Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time

Words: Katrina Rose Wind

Nothing ruins a meal more than soggy or starchy rice. Cooking rice always seems pretty straightforward when you’re reading the back of the rice packet, yet somehow it never turns out quite as good as the rice from your favourite takeaway spot. We’re here to tell you that there’s hope for you yet. It’s time to learn how to cook rice perfectly, every time.

Rinse Your Rice

In order to cook rice perfectly, you must rinse your rice. Much like other grains, there is a starchy coating over rice. In order to remove that coating, you need to properly rinse it. If you don’t rinse, the starch will give a slightly slimy/gummy texture to the rice when cooked. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, simply rinse your rice in a sieve or strainer under cold running water. Check to see if the water is running clear, that should be your marker that the rice has been rinsed properly.

Toast Your Rice?

If you’ve got time, consider toasting your rice. This step isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it certainly can enhance the flavour of the rice. Use the same pot that you’re going to boil your rice in; put in a bit of olive oil or butter, add the dry rice and stir it frequently. You’re going to do this until the white rice turns a little bronze in colour or until it starts to smell a bit toasted/nutty.

Ratio of Water to Rice

Remembering the 2:1 ratio, will get you far. For every 1 cup of rice, you should add 2 cups of water. Other rice varieties, like basmati or brown can be a little different, but it has more to do with timing. If you’re meal prepping and you’re making a lot of rice, you can double or even triple the recipe — but make sure you’re using a pot big enough to allow for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Season, Season, Season!

cook rice perfectlyDo you know how important it is to season your pasta water? Well, rice is the same. You don’t want it to taste like the ocean but you want it to be close. Adding a generous amount of salt while your rice is cooking will help enhance the flavour by the time it’s served. If you add salt to it only after it’s cooked, there will definitely be a flavour imbalance.

Simmer Your Rice

We’ve all been taught to just add the rice when the water is boiling and then let it cook. Not entirely wrong, but the best way to do it is to add the rice before the water is boiling, let it come up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Once your rice is simmering, put the pot lid on and let the rice cook. Cooking rice at too high a temperature can result in the rice cooking unevenly. The outside might be soft, while the inside is still hard and raw.

Don’t Disturb

Uncovering the rice during its cooking time lets the steam out and lowers the temperature within the pot. Leave the lid of the pot untouched until the timer goes off, there is no need to check on the rice while it cooks as it doesn’t require any stirring. Which brings us to the next point – don’t stir your rice. It just breaks up the grains in an unpleasant way and can result in a plate of pappy rice.

Rest Your Rice

You must resist the urge of straining your rice! In order to make sure your cook your rice perfectly, you must let it rest for about 10 minutes after it’s done cooking. That way you’ll achieve optimum texture, and will be extra fluffy.

Fluff Your Rice

cook rice perfectlyOnce the rice has rested for a bit, it’s time to fluff. All this means is that you should stick a rice paddle or fork in there once it’s done. With the fork or the paddle, you want to break up any grains that could have possibly been clumped together. This step does exactly what it says, it makes the rice fluffier and avoids a clumpy mess on your plate.

And that’s it, you now know how to cook rice perfectly. If you’re looking for some yummy recipes to show off your rice cooking skills, we’ve got Four Awesome Rice Recipes for you.

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