How To Make The Perfect Bowl Of Rice
A good rice cooker will work wonders if you eat rice regularly. It produces consistently good quality rice, and you don’t have to watch over or monitor it. The rice stays fresh for several hours and is great when cooking for a larger number of diners. However, if you’re cooking for just one or two then rice can be easily cooked on your stovetop. In fact, there are different techniques which suit different kinds of rice. Here’s quick ‘how-to’, to help.
1. Rinse The Rice
Whether using a rice cooker, food processor pressure cooker, slow cooker, or stovetop, you should always rinse the rice before proceeding. As with potatoes or carrots, rice is produced in fields so it comes with agricultural traces, in rice’s case starch, which needs to be thoroughly soaked before you do anything else. You can use a strainer to do this (fine mesh, obviously), or simply swish the water around the rice and use your hand to prevent the rice from falling out when you pour out the water.
2. Realize Which Rice
Just as there are different kinds of potato or tomato, there are various types of rice. There is white rice; probably the stuff you’re most familiar with. It is standard long-grain rice. Brown rice, on the other hand, is more chewy and rugged and requires a different approach when cooking it to perfection. Then there’s basmati/jasmine rice, basmati often being used in Indian restaurants. Again, it requires a slightly different treatment in order to get the best out of it.
3. White Rice
You can perfect a bowl of white rice in your rice cooker or on your stovetop. In order to simplify things for you, here’s how to do it on your stovetop. First, after thoroughly rinsing the rice, boil a small saucepan’s worth of water (1.5 cups’ worth should suffice), keeping the lid on. Next, add some butter or oil, salt and of course the rice. Then, keeping the lid on, simmer on a low heat for no more than 20 minutes, bringing back to the boil for the final few minutes of that time window. Lastly, switch off the heat, leave for ten minutes, fluff it up a bit, and voila – the perfect bowl of rice for you and your guest(s).
4. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a little different; you’ll need to treat it a little bit like pasta. After the rinsing process, pour in about eight cups of water in a 4-quart saucepan and boil. Then, add in the rinsed brown rice, as you would pasta, boiling it like pasta for a little over thirty minutes, or until it’s a bit chewy. Next, drain the rice and water using a suitably sized strainer, and put the saucepan back on the stovetop, leaving it to steam gently for around ten minutes. You can add butter/oil and salt at the end, then fluff it up before serving. Perfect!
5. Basmati Or Jasmine Rice
For this rice, you will first need to boil water in a kettle. You’ll require about a 2:1 ratio for basmati rice, a 4:3 ratio for jasmine rice. Then, using a separate saucepan, proceed to heat the oil/butter until it’s gently bubbling. Into this separate saucepan put the rice and a pinch of salt and stir until it’s all mixed together. Sauté, ie. stir continually until you get a starchy film developing and a toasty aroma wafting up. Next, pour in the boiling water and cook on a low heat for no more than 20 minutes. Lastly, switch off, allowing ten minutes’ steaming time, fluff up and enjoy!
6. Rice Cooker Or Stovetop?
You can achieve the same results in a rice cooker but won’t need to factor in the steaming time because it is what rice cookers do, automatically. In terms of time, it will take about the same amount; after all, rice is rice. The choice of whether to use a stovetop or purchase a rice cooker is more about storage and money. Rice cookers are generally quite bulky because they’re designed to help you cook for a large number of people (they come in different sizes, though).
If you don’t cook rice that often or live in a small household of one or two or live in an apartment where storage is a real issue, then a rice cooker probably won’t improve your life enough to make it worth buying one. If, on the other hand, you eat rice on a regular basis, like the idea of not having to watch over it and want the convenience of keeping it for up to 6 hours in a specially designed non-stick container, then it could be worth it.
One final note on the ‘perfect’ rice theme. If using a rice cooker and you leave the rice there for 12 hours, you’ll then need to refrigerate it in an airtight container. When reheating you should use a steamer rather than a rice cooker.
- How to Cook The Perfect Brown Rice – One Green Planet
- Rice Science 101- An Introduction to Making Great Rice at Home – Science Meets Food