Rice is an integral part of many meals. It is used in so many different cuisines from Mexican to Chinese to Indian. This means you really need to learn the art of cooking flawless rice every time that your family will love. And, if you are wondering just how to cook rice, you are not alone.
While rice may seem like an easy dish, like many things, it can be deceptively hard. It’s not intuitive to most people how to make rice fluffy, soft and seasoned. Well, we’re here to help you out. Follow these steps and you will have the perfect rice every time. Then, you can you it to make so many new wonderful recipes.
The Art of Cooking Flawless Rice Every Time
What is the correct way to cook rice on the stove?
While there are many ways to cook rice, the easiest might be on the stove. You can also use a pressure cooker, instapot, or a rice cooker, but not everyone has these things. However, just about everyone has a pot with a tight fitting cover!
The basic recipe is to use a medium saucepan and bring water to a boil over a medium heat. Then, add the rice, any seasonings, and if you choose, butter or olive oil and salt. Bring everything to a simmer. Once it reaches this slightly boiling level, lower heat and cook the rice for about 18 minutes. Keep it covered the whole time it is cooking. Don’t peak!
You will know it is done when the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Once you remove it from heat, still don’t take the cover off. Keep it on for about 5 minutes after taking it off the stove. Then, simply fluff the rice with a fork and serve. You are now cooking flawless rice!
How do you know when the rice is cooked?
One of the easiest ways to check if your rice is cooked is simply by trying a grain. Does it taste done? Is it soft and are the grains separated and not sticky? If not, let it cook for a few extra minutes with the heat turned off. Once the rice is perfectly cooked, serve it right away.
If it tastes good, but there is still excess water, cover it loosely with a towel and let the rice sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the water to be absorbed.
What is the ratio of water to rice?
Don’t guess! You need to be sure to measure the proper ratio of water to rice. Like most things, there are two schools of thought on this. Most people believe you need to add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. You can simplify this to 2 parts water to every 1 part rice.
The other school of thought is to use 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice, as well as 1 teaspoon of olive oil. By adding less water, you will need to watch the pot carefully to make sure the rice doesn’t burn. Most cooks advise adding a big pinch of salt to the water once it is boiling.
Does rice need to be soaked before cooking?
This step often gets left off of modern rice cooking recipes. But for anyone who really wants to cook rice like they remember growing up, you probably should soak or rinse your rice. This process is an extra step and may add some time to your cooking, but it can make a big difference.
When you rinse the rice, you remove any debris that has settled on the rice as well as the starch on the surface. This starch can cause the rice to clump together. You don’t have to rinse it for a long time.
After you rinse or soak the rice, be sure to to drain it thoroughly. Even if all you do is a quick rinse, it can help to keep the rice from sticking together. When you rinse the rice, it may also remove chemicals and other things like arsenic. However, it may also wash off some of the important nutrients that are in the rice.
Should you add salt to your rice?
Adding salt to the boiling water is not necessary, but like when you add it to most things, it makes the dish taste better. Adding salt generally won’t change the temperature of the boiling water or how long the rice will take to cook. Adding salt and/or other seasonings helps bring out the flavor of the dish and can make it stand out.
Can you take a basic rice recipe up a notch?
You can use the basic recipe to cook rice. But, how do you cook rice in a way that takes it up a notch? There are three pretty simple options.
- You can toast the dry grains of rice along with butter or olive oil. This can bring out a nutty flavor in your dish.
- Instead of cooking rice with water, use chicken or vegetable broth for a flavorful dish.
- The third thing you can do is to season your rice with the same seasonings you are using for the rest of your dish.
To make sure your rice looks as good as it tastes, do not stir! You want to avoid stirring because that will release the starches which makes the rice sticky and gummy. Also, avoid keeping it on the stove too long. There is not much worse than when you burn your rice.
Bottom line: You can learn the art of cooking flawless rice every time!
When you want to learn how to cook rice, the thing you need to do is to practice. Give it a try. See what works for you. The more you practice the better you’ll be!
Do you have any tricks for cooking flawless rice?
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.