I made my first batch of parched rice yesterday before heading into the woods. I have read a bit online about the use of parched rice during the heyday of the longhunter and wanted to give it a try as a possible alternative to the parched corn I tend to take along.
The taste reminds me a great deal of popcorn with a slightly nutty flavor.
1/3 cup white or brown rice
1 tsp. oil or shortening (even bacon grease would work here)
Heat a cast iron skillet (preferably) over medium heat and add the oil. Give the oil a minute or two to get up to temperature.
Add the rice and stir often for maybe 10 minutes. The rice will turn from white to translucent and then to varying shades of brown. This is the caramelization of the sugars in the rice. It is what adds the flavor component to your parched rice. You can make it as dark or as light as you want.
Be aware, parching rice can get VERY hot.
I added salt to the mix near the end of the parching process but that's not a step I had read about. I just wanted my parched rice to have a bit of seasoning. You could also add cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, etc. Keeping it to just salt means I can add the parched rice to other dishes without dramatically altering the flavors.
When the rice is finished, empty the skillet onto a plate and allow the rice to cool.
I put mine in a brown paper bag, loaded it into my pack, and munched on it while on the trail yesterday.
I still don't know that I've done it correctly but I have ended with a snack that is both flavorful and satisfying.
Thanks for reading,