Guoba, also called mi Guoba, is Chinese scorched rice, which is used as a food ingredient. It is made by boiling rice over a direct flame, which results in the rice getting scorched and toasted and sticking to the bottom of the wok. This rice has a crunchy texture and distinct flavor which is appreciated by Chinese people, who use it as an ingredient in soups and sauces, particularly form the Sichuan cuisine, or eaten as a snack. The bland taste of scorched rice absorbs the flavor of respective soups and sauces to enhance the taste and texture of such dishes.
Guoba was traditionally made by cooking rice by boiling in a wok, over direct flame. The introduction of electric cookers does not facilitate its production, and the demand much outstrips the supply, hence it is now being manufactured commercially since the latter part of the 20th century.
Popular Guoba Dishes
Guoba can be cooked in combination with meat or vegetables to make various popular dishes. They typically have 'Guoba' prefixed to their name.
- Guoba Prawns: This is a Chinese dish consisting of prawns with crispy rice or barley and a tomato based sauce. Vinegar, honey, ginger and Worcestershire sauce may be used for flavor.
- Guoba Roupian: This is crispy rice with sliced pork and a sauce. Button mushrooms, bamboo shoots, wood ear fungus seasonal greens and pickled chili pepper often form a part of the dish.
- Cơm Cháy: This is a Vietnamese version of Guoba, and the term itself translates to 'scorched rice'. Cháy chà bông or Cơm cháy tôm khô are Vietnamese dishes prepared with it, which are made by frying the scorched rice in oil till golden, and then topped with pork floss or dried shrimp, cooked scallions and chili paste. The scallions are pre-cooked by pouring hot oil on them, which causes release of their aroma.
- Tahdog: This is the Persian name for crispy rice tha, which is the scorched rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot and is a part of Iranian cuisine. Long grain rice, an Iranian equivalent of basmati, is used, and this form of scorched rice is considered a delicacy, which is often cooked with vegetables to make delectable dishes.