It seems like everything I make involves rice. From curries to Mexican soups, I always need to have my rice fix. Personally, I tend to just throw rice in a rice cooker and let it take care of all the heavy lifting. However, there are times when I want my rice just perfect. For those times, I pull out a pot and cook my rice the traditional way. It always ends in fluffy, cloudy goodness as long as I follow these steps:
Rinse it Up and Soak it Down
Start by giving your rice a quick rinse in the sink. This will remove both talc and loose starch. However, if you want your rice super sticky, you can skip this step. It all depends on the recipe you’re using the rice for.
Another consideration is soaking the rice. For most meals, you don’t need to soak but, again, it all depends. For instance, if it’s old rice, soaking for just 30 minutes will help toughen it up. Also, they say that soaking basmati rice will help the grain expand to its full length. In any case, if you do choose to soak, make sure the water is completely drained.
The sure-fire method to cooking rice is the absorption method. The rice absorbs a measured amount of water so once the water is gone, you’ll know the rice is done. This means that the key to this step is the amount of water you use. In general, the more water used, the stickier the rice and the less water used, the firmer the rice. A good rule of thumb is to use 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups of water for every cup of long-grain white rice. Use this ratio as a starting point and experiment from there.
The second very important part of this step is the type of pot you use. The pot needs to be heavy at the bottom in order to keep it from scorching. It also needs a lid that fits nice and snug so that the steam doesn’t escape. If all you have is a loose-fitting lid, squish a clean rag between the lid and the pot.
Now that we have all the technicalities out of the way, let’s get to the actual cooking! Toss the correct measurements of rice and water in your pot. Crank up the stove to high heat and wait until the water boils. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and throw on that tight-fitting lid. Let it go until the rice has completely absorbed all the water (this should take about 12 minutes). If you need to take a peak, it’s okay to lift the lid as long as you replace it immediately.
Let it Chill
This step can be easily forgotten. After all, you’ve had to wait so long for your rice already! However, if you served up the rice right now, you’ll find that the top layer is considerably drier than the bottom layers. To fix this, just let the rice sit off the heat, uncovered, for at least 5 minutes. This will force the moisture to spread out, giving you fluffiness all throughout.
So there you have it: super cute rice that’s almost too good to eat. Now I’m not saying that putting up a picture of this rice is going to buy Facebook likes or buy Twitter followers but it’ll definitely make an absolutely delicious dinner!