One of the world’s primary food staples – rice – is inexpensive, infinitely adaptable, easily digestible, gluten-free and easy to prepare. Yet many people are daunted when it comes to cooking it, often resorting to a rice cooker. If you’re cooking rice on the stovetop, there are many methods out there, from boiling to steaming – depending on the type of rice you want to cook. Here are the basics, along with some tips and formulas that will help you turn out perfect, fluffy rice every time.
How to Cook Long-grain White Rice
The simmering method calls for a measured amount of liquid – a precise ration ensures a proper texture in the finished product. The low, gentle heat releases less starch from the rice, keeping it from becoming sticky – this is the best method if you’re after fluffy, long-grain rice.
4 cups (1 L) water
2 cups (500 mL) long grain white rice
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) salt
Bring water, rice and salt to a boil in a heavy pot.
Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 18-20 min. until all the water is absorbed.
Remove cover and stir rice with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Yield: 6 cups (1.5 L)
The USA Rice Federation has a great how-to video, for those who benefit from visuals:
How to Cook Brown Rice
With a nutty, chewy texture, brown rice has the outer hull removed but the bran layers are intact, providing additional vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals and fibre.
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked brown rice
2 to 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) liquid such as water, broth, or juice
1 tsp. (5 mL) butter (optional)
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt (optional)
Combine ingredients in 2 to 3 quart (2 to 3 L) saucepan. Bring to a boil; stir once or twice. Reduce heat, cover, simmer 45 to 50 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
Yield: 3 to 4 cups (750 mL to 1 L).
Microwave Oven Instructions: Combine all ingredients in deep 2 to 3 quart (2 to 3 L) microwaveable dish. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 minutes or until boiling. Reduce setting to MEDIUM (50% power) and cook for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Fluff with fork.
For a full list of varieties of rice and advice on how to cook each type, visit riceinfo.com.
Source: USA Rice Federation