Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve and break up the grains. After draining, spread the rice out on a baking sheet being careful not to leave any clumps. (You can dry this in the sun if you want. it should take about a week to dry thoroughly.)
Let it dry in the room if you want. If you want to speed things up, cook in a 75°C oven for at least 5 hours (cook until the rice is completely dry and cracked open).
I you add the rice to the oven before bed, it would be very easy. Fry the rice in oil at about 180 ~ 190°C The rice will pop and become candy-like.
When the rice floats to the surface of the oil, remove it. When all the rice is cooked you can cook it in the glaze. Use a different pan for each colour, and bring the glaze ingredients to a simmer until they thicken before adding the rice.
Add a portion of rice to each glaze, and stir them around quickly to coat each puff evenly. The photo shows pink puffs.
When the puffs have cooled, check that they are crispy. Mix the 3 colours together, and place into an airtight container. They should keep for about 1 month. It is even better if you add a desiccant to the package.
If the puffs become damp, you can heat them in a microwave for a short time to revitalize them. Just spread them out in a heatproof dish.
Microwave several times at 500 W for 30 seconds. Each time, stir to let the steaming puffs cool. Repeat this 2 or 3 times.
Story Behind this Recipe
I heard that traditionally they would use rice that had been dried for 1 week for the Doll festival treats. I wanted to try it! The resulting rice is so crunchy that you will reach for it without thinking.
The important point is to dry the rice thoroughly. When drying, drain the rice as much as possible, and spread it so it is overlapping as little as possible.