Rice Cooking Basics - Different Ways to Cook Rice
A bowl of white rice
Easy Techniques in cooking Rice
Rice goes so well with so many meals, or can be a meal of its own depending on its preparation. Here are some simple was to prepare this healthy food. Ideally, the goal in cooking rice is to end up with thoroughly cooked, plump and fluffy grains. Rice shouldn't be stuck together in clumps, but separate and without being broken. One thing to always keep in mind, is that approximately one pound of rice, or two and a half cups, will expand up to 8 cups when its cooked. Here are some options when cooking rice.
Brown and White Rice Both brown and white rice are cooked in a similar fashion, but the difference is that brown rice takes twice as long to finish cooking. One idea for brown rice is to soak it for about an hour or so before you cook it, so the grains will soften. This shortens the cooking time. Regardless of what color you are cooking, you want to make sure that your rice is clean, and rinsed. This often is not an issue, but if you are not sure, wash your rice in clean cold water and do so until the water is clear.
Boiling Rice If you have a cup of uncooked rice, the simplest way to prepare it is read directions for water and salt proportions, and bring it all to a boil. If you drop the rice in fairly slow, it won't be as likely to interfere with the boiling water. Let it keep boiling, and stir with a wooden spoon or fork to keep the grains from sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. Continue to boil and don't cover as it can tend to boil over if you do. When about 11 minutes have elapsed, test a few of the rice grains. If not done to your satisfaction, keep testing again every few minutes until the grains crush in your fingers. When they do, the rice is done.
Tip Here is an extra tip I came across, that you can do at this point. Place the colander over a small amount of boiling water, and carefully cover with a thin cloth and let the rice steam until fluffy and ready to serve. It shouldn't take much time. Make sure to not allow the cloth tips near any flame or heat source. Doing it this way, you can keep your rice warmer longer and keep the grains from sticking together.
Another method is one there there is hardly any water to begin with, and letting it all absorb during cooking. Again you will use rice and water and salt proportionately. Wash the rice and drain it, and put water and salt and rice in a heavy pan directly over heat. Cover this and bring to a boil. Stir it a couple of times to make sure the grains are not sticking. When the water boils, quickly turn the heat to low, and continue to cook until all the liquid is absorbed and you end up with beautiful fluffy rice.
Converted Rice Converted Rice like an Uncle Ben's type of rice needs no washing before use. Put in a heavy pan, or on top of a double boiler and place your measured rice and water and salt. Cover, and place on top of the boiling water for approximately 40 minutes and do not stir. When done, the rice should be tender and each and every grain will be separate.
Fried Rice A little heavier and with more fat, fried rice is a lovely addition to many meals. Basically its cooked on the stove top and fat, and additional ingredients. Whenever we order Chinese, at least one of us always chooses this.
To add a little flair, or a make a "stick to your ribs" kind of rice, don't forget you can use other liquid besides water. Rice is already nutritious, but it kicks it up a notch to cook with milk, or tomato juice or your favorite broth. Let that be a springboard to where you can other things that you think will go well with it. Make it as hearty as you like.
Eating Rice - A Poll
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© 2010 Paula
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