It’s time to take a fresh look at how you can incorporate U.S.-grown rice on your menu, by capitalizing on the hash brown and tots trend! These dishes are popular patron favorites that continue to grow, and you can put a signature spin on these items by creating them with rice.
Using simple techniques and ingredients you already have on hand, you can menu a wide array of on-trend breakfast items, appetizers, side dishes and desserts built around pan-seared or deep-fried U.S.-grown rice.
The trick to making a perfect rice hash brown, tot or patty is to overcook the rice just a bit—releasing as much starch as possible while allowing the rice to maintain its structure. The following technique works best with medium grain rice varieties or with long grain white rice.
- Use 5–10% more water than needed during the cooking process.
- Once rice is cooked, add inclusions or “mix-in” ingredients while still warm.
- After adding inclusions, lay rice on a plastic-lined sheet tray, approximately ¾″ to 1″ thick.
- Cover rice with plastic wrap and place another equal-sized sheet tray with 2 to 3 pounds of added weight on top.
- Allow the rice mixture to press and cool for 2 to 3 hours or until malleable.
- Cut the rice into your desired shape and, for best results, either pan-sear (3–4 minutes per side) or deep fry (3–4 minutes or until golden brown).
Easy add-ins and toppings bring the trend to life on your menu!
With just a few simple inclusions, you can create delicious and distinctive breakfast entrées, appetizers, sides and desserts featuring pan-seared or deep-fried rice—grown right here in the United States! Here are some concepts to get you started:
View menu ideas
Meat Lover’s Rice Hash Brown Skillet:
Mix chopped ham, bacon and cheddar cheese into rice before frying; top with sausage gravy and a sunny-side-up egg.
Rice Hash Brown Eggs Benedict:
Mix in Muenster cheese before frying; top with Canadian bacon, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
Mexican Rice Skillet:
Mix in chorizo, onion, bacon and cheddar cheese before frying; top with sliced jalapeños, avocado and a sunny-side-up egg.
View menu ideas
Buffalo Chicken Rice Tots:
Mix in diced cooked chicken, Buffalo hot sauce and crumbled blue cheese before frying; serve with ranch dressing.
Pizza Rice Tots:
Mix in diced pepperoni and shredded mozzarella before frying; top with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese, with pizza sauce for dipping.
Philly Cheesesteak Rice Tots:
Mix in diced seasoned steak, provolone, green peppers and caramelized onions before frying; serve with cheese sauce.
View menu ideas
Campfire S’more Ice Cream Skillet:
Mix in toasted marshmallow before frying; top with crushed graham crackers, chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream.
Cookies and Cream Skillet:
Mix in crushed chocolate sandwich cookies; top with chocolate whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie Skillet:
Mix in diced cooked apples and cinnamon before frying; top with salted caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream.
READY TO TAKE THE TECHNIQUE EVEN FURTHER?
Once you’ve mastered the initial prep, the possibilities for crispy rice tots, hash browns and cakes are unlimited. Try pressing the rice hash brown in a waffle iron for a unique shape and texture, or use a pan-fried rice cake as the base for a marinated veggie avocado toast. Here are some recipes for inspiration.