Cooking Perfect Rice: The Science
The science behind cooking rice may not seem like a really important one, however if you know what you are doing you greatly increase the quality of the taste of the rice you eat. Many of us don’t know how to cook this simple but amazingly versatile staple – so, here is some insight to help you improve.
Rice should be fluffy and each grain should be distinct and not all together in a mush of sorts. This can all be achieved with the right combination of water, rice and time. Of course, using a rice cooker simplifies this process greatly.
Rinsing Rice Before Cooking
Rinsing is important and it should be done in cold water. There are two reasons for rinsing the rice before it is used. Firstly, talc is often used as a milling aid in some mills and this is not necessarily good for eating. Secondly, the rinsing of rice will remove starch and make the whole food less sticky, this will prevent the mush we talked about and keep it from losing texture. Soak rice for around half an hour. Here’s a handy rice rinsing bowl to make it easy.
Rice is not hard to cook and the simplest method to do so is through the use of absorbance. This is where rice is boiled and the water is absorbed into the rice. As the water leaves the pot the steam that is trapped will complete the cooking meaning the need for complex rice homewares is not necessary.
Generally 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water are used for each cup of rice and this will decrease with shorter grain rice’s and increase with brown rice. More water creates stickier rice, whereas less water creates harder. Firm rice is always more ideal for salads and other meals where the rice is eaten cold.
Letting The Rice Rest
As the rice takes around 12 minutes to cook in the liquid, you’ll find that there is a distinct difference between the top and bottom of the rice. The top layer will be harder than the bottom, which will be wetter due to the fact it has received more liquid for longer. Leaving the rice now for the steam to do its work is a must. Rice should be left for five minutes with the lid on as this allows the redistribution of steam, which will make the texture the same all over. This is very important for tasty rice.
One of the best items for cooking with rice is a rice cooker. This member of the rice homewares family is one that is often used in countries where rice is more commonly eaten. This is down to the fact that the rice cooker will give the rice a uniform texture and flavor and cooks good rice each and every time. Getting rice cooking correct each time takes a lot of effort and so a rice cooker may be worth it if you eat a lot of this food.
Of course, there are other items and rice homewares that can add to the experience, however a rice cooker is often deemed the best.
Olive Loves Alfie offer a great range of Rice Homeware items which look great in a kitchen as well as being practical.