretty darn good version, if I do say so myself. My primary ingredient (after the rice, of course), were these little frozen wonton dumplings made with chicken and cilantro. I also used corn, chicken broth, tamari soy sauce, white pepper, ground ginger, salt and fresh basil. This really hit the spot. If you want to make this, however, give yourself some time or prepare the rice in advance. It takes a bit of time. I'll give you the recipe for the Crispy Rice first, which I got from About.com and then the soup recipe will follow.

Crispy Rice

1 cup rice, medium to long grain (I used brown jasmine rice)
1.5 - 2.5 cups of water, depending on what the box or bag of rice says
Canola oil
Bit of sesame oil

1. Cook rice in water until fully cooked. My jasmine rice took 45 minutes to cook on the stove.
2. Remove from the stove and cool. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread rice on a baking sheet. Cook for 55 minutes in the oven or until the rice is dry. Cool and store in an airtight container (do not freeze) until you need to use.
3. If using right away for sizzling rice soup, heat a wok or skillet with canola and sesame oil (just enough for the rice to be immersed). When the oil is hot, fry the rice until it puffs and turns brown. Then dry on paper towels. Follow the instructions in the soup below, for adding to the soup.

Crispy rice all ready for diving into some soup.

Karin's Sizzling Rice Soup

1 pkg chicken and cilantro frozen wonton dumplings (you could use regular dumplings, regular chicken or pork, or you could leave out the meat altogether)
1 cup frozen corn
2.5 - 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2-4 tbs tamari or soy sauce
White pepper
Ground ginger
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, torn

1. Pour chicken broth, tamari, white pepper, ground ginger and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Add frozen wontons and bring back to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tamari and salt to taste.
3. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into a bowl. Now for the fun part. Take a small handful of the rice and drop into the soup. You can hear it sizzle as it hits the liquid. So fun! Top with torn basil. Enjoy. Delicious.

Here the rice hits the broth and sizzles away.

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