Can I make a gluten free orzo analogue by pummeling other gf pasta
October 12, 2013 9:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm wondering if anyone has tried making a gf orzo type thing by taking a bag of rotini or some type of other gf pastas and whacking it with a mallet into little pieces. Will they stick together? Will you get the same effect? Will it suck? Failing that, anyone have an Orzo substitute? White rice? Brown Rice? Forbidden Rice?
posted by WASP-12b to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A box of this was recently acquired in our house. I can report back on tastiness levels as soon as we try it.
posted by feckless at 9:51 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think getting the bits even enough in size would be problematic so I wouldn't suggest the whacking method. Now, to ask the obvious question, why not just buy gluten-free orzo? A bunch of options come up on Amazon, so it's definitely a thing.

For substitutions though, it would depend what you were using it for. I'd probably use white rice or quinoa because the texture of brown or wild rice would be too tough.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 9:52 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I do gluten free pasta for my kid and I'm a (somewhat) former chef....

In no way, shape, or form will whacking a bag of GF pasta give you an orzo effect - but your idea sounds like fun - at least the whacking part! The other part will be a gloppy mess:(


Short grain aborrio or sushi rice rinsed well and cooked al dente is your closest analog.

Or maybe some sort of heritage grain? But I really can't think of one good enough off the top of my head.
posted by jbenben at 9:56 PM on October 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd like to nth orzo shaped pasta with organic corn - RICE PASTA ARE NOT SEMOLINA EQUIVALENT - but corn pasta is much closer, texture-wise.
posted by jbenben at 9:58 PM on October 12, 2013

I have never seen GF orzo in a store - am glad you posted this just to find out it exists!
posted by leslies at 6:01 AM on October 13, 2013

I've used arborio rice in place of orzo - cook it like regular rice, not risotto style. Works amazingly in soups, decently for salads, but not for pasta sauces (just find another pasta shape for that or buy gf orzo). Quinoa and puy lentils also work well for soups and salads.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:06 AM on October 13, 2013

I have used brown rice to substitute for orzo in this "Orzo super salad" recipe. The trick is to cook the rice like pasta-- get a big pot of boiling water going, add the rice, boil until tender, then drain in a colander. Toss the drained rice back into the pot and clap the lid on so it can steam for a bit. Delicious, and never burnt or glue-y.
posted by bonheur at 8:28 AM on October 13, 2013

jbenben, it used to be true about rice pasta not substituting well for Italian-style pasta. But not any more. I get rice pasta that works perfectly in Italian recipes now. I don't know why the change – maybe it's milled differently – but if you can find Rizopia or Tinkyada brands you will see what I mean.
posted by zadcat at 11:44 AM on October 13, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. Likely I will have to buy online or use a different substance altogether.

I just like the idea of taking a product I can buy at the Safeway and modifying it with a little violence into what I need. Will likely use the washed Arborio rice method. you think I could get a more uniform shape if I used a toy rock tumbler and a ball bearing? Anyone else have any luck with brute force food hacking?
posted by WASP-12b at 7:12 PM on October 13, 2013

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