Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time In A Few Simple Steps
Rice is a beloved dish all over the world, but does that mean it's always perfect? Definitely not. It can be too hard or get burnt if you don't use enough water, and it can get mushy if you use too much. Just a few ounces can really make all the difference, but have no fear! We're going to share a few tips and tricks to make sure your rice comes out tasty, fluffy, and perfect every time!
- thick-bottomed pot
- measuring cup
- wooden cooking spoon
- salt & pepper to taste
- rice of choice
But what kind of rice, you might ask? There are 3 basic types that will please every palate:
Long-Grain White Rice
- This is a super common type of rice and it's perfect as a side dish or in salads.
Short-Grain White Rice
- This kind of rice almost looks round and absorbs more water, which makes it ideal for sushi, paella, risotto, and desserts.
- This type of rice has more fiber, iron, and vitamin B than white rice, but takes a bit longer to cook.
- For long-grain white rice, you'll need 1½ cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
- For short-grain rice, you'll need 1¼ cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
- For brown rice, you'll need 1¾ cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
1. First rinse the rice with cold water to remove any excess starch. Use a strainer, or if you don't have one, rinse the rice in a pot and carefully drain the water. Repeat until the water almost looks clear.
2. Now let's talk flavor! For the tastiest rice ever, season the rice before cooking it. This way the seasoning can really soak in, and the rice has more time to absorb it. We like to add a pinch of salt and pepper, but feel free to improvise! Cooking rice is similar to cooking pasta: if you don't add any salt, it won't have as much flavor. The amount depends on your preference, but never skip the salt! If you think rice is a bit bland on its own, add a bit of flavor! You can replace the water with chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. You can also lightly toast the rice in the pot before adding the water or stock to give it a nice nutty flavor.
3. Now it's time to cook the rice. Use a cup to measure the amount of water you'll need based on the amount and type of rice. Add it to the pot with the seasoned rice and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, give the rice a small stir, lower the temperature down to a simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. You shouldn't leave it on high heat, because if you cook the rice too fast, the water will evaporate and the rice will get hard. The low heat allows the rice to cook all the way through.
Depending on the type of rice you're using, the cooking time will vary. This is very important, because if you don't cook it long enough, the rice will still be hard, and if you cook it too long, it'll end up wet and mushy.
- Long-grain white rice takes about 18 minutes.
- Short-grain white rice takes about 15 minutes.
- Brown rice takes around 45 minutes.
It can't be stressed enough: make sure to leave the lid on the entire time! The steam helps cook the rice, so you'll ruin that perfect water to rice ratio. Unless you're unsure how much water is left, leave the lid on, and let it do its thing! And keep the heat really low, as the steam should be doing all the work, not the heat.
And don't stir it! This is a common mistake, because stirring the rice while it's in the pot will release starch and mess up the steaming process. In other words: you'll end up with mushy rice. So do like Paul McCartney and just let it be. While you're waiting, you can clean your kitchen, read a book, or just be patient. Sometimes a watched pot does, in fact, boil. If you used the correct ratio, the rice will be ready on the dot.
4. When it's time, remove the pot from the heat. Another common mistake that people make is serving the rice right away. While it may be tempting, hold your horses! It'll be a lot better if you wait a bit. To make sure the rice cooks all the way through, let it rest for a while. After you've removed the pot from the heat, let it sit for an extra 5-10 minutes. Thanks to the steam, the rice will continue to cook, because the heat will keep circulating in the pot and will cook the rice more evenly.
5. After you've waited patiently, you can finally remove the lid. Since the rice kept absorbing water, it will have expanded. Use a fork to fluff the rice before serving. This will separate the grains and helps distribute the moisture. If you don't stir it, the rice on top will dry out and the rice on the bottom will still be wet. Now your perfect rice is finally done!
You can even spruce up your rice with peanuts, chives, parsley, or whatever you want! Thanks to this tutorial, you'll be able to wow all your friends with the yummiest and fluffiest rice they have ever tasted. Tell us what dishes you're making with your perfectly cooked rice, and don't forget to share!