Scorched rice

Scorched rice, also known as crunchy rice, is a thin crust of slightly browned rice at the bottom of the cooking pot. It is produced during the cooking of rice over direct heat from a flame.

Scorched rice
Scorched rice in Iran
Alternative names
  • pegao - Puerto Rico
  • concón - Dominican Republic
  • concolón - Peru, Ecuador, Panama
  • cocolón - Colombia, Venezuela
  • gratén - Haiti
  • cucayo – the Caribbean
  • htamin gyo (ထမင်းချိုး) - Burmese
  • kerak nasi – Malay (including Indonesian and Malaysian Standard Malay)
  • kaning tutóng – Filipino
  • cơm cháy – Vietnamese
  • guōbā (锅巴(s); 鍋巴(t)) – Mandarin Chinese
  • faan6 ziu1 (饭焦(s); 飯焦(t)) – Cantonese Chinese
  • nurungji (누룽지) – Korean
  • okoge (お焦げ) – Japanese
  • qazmagh (qazmağ) or qazandibi (qazandibi)– Azerbaijani
  • tah deeg (ته دیگ) – Persian
  • bnkr (بنکڕ) – Kurdish
  • hakakeh (حكاكه) - Iraqi Arabic
  • kodada (كداده) - Hejazi Arabic
  • arae el halla (قرع الحلّة) - Egyptian Arabic
  • socarrat - Valencian and Catalan
  • kanzo or ɛmo ase - Twi
  • mawowó - Makhuwa
  • kokorota - Cape Verdean Creole
TypeCooked rice
Main ingredientsRice
VariationsCucayo, guōbā, nurungji, okoge, tah dig, rengginang


Cape Verde

In Cape Verdean Creole, the burned, scorched, or otherwise crunchy rice at the bottom of the pot is referred to as kokorota. It is traditionally cooked outside, or in a semi-enclosed cooking space in a three-legged metal pot over burning firewood. In modern times, butane-powered stoves and store-bought pots are more commonly used in Cape Verde; however, the three-legged pots are still frequently used in the rural areas and when making food for parties, festivals or any occasion where large quantities of food are required.

A dish of Mi Guoba in a Chinese restaurant in Valencia.


Guōbā (simplified Chinese: 锅巴; traditional Chinese: 鍋巴; pinyin: guō bā; lit. 'pan adherents'), sometimes known as mi guoba (鍋巴, lit.'rice guoba') is a Chinese food ingredient consisting of scorched rice. Traditionally guōbā forms during the boiling of rice over direct heat from a flame. This results in the formation of a crust of scorched rice on the bottom of the wok or cooking vessel. This scorched rice has a firm and crunchy texture with a slight toasted flavour, and is sometimes eaten as a snack.

Guōbā is also used as an ingredient in many Chinese dishes with thick sauces, since the bland taste of the scorched rice takes on the flavour of the sauces. Guōbā is also served in soups and stews and prominently featured in Sichuan cuisine. Since demand for guōbā outstrips traditional production and modern ways of cooking rice (in electric rice cookers) do not produce it, guōbā has been commercially manufactured since the late 20th century.

In Cantonese-speaking areas of China, scorched rice is known as faan6 ziu1 (飯焦, lit.'rice scorch').


In Colombia, the burned, scorched, or otherwise crunchy rice at the bottom of the pot is referred to as la pega (the stuck [part of the rice]) in some areas, particularly the Andean region. In the northern coast, however, it can be called cucayo.


Scorched rice is referred to as kanzo or ɛmo ase (bottom of rice) in Twi. It is made by mistake or by chance since it happens when the rice burns while cooking. Some people choose to discard it but it's liked by a lot of people as it adds a crunch to the rice dish.


Large intip sold in Cirebon

In Indonesia, especially Central Java, scorched rice is called intip. It is a specialty of the Wonogiri Regency area and served as a cracker. The rice cracker is made from the hardened semi-burnt rice that sticks to the inner bottom of rice-cooking vessels. These cooking vessels are filled with water to loosen up the stuck rice. After it is separated from the cooking vessel, the stuck rice is sun-dried until it loses all of its liquid contents. The dried sticky rice is later deep-fried to create a crispy rice cracker.

In Indonesia there is a similar rice cracker called rengginang. Unlike intip, however, it is not made from scorched rice salvaged from the bottom of a rice cooking vessel, but created separately from steamed sticky rice, boiled, seasoned, made into a flat and rounded shape, and sun-dried prior to deep-frying.[1]


Tahdig (Tahchin) Iran

In Iran, scorched rice or tahdig is a necessary part of every kind of rice cooking and is prepared in 8 different ways.[2]

  1. by placing thin potato at the bottom of the pot after the oil is boiling.
  2. by placing thin bread at the bottom of the pot.
  3. by mixing rice and yogurt and saffron and putting on the oil of the pot before adding all the rice.
  4. by placing thin layer of lamb fat at the bottom of the pot.
Cherry rice dish with tahdig or albaloo polow ba tahdiq maast.
Popular potato scorched rice in Iran
Popular bread tahdig

Rice, bread or potato crust or some vegetables from the bottom of the pot is called tahdig in Iran. Tahdig (Persian: ته دیگ, tah "bottom" + dīg "pot") is a specialty of Iranian cuisine consisting of crisp, caramelized[3] rice taken from the bottom of the pot in which the rice (chelow) is cooked.[4] It is traditionally served to guests at a meal.[5] Ingredients commonly added to tahdig include yogurt and saffron, bread, potato, tomato, and fruits such as sour cherry.

Variations of tahdig include placing thin bread or vegetable slices at the bottom of the pot, so they crisp up instead of the rice; these vegetables include potato, carrots, and lettuce.[6] Iranians almost always apply this cooking method to spaghetti as well, providing a hardened base.[7]


Iraqi rice cooking is a multi-step process intended to produce tender, fluffy grains of rice.[8] A prominent aspect of Iraqi rice cooking is the hikakeh, a crisp bottom crust.[8] The hikakeh contains some loose rice as well.[8] Before serving, the hikakeh is broken into pieces so that everyone is provided with some along with the fluffy rice.[8]


A traditional kamado in a Japanese museum

Okoge (お焦げ, おこげ) is Japanese food, usually rice, that has been scorched or blackened.

Until electric rice cookers came into common use in the 20th century, rice in Japan was cooked in a kamado, a traditional stove heated by wood or charcoal. Because regulating the heat of a wood or charcoal fire is more difficult, a layer of rice at the bottom of the pot would often be slightly burned during cooking; this layer, called okoge, was not discarded, but was eaten with vegetables or moistened with water, soup, or tea.

Okoge is still eaten in Japanese cuisine, and is an important part of the kaiseki meal served at tea ceremonies, where it is typically served with hot water and pickles as the final course. It has a crispy texture and a nutty flavour.

Because the cooking temperature of modern electric rice cookers is precisely controlled, okoge does not usually form naturally during the cooking process. However, there are rice cookers on the market in Japan that have an okoge setting. Okoge can also be made by scorching cooked rice in a frying pan.


Commercially sold nurungji snack

Nurungji (누룽지) is eaten as a snack, infused in hot water to make sungnyung (scorched rice tea), or reboiled in water to make nureun bap.

Nurungji[9] (hangul: 누룽지) or scorched rice[9] is a traditional Korean food made of scorched rice. After boiling and serving rice, a thin crust of scorched rice will usually be left in the bottom of the cooking pot. This yellowed scorched state is described as nureun (눌은) in Korean; nurungji derives from this adjective.[10]

Nurungji can be eaten in its crisp state as a snack or as an after meal rice tea by adding hot water,[11] or reboiled with water to make nureun bap (눌은밥) or nurungji bap (누룽지밥).[12] Nurungji in its broad sense also refers to the crisp crust that forms at the bottom of the pots and pans when cooking various rice dishes such as dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) and bokkeumbap.

Nurungji is traditionally known for its medicinal attributes. According to records in the 17th century medical book Dongui Bogam, nurungji was called chwigunban (취건반, 炊乾飯) and considered as a remedy "when food does not swallow easily, upsets the stomach and induces vomiting".[13] It is also lauded as a well-being food in South Korea.[14]

South Korean companies made nurungji available in various pre-packaged forms around the mid-2000s.[14] Besides sweet fried nurungji snacks and instant nurungji to make nureunbap, many nurungji-flavored products were also developed such as candies and tea.[15] Nurungi is also used as an ingredient in a variety of new dishes like nurungji baeksuk and nurungji pizza.[14]

Mentions of nurungji in folklore are common, the most famous being a folk song recognizing the difficulties of memorizing the Thousand Character Classic. The lines are changed from the original chant to a clever rhyme that loosely translates into "sky cheon (天), earth ji (地), nurungji in the gamasot (cauldron pot)". (Korean: "하늘 천, 땅 지, 가마 솥에 누룽지").[16]

Latin America

Scorched rice is known as cucayo, pegao, cocolón (Ecuador), concolón, raspa, raspado, graten (Haiti), bunbun (Jamaica) and concón (Dominican Republic) in the Caribbean. In Colombian cuisine, scorched rice is called cucayo, pega or pego. It is often consumed with vegetable toppings as a cracker, or served in soups. It is also eaten alone or used to make leftovers. In Dominican cuisine, scorched rice is called concón, though this word can refer to the crunchy, toasted underside of other food types, as well. In Puerto Rican cuisine, scorched rice is called pegao (shortened "pegado", "stuck"). In Ecuador, kukayu (cucayo) is the name given to food items that are meant for travel, derived from kukayu (Quechua for a ration of coca). In Trinidad and Tobago cuisine and other English speaking Caribbean countries, scorched rice at the bottom of the pot is called bun bun.[17][18][19]

Myanmar (Burma)

In the Burmese language, scorched rice is called htamin gyo (ထမင်းချိုး). It is commonly found in hsi htamin, glutinous rice cooked with turmeric and oil.


Tutong (Tagalog) or dukót (Cebuano, "to stick") is used for a wide variety of dishes in Philippine cuisine, even as flavouring for ice cream.[20][21] Some people may consider it a poverty food, but others eat it because they enjoy the taste.[22][23]


Socarrat (in Valencian and Catalan Spanish language) refers to the crust that forms on the bottom of the pan when cooking paella. It is also known as Churruscado in Castilian Spanish.


In Vietnamese cuisine, it is called cơm cháy (literally "scorched rice"). It is typically fried in oil until golden brown, then topped with chà bông (pork floss) or tôm khô (dried shrimp), mỡ hành (chopped scallions cooked by pouring boiling oil over them to release their aroma), and chili paste to produce a popular dish called cơm cháy chà bông or cơm cháy tôm khô (although both the pork and shrimp may be used, in which case the dish is called cơm cháy chà bông tôm khô or cơm cháy tôm khô chà bông). Cơm cháy may be made from the crust of rice left over from cooking rice in an iron pot, or, more commonly since the advent of electric rice cookers in the late 20th century, from leftover rice that is fried in oil over high heat to acquire a crispy texture.

See also


  1. "Intip – Panganan Khas Wonogiri. Dulu sisa makanan, kini cemilan gurih bernilai ekonomi tinggi" (in Indonesian). 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  2. "۸ مدل ته دیگ که هر ایرانی باید بلد باشد". IRNA.
  3. "Tahdig". Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  4. Louie, Elaine (9 January 2008). "From an Iranian Cook, the Taste of Memory". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  5. Perry, Charles (16 October 1997). "Caspian Cuisine, an Iranian restaurant adjacent to Santa Monica". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  6. "Tahdig with Lettuce - My Persian Kitchen". My Persian Kitchen. 2010-10-13. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  7. "Turmeric and Saffron: Upside-Down Persian Macaroni". Persian Cuisine. Archived from the original on 2011-10-17.
  8. Marks, Gil (2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. John Wiley & Sons. p. 585. ISBN 978-0-470-39130-3.
  9. (in Korean) "주요 한식명(200개) 로마자 표기 및 번역(영, 중, 일) 표준안" [Standardized Romanizations and Translations (English, Chinese, and Japanese) of (200) Major Korean Dishes] (PDF). National Institute of Korean Language. 2014-07-30. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  10. Kim (김열규), Yeolgyu (2004), The Fire of Koreans (한국인의 화) (in Korean), Seoul: Humanist (휴머니스트), p. 9, ISBN 89-89899-93-1
  11. Nurungji Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine, Click Korea
  12. (in Korean) Definition of nureunbap from the National Institute of the Korean Language
  13. (in Korean) Nurungji is medicine Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine, Gwangju Dream 2009-11-03
  14. (in Korean) Well-being food, nurungji is back! Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, Donga Ilbo 2009-10-19
  15. (in Korean) Nurungji at Doosan Encyclopedia
  16. (in Korean) "Sky cheon, earth ji" Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine, Hankook Ilbo 2010-05-28
  17. Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  18. MORÓN, Carlos y GALVÁN, Cristina. La cocina criolla. Recetas de Córdoba y regiones de la costa Caribe. Domus Libri: 1996. p. 80. [editar]
  19. "bun bun". The Caribbean Dictionary.
  20. Salcedo, Margaux (3 August 2014). "A tour of Bicol, by way of food". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  21. Enriquez, Marge C. (13 February 2016). "'Bringhe na may tutong,' pork belly 'adobo' confit–Claude Tayag reinvents the diner". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  22. Ocampo, Ambeth R. (30 June 2011). "From 'palay' to 'kanin'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  23. Enriquez, Virgilio G. (1986). Philippine World-view. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 24. ISBN 9789971988197. Archived from the original on 2017-12-16.
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