Rice is an incredibly versatile grain, suitable for many dishes – from side dishes to main courses and desserts! Plus, it’s not only inexpensive and simple to prepare but also very cost-effective!
Cooking rice can be done a number of ways, but one guaranteed method produces fluffy and perfectly cooked grains every time. This trick works with any long-grain white rice variety.
Rice can be cooked in several ways, including boiling and steaming. Each requires a different pot size and water boiling method (make sure both have a tight-fitting lid), but the end result is similar: fluffy and tender rice that’s not overcooked or dry.
Boiling is the most widely-used and straightforward method for cooking rice, including long-grain white, brown, wild rice, jasmine or basmati varieties – even risotto! This straightforward procedure works for many varieties of grains such as long grain white or brown; wild rice in particular works great!
Before cooking your rice, be sure to rinse it thoroughly. Rinsing removes any loose powdery starch that could stick during cooking and also makes the grains more uniform in size, helping them cook faster and with greater evenness.
Once cooked, add the rice to a pot with precisely measured amounts of boiling water and cook until all moisture has been absorbed. This method ensures that each grain remains separate, preventing mushy or stuck-together clumps from forming.
Once the rice is done, let it rest for five minutes and fluff it with a fork before serving. Fluffing helps release excess moisture, creating plump grains that are soft and tender.
Another popular method to boil rice is in a steamer, which takes 20 minutes for short-grain white and 25 minutes for longer-grain varieties such as brown. The steam created helps move nutrients out of the bran while using less water than boiling does.
When cooking a large batch of rice at once, a pressure cooker is an ideal solution. Simply fill it with water, set the timer for desired amount of cook time, and then transfer the cooked grains into its bowl.
Steaming rice is an effortless way to cook different varieties of grains without having to adjust your stovetop or rice cooker temperatures (which can be tricky if cooking at a low simmer).
Start by measuring how much uncooked rice you have and then calculate a ratio of water to rice for steaming. A 1: 2 ratio should work for most varieties, but you may need to adjust depending on the variety and desired texture.
Before steaming the rice, rinse it thoroughly in a large bowl of water to remove any extra starch that can make it sticky. This step is especially crucial if you’re making sushi or other sticky rice dishes where starch may cling to the outside of cooked grains and cause them to become stuck together.
Place the rice in a covered pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover to maintain a gentle simmer – this should take around 18 minutes.
Once the water has been absorbed, remove the lid and leave the rice covered for 10 minutes. Doing this will release trapped steam that can make your grains extra fluffy.
Before steaming the rice, you can toast it for added flavor and nutty aroma. At this stage, coat each grain of rice with some oil such as sesame, coconut or olive oil before steaming.
You can also add chopped shallots or garlic to the pan for an even richer flavor. Just be mindful not to overdo it as this will take up more room and affect cooking time.
Roasting rice is an effortless way to enhance the texture and flavor of your meals. Plus, it makes rice more versatile as an ingredient since you can use it in so many different ways.
One of the great benefits of roasted rice is its convenience – you can prepare it ahead and store in your freezer until use. Not only does this save time, but leftover roasted rice can even be transformed into delicious dishes like risotto or sides!
However, you must exercise caution when roasting rice. If roasted too quickly, the grains may brown unevenly and result in a gritty texture. To prevent this, roast the rice over low heat for around 15 minutes while stirring frequently.
Another essential step is to let the cooked rice rest for a few minutes. This allows the grains to redistribute their water content, creating tender yet firm grains that separate nicely. Furthermore, it makes cleanup easier since more of the bottom layer will have been cooked than the top one.
Alternately, you can toast the rice before cooking to add an extra layer of nutty flavor and depth. To do this, place the grains in a dry pan over moderate heat until they become fragrant and begin to color.
For an extra special touch, add chopped shallots, garlic or ginger before roasting your rice. These flavors will enhance the nutty aroma of toasted rice and make your food taste even better!
Stir-frying is an efficient way to cook vegetables, meats and other ingredients quickly. Plus, it’s an ideal way to use up leftover rice!
When making stir-fried rice, it’s essential to use cold, cooked rice as warm or lukewarm varieties will become soggy and sticky when heated on a pan. Furthermore, this technique creates more of a restaurant-style dish since the grains stay separated.
To start the cooking process for fried rice, you’ll need a large non-stick pan or wok and some oil. Heat the oil over high heat until it is very hot before adding garlic and ginger. After these aromatics have softened, add your meat and vegetables.
For optimal cooking results, cut your meat into uniform pieces and opt for leaner cuts to prevent drying out. Vegetables should also be thinly diced into small pieces to expedite preparation time and help ensure all components are prepared evenly.
Stir-frying vegetables such as broccoli florets, water chestnuts, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and green beans is an ideal method for cooking. Once in the hot oil they cook quickly; however denser vegetables like cauliflower may need time to steam with some liquid in order to become tender.
For optimal results, cut vegetables into uniform sizes and meat into strips at least an inch wide. Doing this will guarantee it cooks evenly and isn’t overly chewy or tough.
Once all ingredients are ready, stir-fry the mixture until all ingredients are hot and thoroughly mixed together. If there are any large clumps of rice, break them apart with your spatula. Finally, mix in seasonings and scrambled eggs.
5. Fried Rice
Fried rice is an aromatic Asian dish composed of cooked rice, vegetables, protein and aromatics. It’s simple to make at home and can be reheated quickly for a quick weeknight meal.
To make the ideal fried rice, use leftover chilled rice. Freshly-ground grains may get mushy and clump together when heated in a pan; but dried out long grain white rice separates into fluffy separate grains rather than creating an unpleasant sticky mess in the pan.
Another essential step in making the ideal fried rice is cutting your veggies as finely as possible. The smaller pieces of each vegetable you add to the dish, the more cohesive it will become.
Once the veggies have cooked through, stir in cooked rice and some eggs. Be sure to toss and turn the fried rice several times throughout cooking so all ingredients get evenly cooked.
Finally, add some soy sauce and sesame oil to the pan, stirring it in to distribute its flavors throughout. This will give your fried rice that signature golden brown color and intense flavor you expect from a traditional Chinese dish.
You can add your favorite ingredients to this recipe, such as shredded chicken, scallions or shrimp. There are many ways to make delicious fried rice; the key is keeping things simple so the flavors can shine through.