How to Cook Rice Properly Every Time!

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How to Cook Rice Properly Every Time!

If burnt rice is a staple in your kitchen (it used to be in mine!) then this article is just perfect for you. It’s not just the burning you have to worry about either, as it often seems like cooking rice is a delicately balanced game of hit-or-miss (mostly “miss” for me until recently).

Most of us have had the experience of cooking rice that is too dry, crunchy and undercooked. Then there are the occasions when it turns out too wet, soggy and simply unfit to be served. Frustratingly, these unpalatable results occur regardless of whether you use white or brown rice. Even wild rice (which isn’t really rice but a close enough relative) is a challenge.

Well, no more! Here are some sure-fire tips and techniques for cooking rice – the kind of perfectly cooked rice that you’ll be proud to serve up with your next meal.

how to cook rice properly - delicious meal

 

Before You Begin – Important Tips for Cooking Rice

  • Quality matters – Whatever type of rice you use, start with fresh rice. You’ll end up with fluffier and much better tasting rice if you do.
  • Choose your liquid – Rice can be cooked in water, milk, stock or broth. So, aside from the water, you really have quite a good bit of options to experiment with in terms of the final taste of your rice. Try stocks and broths of different flavors or switch out regular milk for almond milk instead.
  • Wash (or not) – Rice bought in Western countries is most often pre-washed and has nutrients added to it. While washing will remove these nutrients, it does serve the beneficial purpose of separating the grains of the rice so you end up with lighter, fluffier and less sticky rice.

uncooked rice - learn how to cook rice properly

If you decide to wash your rice then two or three times is good enough. “Until the water runs clear” as some rice package instructions say, could see you washing your rice well into tomorrow!

  • Soak (or not) – Soaking rice has it place if you are cooking Thai, wild or basmati rice. Otherwise, skip this step unless the recipe specifically calls for it.
  • Salt (or not) – Adding salt to rice as it cooks is a completely personal choice. The salt will improve the flavor but some persons warn that it does have the potential to cause the rice grains to split, leading to soggy rice.
  • Butter – Adding a little butter to the pot gives the rice a nice creamy flavor, a lovely yellow tinge and helps to keep the grains from sticking together.
  • Size matters – … when it comes to your choice of pot to cook your rice in. That’s because rice swells (a lot!) as it cooks. Also, a large enough pot will give the rice grains space to move around and not stick or burn.
  • Other pot considerations – To give you a much better chance of NOT burning the rice, use a pot with a heavy base. The lid of your pot is important as well. Rice needs to steam and it can’t do that if the lid keeps letting the steam out! So, choose a pot with a tight-fitting lid. If your pot does not have a tight-fitting lid then place a CLEAN kitchen cloth over the pot before you put on the lid.
  • Take a peak – Yes, the steam is needed to cook the rice properly and when you open the pot you will be letting some of the steam out. It’s still okay, however to take a peak or two into the pot as the rice cooks (or you could use a pot with a class cover, if you have it).

You’ll be able to check its progress and determine if the heat needs adjusting or perhaps you need to add a little water to get the rice to the right texture. Over time, as you become more sure of your rice cooking skills, you may find that you are able to cook a perfect pot of rice without a single peak inside!

lovely rice - mmm

 

How Much Water Should You Use?

How much water (or other liquid) you add to your rice will depend on several factors. For example, if you prefer the finished rice to be on the moister and stickier side, then add more water. This softer rice is great for use in a stir-fry. Use less water if you like your rice cooked firm and dry or if you intend to use it in a rice salad.

A big factor affecting the amount of water is the type of rice you are cooking. Brown rice will need more water to cook it perfectly than white rice will. The same is true for wild rice. Also, long-grain white rice will need more water than either medium-grain or short-grain white rice.

Here are some good proportions to use:

  • 3 cups of water for one cup of basmati rice
  • 5 cups of water for one cup of white rice
  • 2 cups of water for one cup of brown rice
  • 4 cups of water for one cup of wild rice

Basic Method for Cooking White Rice

  1. Wash the rice and place it in the pot.
  2. Add water and salt.
  3. Bring it to a boil uncovered.
  4. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and cover the pot.
  5. Allow to it to simmer until all the water has been absorbed (anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes).
  6. Remove it from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork
  7. Serve.

Basic Method for Cooking Brown Rice

  1. Wash the rice and place it in the pot.
  2. Lightly toast it in a little oil (if you want it to have a more nutty flavor).
  3. Add water and salt.
  4. Bring it to a boil uncovered.
  5. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and cover the pot.
  6. Allow to it to simmer until the rice all the water has been absorbed (anywhere from 40 – 50 minutes).
  7. Remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for roughly 10 minutes (to fully absorb and evenly distribute the moisture).
  8. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  9. Serve.

Basic Method for Cooking Basmati Rice

  1. Wash the rice and leave it in a large bowl of cold water to soak for 30 – 60 minutes.
  2. Drain the rice and place it in a pot with a little salt.
  3. Add boiling water to the rice.
  4. Once it’s boiling again, tightly cover the pot with foil and then with the lid.
  5. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove it from the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes before removing the lid and the foil.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  8. Serve.

Basic Method for Cooking Wild Rice

  1. Wash the rice and place it in the pot.
  2. Add water and salt.
  3. Bring it to a boil uncovered.
  4. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and cover the pot.
  5. Allow to it to simmer until the grains are tender (anywhere from 45 – 60 minutes).
  6. Remove it from the heat and drain off any excess water through a strainer.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork
  8. Serve.

Check out this quick video for some more great rice cooking tips.

 

Rice goes so very well with so many things. Once you know how to cook it properly you will be enjoying yummy rice dishes any time you wish!

 

Links

https://www.yumyumutensils.com/blogs/recipes/10-best-quick-and-easy-stir-fry-recipes

https://authoritynutrition.com/wild-rice-nutrition-review/

http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/types-of-rice.asp

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-stock-and-broth-word-of-mouth-71199

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxL0CJP0JmU

http://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Rice

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/cook-rice-perfectly.aspx

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2016/03/how-to-cook-rice/

http://ourbestbites.com/2012/08/all-about-white-rice-plus-how-to-cook-it-3-ways/

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-i-mostly-cured-my-fear-of-cooking-rice-203584

 

 

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