A staple in my life

I wouldn’t say I am a 饭桶 (massive rice gobbler or direct translation: rice bin) but I really love rice and feel that it can make or break a meal. Too wet and it’s mushy. Too dry and it gets stuck in your throat. Yet, when fluffy and warm, it is the perfect constant to your array of dishes for the day. Yup, I’m asian! Somehow, noodles just don’t cut it for me. I’m not sure if it’s psychological but I get hungry quickly after eating noodles. Rice, however, keeps me full for a longer time.

Embed from Getty Images

So. I have tried cooking pasta, rice cakes and noodles. But I have not attempted to cook my own rice. Hopefully, after this post, I will be able to cook a lovely pot of rice… in the rice cooker. These are some key points I have picked from from this New York Times article on how to cook rice and some trivia on the grain:

  • Rice is often categorized by its length in relation to its width. As a general, rule long-grain rice is four or five times longer than it is wide.
  • Aromatic medium- and long-grain rices, such as basmati and jasmine, have an almost buttery, toasted fragrance as they cook, thanks to a naturally occurring compound they share.

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There are 3 steps to cooking a successful pot of rice:

  1. Rinse
  2. Cook
  3. Rest

1. Rinse

The foundation of successful rice is a rinse. Washing dry rice gets rid of the extra starch all over the surface of its grains, which can cause it to be overly sticky, clumpy or mushy.  (DID YOU KNOW? #mindblown)

You’ll need to do about two to six times, until the water you’re tipping out is almost clear.

2. Cook

Here are some recommended rice to water ratios:

  • For most long-grain and medium-grain rice, such as basmati and jasmine: 1 cup rice to 1⅓ cups water
  • For most short-grain rice, such as sushi rice: 1 cup rice to 1 cup water
  • For most brown rice: 1 cup rice to 1¾ cups water

If you like firmer, drier rice, reduce the water by a few tablespoons, and pull back on the cook time by a few minutes. If you like a wetter, softer rice, increase the water by a few tablespoons.

3. Rest

Resting the rice for a little while is crucial. If you stir the grains as soon as they’re cooked, while they’re still very hot and wet, they can break up and get mushy. After 10 to 15 minutes of resting, you can use a flexible rubber spatula to fluff the rice.

And so?

Of course, after reading all this, you may laugh and say, “Need you really go through so much trouble?” I can do it with my eyes closed and just using my little pinkie. No need for cups and measuring devices.

THE SHORTCUT

So last year, I went public with this blog on Facebook. On that post, I talked about the fact that I was almost 30 and still hadn’t cooked rice before. These kind people gave their suggestions, which I’m sure will come in handy when I cook it, some day.

rice how

In any case, hope this article was useful to you! If anything, I learnt that washing rice is not simply to clean it but to remove the excess starch. 😛

Let me end off with a video shot by my company. The line on the image still says it all. “Luckily, there is still rice.”

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