Cooking rice is an art mastered by few. Culinary masters from the East are able to find the right approach to each of its varieties and prepare the perfect rice. Let’s take a look at their techniques.
Rice is the basis of a large number of dishes, and next to potatoes and pasta it is one of the main additions to meats and salads. We can eat it in soups, salty and sweet dishes. Rice is also used to make noodles, flour, wafers, crisps, flakes and cookies. In Asian countries this grain is treated with great care and anointing – it is the basis of the diet, replaces bread and has many cooking rules. To ensure that the rice is tasty and has the right texture when cooked, you must consider the type of rice in the first place.
Rice is a cereal crop with a rich history. There are about a hundred of its varieties in the world, and each of them has its own secrets. They differ in the shape and color of the grains and how they are processed. We will list some of the most common types.
Ground long-grain rice, parboiled or uncooked, is the most common type. You can buy it at any store. It is used in most recipes for rice dishes and its grains do not stick together.
Brown rough rice owes its color to the crust covering the grains, which is not removed during processing. It contains many nutrients, so this type of rice is considered very nutritious.
Jasmine rice has delicate grains and a pleasant aroma. It is most commonly used to prepare appetizers, puddings, sweet dishes and milk soups. Jasmine rice is generally not seasoned, so as not to disturb its aroma and flavor.
Round rice is a sticky and starchy product used in risotto, desserts, casseroles and sushi. We should not rinse it before cooking to keep its stickiness.
Black wild rice is an expensive variety of rice from Tibet. It is mainly used for cooking dishes with meat, fish and seafood.
If you want the rice to be loose after cooking, you need to rinse it with cold water beforehand. This will get rid of the starch, which is responsible for the stickiness. Remember to do it thoroughly – preferably until the rinse water is clear. You can make the task easier for yourself by using a fine strainer.
To prepare some dishes, such as risotto, you need sticky rice. In this case, you should not wash it before cooking. You can limit yourself to one rinse to wash away only any impurities.
To make the rice cook faster, you can soak it for 30-60 minutes. This will cut the time almost in half, but it is better then to also reduce the amount of water used for cooking.
Few people know this, but the amount of water does matter. It is assumed that it takes twice as much water to cook 1 cup of rice, but this is an approximate proportion. The second aspect you need to consider is, of course, time. Both values are best adjusted to the specific type of rice
Remember, it is always a good idea to read the cooking instructions on the package.
It’s best to choose a pot with a thick bottom so that the temperature is evenly distributed. Boil salted water first and then pour the rice into it. Stir it to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom. Wait until the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
Do not lift the lid during cooking, otherwise the rice will cook longer. If you want it to be free-flowing, don’t stir it (except for that one time right after pouring it into the water), because the grains can break down and release the starch that makes them sticky.
Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit covered for 10-15 minutes. If excess water remains in the pot, drain the rice.
Cooked rice should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container because it easily absorbs odors and flavors. If you have the option, place it on a separate shelf. Pure rice, without any added oil or spices, can be stored longer – even 3 days. Other rice is usually good for up to 24 hours. You can also store rice in the freezer. This allows you to keep its taste and nutritional value even for a few months. Outside the refrigerator, cooked rice starts to sour after just a few hours and can cause food poisoning.
Hungry? Also check out our recipe for the perfect scrambled eggs.