What To Do When You Flop Your Rice

Usually I am good at cooking rice.

Ok, I take that back.

I used to be more or less fine cooking rice, but occasionally I'd burn it because I'd get distracted.

So I started cooking rice in the oven because it doesn't matter as much when you take it out; it's more forgiving that way. 

Cooking rice in the oven is supposed to be simple. And it usually is. 2 cups water for every cup of rice, cover it, bake it for 30-45 minutes or until ready. If you leave it for 15 minutes longer it's not a big deal.

But yesterday I had really, really bad luck with rice. And it sucked because my daughter was hungry and she asked specifically for rice because I hadn't made it in some time and rice is one of her favorite foods (I know, right?). 

I specifically put in two pans of rice. I put the rice in the oven but -TMI warning- I had to use the bathroom badly so I didn't cover it right away, and I wonder if that was the issue here... 

Because half an hour later, the water was all gone but the rice looked and tasted dry and gritty. I added an extra cup of water to it and baked it for longer but it was still dry and gritty. So I added more water. And when the water was absorbed I had pasty rice.


I'm a rice "fanatic". I grew up with rice many times a week and the rice was always perfect. I can't handle it when rice is either gritty or pasty, I need it just right.

But I had two pans of rice that were just sitting there, but neither I nor my daughter had any interest in eating it like that.

But I know that when rice flops, it's not the end of the world. 

Yes, you can't eat the rice as is (or you can, but I just have no interest in doing so) but there are quite a few ways to repurpose the rice into something that is enjoyable and tasty to eat.

For my daughter, I took the rice and added more water to it and stirred it until I had a porridge consistency. Then I added desiccated coconut to it as well as sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. I then tempered a few eggs (whisk the eggs, then add a bit of porridge at a time to it and mix it, to gently heat up the eggs) then added it to the pot and mixed well- the tempering stops it from curdling and gives you a creamier result. My daughter really enjoyed the rice pudding/porridge, and my other kids love it as well.

For myself (I don't eat eggs) I took the other pan of rice and added more water and brought it to a simmer.

Of course I managed to flop this- I was at the computer working and forgot about it until I smelled burning- ran out and saw it was just the very bottom of the pan that burnt, so I quickly took out the mixture and poured it into a clean pot (fortunately it only had the slightest burnt taste to it) and added a can of tomato paste and a can of coconut milk, plus onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.

I now had a delicious tomato rice soup. And it was a pleasure to eat- I hadn't made some in a while and I had forgotten what a comforting food it is to eat.

Other options you can do with flopped rice- make congee, Chinese savory rice porridge, with chicken broth and soy sauce plus the flopped rice.

My dad, frugal king that he is, would take any leftover grains and turn them into pancakes or waffles. And that is something else you can do with flopped rice- add it to some eggs and flour and sugar and baking powder and turn it into pancakes or waffles. 

Or you can make calas, a donut made from leftover rice, hailing from New Orleans. 

Hopefully your rice won't flop, but if it does, like mine did, you don't have to throw it out- there are many delicious ways to use it up.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Eating grain as porridge used to be my default (before my current exploration of low-carb). But I don't cook to a cream pudding consistency. The grains should be distinct, but will swell in leftovers. I don't like dry grains with a separate glass of drink. Boiling a steel pot dry also exposes it to chloride pitting, if I don't eschew salt entirely.

    Rice porrige is great with some milk; you don't have to replace all of the water. Tomato soup with paste or juice was often served by my family with diced sausages and sour cream. Paste is much more economical. Eggs in porridge are interesting. I've only tried with wheat and found that eggwhite sucks up all sweetness, and require more unhealthy sugar.

    It would be silly to throw out cooked grain. If I bought a product, I will make the best use of it.

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