Ampaw or ampao (Puffed Rice)

With the price of flour and bread going up and away, we still have alternatives to fill that hungry stomach between meals. Rice is one answer.

Ampaw or ampao is a favorite Cebuano snack. That crunchy, sticky and deliciously sweet Ampao with peanuts made in Liloan, Cebu is so popular that it is even available in various Filipino stores in US, Hongkong and Singapore.

Ampaw or ampao is made from dried cooked rice, usually left-over rice. It is known as rice crispies to others.

The cooked rice grains are sun-dried and fried in hot oil to make them puffy and crunchy. This is a fun snack and can be made for small business venture. This is also a yummy dessert. Here's the recipe:

2 cups cooked rice, dried under the sun for about 4 hours
2-3 cups cooking oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup corn syrup (preferably dark brown)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter

Heat cooking oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Carefully drop the sun-dried rice and cook until they are puffy. Drain on absorbent paper or paper towels. Set aside.

In a saucepan combine sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vinegar. Boil until it reaches the hard stage, that is about 300 deg F in the candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Let the butter melt without stirring.

Pour the syrup over puffed rice. Mix well using a wooden spoon until all puffed rice is well coated with syrup.

Pour puffed rice mixture to a greased pan. Allow to cool slightly enough to allow you to hold it with your bare hands. With greased hands, divide the mixture into desired sizes and shape into balls or bars. Wrap in wax paper. Dry the shaped rice puffs under the sun for 1-3 days.

Happy eating and happy selling!

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