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Being an absolute fan of anything related to overnight oats and eating them regularly I went out to see if there is anything else I could prepare that way. After a few trips to some Asian stores I stumbled upon rice flakes. I was apprehensive at first. I used to eat a lot of store brought rice pudding as child and hated it. I didn’t like the goopy consistency at all so when I came home I prepared myself mentally for an absolute disaster in the making.
I came home with this rather large but conveniently cheap bag of rice flakes and started looking it up to see if I had to cook it or if it was possible to just let it soak over night like I do it with my beloved oats.
Rice flakes or flattened rice is made by dehusking rice which is then flattened into flat light dry flakes. So pretty much the same process that is used for oats. They are most famously known as “Pohe” in malwa region, also they are considered to be originated in the malwa region itself. Rice flakes seem to be the asian equivalent to oats. They can be eaten both raw and cooked and are very easily digestible.
You can get brown rice flakes or white rice flakes. I bought the white ones since that is all I could see in the store at that time and when I found out you could buy brown rice flakes as well I decided to buy those if this experiment doesn’t fail.
Looking at the flakes themselves they seemed very hard in comparison to oats. I can break oats apart simply by rolling them around in my palm. You can’t do that with rice flakes. They almost have a plasticy consistency which worried me a bit but I went on and mixed 2 cups of the flakes with 1 cup of almond milk. I poured the mix into two different mason jars.
I left one of them on the counter and the other one went into the fridge. Periodically I checked on them and sampled them every hour to see what changed. So here is what I learned on how to make overnight rice flakes.
Do I need to wash my rice flakes?
Some rice needs washing beforehand like sushi rice for example. These rice flakes don’t really benefit from it. I have tried it and there was no noticeable difference. The people who sold it assured me as well it was absolutely not necessary. If you want to wash them you definitely can but it is not needed.
How much liquid to you have to use to soak rice flakes?
The initial amount I used was too little. I had a few more tries and indeed you need to soak them in a 1:1 ratio. The ratio is referring to the volume, not the weight. You need exactly the same amount of rice flakes mixed with the same amount of liquid. If you want to soak 250ml/60g (1 cup) of rice flakes in 250ml (1 cup) of liquid. If you like me use the metric system then get some measuring cups or use a small teacup as reference,
Click here for the short and on point recipe for plain soaked rice flakes, or continue reading for additional information.
How long do rice flakes have to soak?
Rice flakes are edible after a few hours, I found them palatable after about 4 hours already but the longer they stayed the better they were.
Can I soak rice flakes for too long?
Definitely not. I tried leaving them in the fridge in a tightly sealed mason jar for 4 days. They were fine. In fact they kept their texture even. Unlike oats they can’t turn into a paste like consistency. Rice flakes stay very fluffy which I find extremely pleasant.
How long do soaked rice flakes keep?
In the fridge I found it lasts for a few days. I tried to let a small portion sit in the fridge until it spoils. Just to see how long it would take. After 3 days it still seemed perfect. After 7 days there was still no strange smell to it. After 2 weeks it still didn’t seem to be spoiled. However I would not advise eating it after it was left in the fridge for that long. The general rule for cooked rice is 3 days, soaked rice shouldn’t be much different. So even if the rice flakes seem fine I would not eat them after the 3rd day, even if it looks fine. I might be paranoid here but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to add flavour to my soaked rice flakes?
Treat rice flakes just like any cereal or over night oats. You can add anything from sweeteners like agave or dried fruit to crunchy parts like nuts and seeds. If you want to add colour and flavour then fresh or frozen fruits are a great idea. Cocoa, vanilla or cinnamon are also a great choice, there are really no limits to what can be added. Feel free to experiment and use whatever you generally like to eat.
Are rice flakes good for me?
There is 98 calories in a serving of rice flakes which is 60g (1 cup). The calories are broken down into 91% carbs, 8% protein and 1% fat. Rice flakes are considered to be a great meal option for diabetics as they promote slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. They also keep you full for longer and are a good source of 11 essential vitamins and minerals including iron. They are also a good option for those suffering for gluten or lactose intolerance.
Where do I buy rice flakes?
As I already mentioned I bought mine in an Asian food store but you can get them pretty much anywhere when you shop online.
How do I store rice flakes?
They are best stored in an air tight container. I keep mine in a large glass jar next to my oats and other cereals in the kitchen cupboard.
I got some pesky eaters at home. Age 6 and 13. Can you come up with some rice flake recipes that appeal to kids? They hate oats but they didn’t mind the rice flakes. They usually get cereal for breakfast. I’d try myself but I am not that adventurous in the kitchen – or skilled for that matter.
I’m sorry I don’t work with specific quantities, but here are some suggestions:
For increased protein, add one of the following:
Chia seeds (will need additional liquid as well)
Pumpkin seeds / pepitas
Chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans
For added sweetness, I’d recommend adding dried fruit like apricots, cherries or blueberries. And/or either maple syrup or honey – that usually makes anything taste good to pesky eaters! 🙂 Sometimes a pinch of salt helps too.
Hope that’s useful. Cindy
Those are lovely suggestions and I am doing most of them except the salt. Never thought of it even though I add a sprinkle to baked goods that contain chocolate. I definitely need to update this post. It’s been a while and I have so many recipes by now. – Love, G.
Great idea, do you have to rinse/wash the rice flakes first please?
It’s not necessary. You can if you want to but you don’t have to. – Love, G.
Thank you, will definitely be trying it!
Debra Goring says
that’s interesting – what about since the arsenic scare? Do you still not recommend rinsing the rice first?
Hello Debra. Rice flakes are made from par boiled rice and have already gone through a cleaning process. You can rinse them again if it makes you feel safer. I tried rinsing mine the first time I used them but the water ran clear from the start. It’s really up to your preference when it comes to rice flakes. With regular, whole rice grains I stick with rinsing. Not due to the arsenic scare but because I learned to prepare it like that from very young age on. I rinse my rice until the water runs clear. This is not necessary with rice flakes. Generally I’d check where the rice is grown if you are worried. There is a chance it is higher in arsenic content depending on where it was farmed. Rice is grown in fields submerged in water (paddy) and that water could contain high concentrations of bioavailable inorganic arsenic. The arsenic is mostly incorporated into the rice husk, which unless you eat brown rice – is removed. The “arsenic scare” was and is a concern for low income families in Asia who literally rely on rice three meals a day, seven days a week to survive. If you need more specific information feel free to ask. – Love, G.
Hey! This is so cool! I was looking for an alternative to overnight oats, and I’m so happy to find this one. Thank you for sharing 🙂
urszula lunner says
Love the idea,
Bought them already.
my Gi does not like oats 🙁
Can you use flattened rice flakes in no bake bar recipes? Energy balls?
Seems like this product needs lots of liquid. Or better yet
Do you have any other recipes with flattened rice flakes
Thank you so much
Jen Williams says
The whole soaking method is too tedious for me. Instead I cook them in a saucepan with plenty of water like porridge.
look for Poha recipes online see if you develop taste for it instead of trying rice in bland form.
I appreciate the suggestion but I could never eat that as breakfast. I am from the Mediterranean and onions, chilies and that arrangement of spices would make me extremely nauseous. I like my rice flakes soaked overnight with fresh fruit and nuts. – Love, G.
You can toast it on a pan to make it crispy and add toasted peanuts, little salt and sugar to it. If it’s too dry, then you can add freshly chopped cucumber on it.