An Ode to Okoge

I grew up eating a lot of rice.  I’ve always known the delightful taste of the rice that has been in the pot for a little too long, the rice that has met Maillard.  Japanese call it okoge, and until today, I thought they were the only culture that had a name for it.


But when my coworkers at Chipotle were huddled over this nearly empty pot of rice, sprinkling salt and a little oil on it, I learned differently.  They call it concón.  Most of my coworkers had never heard of it.  Upon one coworker’s first taste, he said that it’s just like popcorn.  That made me wonder if a little sugar would be any good on it.

So tonight I looked concón up and found that nearly all the rice eating cultures have a name for this culinary treat:

Colombia: pega/pego
China: guoba
Dominican Republic: concón
Iran: tahdig
Japan: okoge
Korea: nurungji
Puerto Rico: pegao