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How to Cook the Perfect Rice

Updated on February 3, 2013

No matter if you decide to use a dedicated rice cooker, or a microwave oven or just use the more conventional methods of cooking rice, it take the same length of time.

The song goes "You can't hurry love" but you can't hurry rice either.

It cooks when it cooks and there are no shortcuts.

Some people have no trouble cooking rice and it always turns out perfectly for them.

It took me 25 years of practising until I perfected a technique and now its all gone to pot.

Let me explain. My current partner (I need to call him ‘current’ to keep him on his toes!) cooks rice differently from me. His method is to rapid-boil the rice in a big pan of salted water for approximately 15 minutes, and then rinse it under hot running water. This actually works surprisingly well and his rice is nearly always perfect.

My method is to carefully measure out the rice and water – 8 oz (225g) of rice to 1 pint (600ml) of water and 1 level tsp (5ml) salt.

Bring rapidly to the boil and cover with tightly fitting lid, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

At the end of that time, turn heat off and gently break the grains up with a fork when ready to serve.

It is important to not open lid at any time during the cooking process until you are ready to serve it, otherwise it can turn sticky.

Now we have huge arguments when it comes to kitchen stuff anyway.

He thinks he knows it all whereas I can’t stand having a man hanging around my kitchen.

And when I cook rice, he ALWAYS opens the lid to check on how it is doing, and so completely ruins it.

If I can keep him out of the kitchen for the whole cooking time, my rice is perfect, and he cannot seem to understand that it is his opening of the lid that ruins my efforts.

You are probably thinking to yourself, give up and just cook it his way, especially as I have already said that his method makes great rice.

The thing is, the way he cooks it, the ring has to be on high for the entire cooking time, whereas when I cook it, it is on low.

white rice

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup (186g)
Calories 242
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 53 g18%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Electricity and indeed all household fuels are really expensive these days, so it is much more economical to cook it my way.

It not only uses less electricity during the actual cooking of the rice, but saves water waste (especially powered hot water) at the end of cooking time.

The method I have described as using is called an absorption method and is the most economical way to cook rice.

Other methods are by absorption in the oven where using the same quantities of rice, water and salt as above, the rice is placed in a casserole dish.

Boiling salted water is added and with the oven temperature at 350⁰ F, the casserole dish is covered with tinfoil and a close fitting lid and placed in the centre.

This cooking time takes 30 – 45 mins so again is likely to be less economical than using the ring, but is handy to know if you are cooking for numbers and have used all your rings for other dishes.

NOTE: Prepackaged rice does NOT generally need rinsed in water before use. The manufacturers should have already dispensed with the excess starch.

Loose rice always needs washed and rinsed in water before use.

Brown rice is hailed as healthy alternative to white rice, but is less economical again because its cooking time takes at least 10- 15 minutes longer.

Wild rice isn’t even a cereal, it’s a type of grass, but it again takes longer to cook, taking 25 – 30 minutes in boiling water.

Fried rice can be considered economical, even though it takes up to 30 minutes to complete the cooking process. This is because fried rice can include cooked meats and vegetables and so becomes a meal in itself. Chances are if you are boiling or steaming rice it is a side dish to a meat dish that uses up another part of the cooker and so costs more.

There are three main types of rice grain – long, medium and short. Long grain rice separate easiest and are best used for savouries and accompaniments to main dishes like curries and stews.

Medium and short grain rice have stickier, moister grains. Medium grains are best for savoury dishes where the rice needs to be moulded or bound together – i.e. in rice rings, stuffings and croquettes

Short grain rice is best used for puddings and other sweet rice dishes.

So there you have it. Any method you can find that uses the minimum amount of water, the minimum amount of heat and the minimum cooking time will save you a lot of money in the long term, especially if you eat a lot of rice and incorporate it into your daily diet.

5 stars from 1 rating of cooking rice


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