Rice is one of the most popular foods in the entire world for a lot of reasons. Rice tastes great, it’s filling and it’s very affordable. The average American will eat over 25 pounds of rice per year. That may sound like a lot, but that’s nothing compared to Asia where the average person eats 300 pounds of rice. You’ve probably had rice in a lot of different ways, but when you’re cooking it yourself, there are some tips that you should follow. Here’s how you can make sure that your rice is top notch.
5. Always Rinse
The first thing that we should always do when making rice is to rinse it out. Why is this? When we rinse rice, it gets rid of the starch that builds up. Starch is what causes grains of rice to stick together, and we all know how much of a pain clumpy rice can be for your meal. If you think that you aren’t rinsing enough, you may be right. There’s no such thing as over rinsing, so don’t be afraid to get liberal with the rice.
4. Water Ends There
Water is great for rinsing your rice, but you don’t have to use water when you’re actually cooking your rice. For a better flavor that gets the job done in the same amount of time, try something such as chicken or beef broth. There is going to be a much higher sodium count when doing so, but the taste is second to none. Try to play around with the ratio of stock and rice so that you can get it right since it seems that no golden ratio always works. In fact, try using a little less water/stock than recipes call for.
3. Don’t Touch the Lid
When we’re cooking anything, we’re tempted to check on it every few seconds and see the progress. Rice is no exception, but it’s one of those foods that you shouldn’t be checking. Instead, leave the lid on and trust the process. If you follow the recipe to the letter, you won’t have to lift the lid. Lifting the lid messes up the cooking process and will not only add a lot of time to your preparation, but will also negatively affect the quality of the finished product.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of the Oven
For rice, a lot of people think that it can only be prepared correctly by using a rice cooker. The oven isn’t something that many think of, but it can be just as effective if you don’t have a rice cooker. If you preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and then boil your rice, you can place the pot into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (for white rice). This will make things cook evenly and give you a nice fluff that tastes great.
1. Don’t Eat Right Away
As it is with any meal, we want to eat right away. The smells and the growing hunger tend to get to us and we dig in as soon as the cooking is finished. However, for rice, you should be leaving it off the heat for 15 minutes after it has cooked. You’ll get better consistency from your rice as the moisture settles and you’ll be happy that you were just a bit patient.