How To Cook Rice Perfectly
Follow the golden rule when cooking rice: Don’t cook the rice on too high a heat as it may stick and burn on the bottom before the rest of the rice is cooked.
Whilst there is a bit more to it than this, cooking rice in the perfect manner can be a very personal thing that involves some experimentation and a bit of trial and error. Fortunately, if you haven’t got the time or motivation to do this, lean on our experience with cooking rice as we guide you through our top tips in this article.
Cooking Rice On the Stove
Most people will use a single cup of basmati rice per serving (or alternatively weigh out 75g per person). You will also need a knob of butter or ½ tbsp oil but some chefs consider this optional, not a vital ingredient.
This will largely depend on the personal taste of those eating it. To cook rice perfectly on the stove, we recommend following the criteria laid out below;
- Measure the rice into a cup and level the top, or weigh the number of servings you want into a jug and note the liquid level it comes up to.
- Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water until the water is clear.
- If there is time, soak the rice in cold water for at least ½ an hour to help the grains cook more evenly.
- Pour the rice into a pan over low heat, then add the butter or oil, if using, and stir to coat the rice grains.
- Add double the amount of water (2 cups, or 150ml water for a 75g serving) plus some salt, if you prefer.
- To shorten the cooking time, add boiling water which will speed up the process slightly.
- Bring to a boil. Swirl the rice in the pan by stirring once and make sure it’s well distributed.
- Put a lid on and turn the heat down to as low as possible.
- If you cook the rice on too high a heat, it will cook too quickly and may end up chalky in the center.
- Cook for 10 mins and do not take the lid off.
- Check the rice is cooked at the end by trying a grain.
- Keep cooking for another couple of mins if it isn’t quite ready, then turn the heat off.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve it straight away if you like, but if you cover it with a tea towel for around 10 minutes so any residual water is absorbed.
- You can then fluff up the grains for an even better texture.
Cooking Rice For Children
Rinse the rice with fresh cold water in a sieve and mix with a spoon to ensure the rice is thoroughly washed before cooking. Then place in a pot, pour in the oil, water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir, cover, and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed.
When cooked, the rice will be soft, fluffy, but also a little squishy/mushy. This makes the rice easier to mash for babies or makes it easier for older babies to chew and swallow.
Make this rice even more nutritious by adding some turmeric and a handful of frozen peas to the water before boiling and cooking as normal. The color of the rice will change to bright yellow (100% natural coloring) and the peas will be beautifully bright green.
The rice will also look deliciously inviting for toddlers, and the peas have fab antioxidant benefits for the whole family. Turmeric is also great for health. It is known to help:
- Boost the immune system for cold and flu protection
- reduces flatulence
- reduces the risk of developing childhood leukemia.
In Terms Of Water to Rice, What Is The Ideal Ratio?
Generally, when cooking rice, two cups of water should be used for every cup of rice. The same measuring cup should be used for both the water and the rice. If you wish to double or triple the amount of rice cooked, simply increase the ratios.
However, do make sure you use a cooking vessel that is big enough to hold the rice, as it will expand significantly during the cooking process. Depending on the variety of rice you use – for example, wild, black, brown, or red rice – you may need to adjust the cooking time and rice-to-water ratio.
Regardless of the type of rice you use, ensure you add the rice and water to the pot at the same time and then bring the water to a boil. Once the water reaches boiling point, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat, and allow the water to simmer.
What Does Simmering Involve?
Simmering is bringing a liquid to the state of being just below boiling. You’ll see lots of little bubbles forming and rising to the surface. If your pot begins to boil, turn the heat down to maintain that gentle bubbling.
It is a cooking technique that can mean the difference between fluffy and burnt rice and between tender and tough stew meat.
How Long Should You Cook White Rice?
A cup of white rice will take about 17 minutes to cook, but larger amounts may take a few extra minutes. Leaving it covered on the stove for a few minutes after it’s tender will allow it to finish absorbing all of the water and then fluffing it with a fork will get your rice nice and fluffy.
Does Rice Generally Keep?
As for how long-cooked rice lasts, it can vary, and it largely depends on how the rice is cooled and stored. But it’s generally a good idea to call it quits if you’ve had it for three to four days.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat Rice?
To reheat cooked rice in the microwave, follow these simple steps;
- Place it in a microwave-safe bowl
- Sprinkle a bit of water on top,
- Drape a damp paper towel over the top before heating it, to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
You can also reheat it in a pot in the following manner;
- Give it a generous sprinkle of water
- Heat with the lid on over low heat
- Stirring and fluffing frequently
Bear in mind that cold rice is also great in a frittata and adds texture and heft to soups of all kinds. But if you’re thinking about making fried rice then cold rice is your friend. In fact, there are many benefits to choosing to keep hold of your cold rice.
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