Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Do I Use it? Rice Part III: Cooking

Rice seems like such a simple thing to cook, but plenty of people have trouble with it. These are the basic steps to cooking rice, but remember there are a ton of varieties, meaning cooking can vary slightly between them.

  • To rinse or not to rinse. This is a pretty big debate for rice, but let me break it down for you. Rinse and your rice will be less sticky, don't rinse and it will keep more nutrients. From a food storage stand point, I would say don't rinse because A)you need all the nutrients in it, and B)you would waste water rinsing.
  • Measuring. Measuring is probably the most important part of cooking rice. The general ratio is 1 cup rice to 1.5 to 2 cups liquid. You can season the rice as well with spices and salt. You place it all in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. 
  • Boil/Simmer. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour (this is one of those things that may vary depending on the rice).
  • Don't Peek! This is very important. Lifting the lid interrupts cooking and can make the end result dry and undercooked rice.
  • Let It Stand Before Serving. When the time is up, let the pot stand, covered for 10 minutes before you serve it.
Basmati, jasmine, and white texmati  rice have cooking times around 15-18 minutes. Brown and white rice are about 45 minutes and wild rice about an hour. Wild rice also generally needs a higher ratio of water, about 3 cups to every cup of rice. When you go to can your rice, make sure you label the container with whatever the instructions are for your variety of rice. 
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