Much to my surprise, people tell me they find it hard to prepare rice. Fortunately, it’s not complicated.
Rice comes in many different sizes, shapes and colors. I will focus here on long grain white rice. (The difference between brown and white rice is similar to that between whole wheat bread and white bread. More on brown rice another day!)
In order to cook rice you need to combine rice, water, salt and butter. The salt and butter are optional, so only rice and water are essential.
The proportions are generally two to one: two cups of water to one cup of rice.
The basic steps to cooking rice are:
1. Bring the water to a boil
2. Add the rice, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of butter, stir once.
3. Cover the pot and return the water to a boil
4. Immediately turn the stove down to simmer and turn the timer on.
The rule is simple: you can tell its done cooking if all the water is absorbed (assuming you have put in the correct proportions of rice and water.)
White rice usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Check the rice about 4 minutes before the timer is due to go off. When you take the cover off, the top of the rice may look like it is totally cooked. However, with a spoon, you need to gently move the rice to see if there is still water to be absorbed at the bottom.
Cooking times can differ just because simmer on one stove may not be the same on all stoves.
Don’t over-stir: if you keep stirring the rice while it is cooking it will get very gummy. (Not good!)
If you leave the rice in the pot once you turn the stove off, it will continue to cook. Be careful it doesn’t dry out too much. If it is too dry you can add a couple of tablespoons more of water.
I have actually seen some people cook rice like they do spaghetti, with lots of water which they drain off at the end. I wouldn’t recommend this way. I think it makes the rice very watery when you are serving it. Plus, you are also pouring off a lot of the nutrients.
They do sell so-called “Instant rice” which cooks instantly. You just add boiling water and within a few minutes all the water is absorbed. It sounds like a good plan. But on most brands the texture of the rice is really strange. I’d recommend avoiding it.
Let me know how your rice turns out!
White Rice Ingredients:
(Makes 3 cups of cooked rice)
- 1 cup of rice
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of butter
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