When I was a little girl, one of my favorite snacks in the Philippines was pop rice (puffed rice), also known as “ampao”. Pop rice is Philippine’s version of rice krispies. The sugary treat is made of cooked rice that is sun-dried so that it turns very crispy. Peanut is sometimes an added ingredient. Pop rice comes in different colors and shapes. There are white, brown and rainbow-colored pop rice. Sometimes they are made into balls or mini square bars. Some are rectangular or shaped into cookies.
As I was walking along Janghyeon today, a truck full of traditional Korean snacks caught my attention. (It was o-il jang, five-day market. ^^) The ajossi asked me to try some of the snacks. (Yipee! ^^ There’s always free taste in SK.)
One of the snacks I tried reminded me of the pop rice I used to buy in the sari-sari store (convenience store in the Philippines). The grains of the “puffed rice” in Korea are bigger compared to the rice grains used in the Philippines, but they taste almost similar. I like the texture of Philippine pop rice more, though. The “brown” pop rice in the Philippines is not as hard as the “brown” pop rice in Korea. There are also nuts in Korean pop rice. (Actually, it’s nuttier than Philippine pop rice.)
The ajossi, who was very nice and chatty, gave me some Magic Pop or popped cake, too. ^^ Popped cake is a fat-free, low-calorie snack made from brown rice, wheat and corn. I think the snack is called Magic POP because when a piece of popped cake is fed into the machine where it is made, it makes that cute “popping” sound. ^^
When hubby and I had our vacation in the Philippines last year, I was surprised to see Korean popped cake being sold in SM Clark, a well-known shopping center in my hometown in Pampanga. Filipinos don’t like bland snacks or food. Popped cake doesn’t have much taste, but I saw a few Filipinos buying Magic Pop… or maybe they were curious? As for me, I prefer Korean pop rice.
- Five-Day Market in Janghyeon (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- Korean Snacks: What’s Your Favorite Korean Chocolate? (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- Sesame rice cake (chinesefoodbymissliu.wordpress.com)
- Brown Rice with Corn – Quickie Version (karma-free-cooking.com)