Rice How To...

Photo by Lincolnian
I have 7 different kinds of rice in my cupboard this very minute, maybe more.

I used to stink at cooking rice. I actively sought how to cook it successfully without using a rice steamer. I understand half the world uses rice steamers but I didn't want to dedicate a piece of my countertop for something I make once or twice a week, especially when I have pots and a range that should be able to do it.

I learned to cook rice like it was my JOB. But who really cares but me, right?

Yesterday we potlucked with friends where I brought a curry with Basmati rice. The hostess was significantly impressed to start a conversation, twice, about how to cook rice. I didn't geek out the first time but the second time I was a little looser, and then I expounded. I'm sorry, Liz. Half way through I thought 'shut up' and then I thought I should put it in my blog. (I didn't shut up.)

This blog is becoming a catalogue of recipes that I love and new things that come across, which are interesting or that I know I'm going to love.

I do have The Rice Bible, Christian Teubner on my shelf. There are way more than 7 rices in the world. But who wants to pull out a book of everything when you only need to know a little?

My regulars are:

  • Long grain Amerian white rice you pick up for .89 cents a pound at the grocery. It's enriched and my daughter's comfort food.
  • Nashiki for Japanese rice balls and sushi.
  • Basmati for curries and food middle eastern
  • Jasmine for other Asian meals
  • Sona Masoori, Basmati's homely cousin, but great for filler.
  • Brown Rice, which needs a better definition if this wasn't just my humble blog, but it's the brown rice you buy in bulk at the natural foods groceries.
  • Arborio for risotto because that's delicious.

I also have rice flour for mochi and other Asian desserts. Oh and rice cereal because I was gluten free for a month and I kind of went a little rice wacko. But it's delicious for a change from oatmeal and cream of wheat.

For different rices you need to know if you rinse it, soak it, the water ratio, the length of time on direct heat, the length of time you leave it off heat.

Oh I feel a spread sheet coming. See below. Risotto is the exception to all the following:

  • If you rinse you rinse the rice with many changes of water until the water runs clear. Fill the pot with water and swish it around to remove as much starch as possible.
  • If you soak, soak in plenty of water. Pour off the water and measure fresh water for cooking.
  • Use a heavy bottomed pot, always.
  • Wrap the lid in the thinnest dish towel you have available.

Bring the rice and fresh water to a boil, about 3-5 minutes. Cover with the lid which is wrapped in the thin towel, turn the heat to low and set the timer. DO NOT LIFT THE LID. It's only rice. It's not dancing in the pot. They aren't having a party. DON'T look. When the timer goes off, turn the heat off and leave the pot for the prescribed amount of time to steam. No lid lifting yet. Set the timer for steaming. When that goes off you may look at the rice.

If you are fluffing now is the time. If you are making rice balls allow the rice to cool enough to handle then proceed.

Rice Rinse Soak  Ratio On Heat Steaming
Long grain American white  YES NO 1:2 30 0
Nashiki YES 10 MIN 1:1.25 15 20
Basmati YES 60 MIN 1:1.5 25 15
Jasmine YES NO 1:2 15 10
Sona Masoori YES 60 MIN 1:1.5 25 15
Brown Rice NO NO 1:2 45 0
Arborio NO NO 1:4 45 0