Whoever said that cooking rice is difficult didn’t know the right techniques to cook it in the first place. Cooking rice is like taking a walk in the park, especially if you follow the three techniques below.
1. The classic method
This is the most popular method followed by millions around the world. It works perfectly if you want to make long-grain white rice. The rice will be absolutely dry and steaming hot when you serve. Here’s how to cook it:
• Rinsing the rice grains is one of the most crucial parts of cooking rice. It removes excess starch. If you don’t rinse the rice grains, it may produce gummy rice. Use a fine-mesh strainer to wash the rice grains. Rinse the rice thoroughly under running water. You should move to the next step only when the water passing through the grains is clear. Drain excess water from the mesh strainer and leave the rice for a few minutes.
• The ideal rice to water ratio in the classic method is 1:2. If you want to eat slightly firmer rice, you can take a 3:1 ratio for rice to water.
• Let the water boil before you add a pinch of salt. Adding salt to water balances the taste of rice once you finish cooking.
• Reduce the heat and cover the pot using a lid. Allow the water to simmer.
• Don’t open the lid frequently to check whether the rice is cooking properly or not. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to cook rice. Stirring the rice may make it gummy.
• Turn the heat off and allow the rice to rest for some time. Keep it covered for at least 10 minutes to let the steam make the rice extra fluffy. Finally, serve the hot rice with accompaniments.
2. The pasta method
Not many people know this, but it’s possible to cook rice like pasta. This technique is excellent if you want to make wild rice and brown rice. Both wild rice and brown rice take longer to cook than long-grain white rice, thus making this technique effective. Moreover, if you want to make a huge batch of rice, it’s better to follow the pasta method because it’s usually tricky to frequently get the quantity of water right in the classic method. Here’s how you can use the pasta method to cook rice:
• Rinse the rice thoroughly.
• Boil water in a pot and pour a pinch of salt.
• Add the rice when the water boils. There is no specific measurement of water in this method. However, make sure that the quantity of water is always significantly more than the rice.
• Keep the water boiling and don’t cover the pot or stir the rice. You can check a couple of rice grains with a spoon to see whether the rice has softened or not. Stirring the rice may make it mushy.
• Once the rice is soft enough, turn off the heat and strain the water using a fine-mesh strainer. Serve the rice hot.
3. The pilaf method
The pilaf method is ideal if you want to cook aromatic rice like Jasmine or Basmati. This technique retains the nutty flavor of the rice, making it taste much better with accompaniments. Here are the steps that you should follow:
• Rinse the rice thoroughly.
• Next, allow the rice to dry before toasting it on a pot with a couple of teaspoons of oil or butter. Toasting the rice with oil or butter enhances its nutty flavor. Make sure you toast the rice for at least 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat.
• Take two parts of water and bring it to a boil and then pour the water on the rice. This technique ensures that you pour the right quantity of water that Jasmine or Basmati rice requires. Both these types of rice are slightly starchy. If you don’t get the water quantity right, you may end up with gummy rice.
• Let the rice simmer on the pot for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you cover the pot with a lid.
• Turn the heat off and allow the rice to rest. Serve it hot.
Rice goes with a variety of dishes. If you know how to cook different types of rice, you can prepare dishes that would accompany them to make for a sumptuous meal.