Popped rice uses cooking techniques that are similar to those used in popcorn preparation. Heat causes moisture that is trapped inside the rice grains to expand. You can eat popped rice as a snack and use it in breakfast cereals. Puffed rice is also featured in some Indian recipes and it is a popular snack food in many countries. Farmer Jimmy Doherty at the BBC Learning Zone website explains that factories use high-pressure machines to prepare popped rice quickly and easily for breakfast cereals. However, you can make popped rice at home using just a frying pan and some oil. For home preparation of popped rice, use wild rice because it contains more moisture than processed rice and expands more when heated.
Place a frying pan on a burner set to medium high heat. Pour oil into the pan to a depth of about 1 inch.
Heat the oil to a temperature of 232 degrees C. Check the oil's temperature by using a fryer thermometer.
Drop one grain of rice into the pan. The rice grain should sizzle or "pop" immediately upon entry into the pan.
Place 2 tbsp rice into a wire strainer and lower into the oil.
Remove the rice from the pan as soon as the grains have cracked open and doubled in size. Place the popped rice on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Spoon the popped rice into a serving dish and season to taste.