Instagram Is Loving Andrew Zimmern's 'Magic' Toasted Rice Hack

When you have a palette that's as worldly as Andrew Zimmern, building flavor in a dish is as simple as a willingness to try new things. The chef has sung the praises of using sour cherry conserve in sauces and told Business Insider he frequently travels with special Japanese chili oil called Shischimi Togarashi to add to his food. Of course, while the "Bizarre Foods" star is no stranger to unique ingredients, he also understands sometimes the most creative and efficient way to elevate a dish is using what you already have on hand. Recently, he took to Instagram to share a video with his followers demonstrating how to whip up one of his go-to secret ingredients with a common pantry staple.

"Got rice? That's all it takes to turn a pretty good dish into a symphonic one," he wrote in the caption. While many would agree a side of rice is always delightful, that's not what Zimmern is onto here. Instead, per his video, the chef puts uncooked rice on a pan and roasts it in a 350-degree oven until brown before pounding the grains into a powder with a pestle and mortar. He concludes the video by sprinkling the mixture on top of a Thai beef salad. "Toasted rice powder is exactly what it sounds like. Toast rice, grind into powder. That's it. Sprinkle it on a Thai dish, like this grilled beef salad, and it adds a magical flavor that you didn't realize was missing," Zimmern wrote.

Andrew Zimmern says toasted rice powder adds a delicious pop of flavor to any dish

Per Bon Appetit, toasted rice powder is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine that is used to add flavor and texture to dishes as well as thicken and bind other ingredients together. Normally, it's made by heating rice in a dry wok, which requires some monitoring and tossing because the grains can burn easily on the stovetop heat. Andrew Zimmern's shortcut method, which calls for roasting a single layer of rice in an oven-safe pan so they cook evenly, eliminates this need.

Many of Zimmern's followers who saw the Instagram video were intrigued by the ingredient. While one observed that the end product "looked like sawdust," another curious commenter asked for input on how the toasted rice tasted, to which Zimmern responded, that it "adds a nice toasted flavor. Try it."

Some commenters who were already familiar with toasted rice powder shared their appreciation for Zimmern's quick hack. "I've always only known to toast it on the stovetop. This was way more convenient," wrote one user, showing their gratitude with a yellow heart emoji. Others chimed in with their own suggestions for how to use toasted rice powder, such as Chef Matthew Jennings, who said the ingredient is "wicked good on tilapia." Another user added that it was "good for making Chinese black sesame dessert soup." A third had a totally different idea in mind, writing "Imma put that on some scrambled eggs brother."