Rice is such a wodnerfully versatile dish. It can be a side, a filling, or it can even be the hero of the meal. We have fried rice, Spanish rice, rice with lime, sticky rice, and more! Getting rice to the correct consistency is also incredibly difficult. Here are some good tips to help figure out the best way to prepare your rice.
- Some recipes call for soaking the rice. Don't bother: This will only overcook it and provide an inferior final product.
- Most Asian dishes will call for long grain rice. Short grains are susually reserved for dishes like congee. Sushi rice on the other hand is a very distinct variety that shouldn't be substituted in homemade sushi.
- To cook rice with distinct, separate grains, rinse the rice, then boil it on the stove. This removes the excess starch that causes too much stickiness. Rinsing isn't recommended for rice puddings or risottos, however. The starch helps with the texture.
- Make sure the rice is evenly cooked by giving it time to rest. After cooking on the stove (if you've boiled it), let the rice rest off the heat with the lid on for anywhere from five to thirty minutes.
- Quick cool sushi rice to give it a nice sheen and prevent over-cooking. Use an elecric fan blowing right over the rice to cool it off fast.
- Use wooden spoons to stir the rice around. Using a metal spoon or ladel will react with the rice or damage it.
- Don't bother scraping the rice out from the bottom of the pan. It will most likely be the most dry and the closest to being burnt.
- Fried rice works best with day-old rice. To keep some at the ready, make a double batch of rice for any rice-based dish, then place half of it into a bag and freeze. When you want to use it, you can just reheat in the microwave. If you don't have that planning, cook your rice with 1/4 or 1/3 less water to simulate drier rice. Spread it out on a baking pan to cool off after it's cooked to let more steam and moisture escape.
- Get your hands wet before you manipulate sticky rice to prevent sticking.
Here is our step by step process to cook perfectly fluffy rice.
First, rince the rice in multiple batches of water. One way to do this is to set a large bowl of water in the sink. Pour the rice in a mesh strainer, then lower it into the water. Shake the rice with your fingers to get as much starch off as possible. Lift the rice out, pour the water out of the bowl then refill, and keep doing this until the water left over is clear as opposed to cloudy.
A good ratio for the water is 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Combine them in a pot and being to a boil uncovered at medium heat. Once the rice is boiling, place the lid on the pot and tilt it slightly to allow some of the steam to escape. After a few minutes, check the rice. If it's starting to firm up enough to show holes or 'craters', put the lid tight on the pot then turn the heat down to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 15 minutes, then set it aside off the heat for at least 5 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork before serving.