Fun things to do if you've got five tonnes of rice lying around
If your Coronavirus panic buying has left you with literal tonnes of rice you aren't sure what to do with, allow me to give you some ideas...
It seems that by this point, panic buying and hoarding in the midst of the coronavirus crisis has become commonplace around the world, with some people going out and buying way more food staples than they need, emptying shelves and in turn forcing others to have to scramble in order to try and get food for themselves before supplies temporarily run out.
Where I am here in Australia, we were one of the first countries to really set this whole panic buying trend off, with toilet paper the initial target of hoarders, with pasta and rice soon following.
While our Prime Minister has even gone as far as today telling panic buyers to "Stop it!" little seems to be changing. In fact, it's getting even worse as the scenes at my local shops proved today.
If any brown rice lovers live near me, you're still in luck... for now.
Although many shops, including the one I went to in the shop above, have implemented strict buying limits on staples, the shelves where you'd find things such as rice, as seen above, are still practically empty (another, larger supermarket I also visited today had shelves that were completely barren) and that got me thinking...
If there's no rice left in the shops, it must mean there are people out there with mountains of rice – literal tonnes of the stuff – at home with them, and if those people are forced into self-isolation, something not yet mandatory here in Australia as it is in other countries such as Italy, they may get bored and start wondering what to do with it all.
Well, fear not, as I have put together a list of fun ideas for what you can do if you happen to have 5 tonnes of rice lying around the house, which, unfortunately, is more likely than not in the current climate.
Photo: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Teach yourself to cook some dishes in which rice takes a starring role
While rice is often seen as simply being an accompaniment to a meal, there are plenty of dishes out there in which rice is one of the essential elements.
For most, the first dishes you'll probably think of off the top of your head are risotto and paella – two absolute classics and a great place to start.
From there though, why not start to explore how rice is used in dishes from other parts of the globe. Depending on what else you have in excess supply with you, perhaps you could whip up some Senegalese jollof rice, or perhaps a Hyderabadi-style chicken biryani strikes your fancy. Some other easy recipes I've stumbled across also include tave kosi – Albanian baked lamb and rice with yoghurt – and nasi lemak, Malaysia's national dish and one of my own personal favourites.
Now thinking about all those dishes has got me feeling hungry and about ready to break out the rice myself. But before I do, there are plenty of more obscure rice-related ideas I've also come up with.
Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Break some world records
When compiling this list, I was surprised to learn just how many world records there are for things relating to rice, so if you've got plenty of it lying around at the moment and nothing else to do, now could be the perfect time to snag yourself a Guinness World Record.
While some are to be expected – most rice grains eaten in one minute using chopsticks, for instance, with 25 being the current number to beat, while the record for most eaten in three minutes stands at 134 – there are a few that are more outside the box.
If you've stocked up on beans recently as well, perhaps you could try to beat the recently set record for the largest serving of beans and rice, which the Indian Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation set at a whopping 1995kg back in January this year.
Another recent record from late last year is for the longest line of rice balls, which T&S Ltd. and Kusu Town in Japan achieved last year with 2527 rice balls laid out in a straight line that measured in at 153.59 metres.
But here's where the big five tonne number in the headline comes in. If you really want to challenge a big record, the Turkey Culinary Foundation holds the one for the largest fried rice at 3150kg, but that's nothing compared to the largest serving of plain rice.
That record goes to my fellow Australians at the Golden Season Family Restaraunt in Wagga Wagga, who set the record at 4.7 tonnes all the way back in 2000. Reckon you've got enough in the pantry currently to take them on?
Photo: "365:2" by Lisa Norwood, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Explore its non-edible uses
On a more, err, reasonable note, there are plenty of non-edible uses for rice as well, some of which you may or may not have heard of.
I'm sure everyone who owns a smartphone knows that if you accidentally drop your phone in the sink (I do not recommend you do this) that leaving it in a bowl of uncooked rice overnight to draw the moisture out of it is a potential way of saving it, but there are many other uses aside from this as well.
If you find your salt shakers are clumping due to excessive moisture, a few grains of uncooked rice can help to prevent this. If you're baking a pie crust, you can also use a handful of rice on top of some foil to weigh it down. You can even run rice through a coffee grinder as a way of cleaning it out if need be, too, or mix it with some water and dish soap for cleaning out bottles and clear vases.
Feeling particularly creative? You could even break out some food colouring to dye some rice to make colourful mosaics with it by sticking it onto a canvas with some glue.
Photo: Pille-Riin Priske on Unsplash
And there you have it!
If you've got too much rice lying around the house now from your panic buying, fear not for there are many delicious, creative, pragmatic, and even potentially record-breaking things you can do with it all.
Now, let me know below – what's your favourite rice dish?