Cooking Perfect Rice: The Science
The science behind cooking perfect fluffy rice may not seem like a really important one, however if you know what you are doing you greatly increase the quality of both the taste and texture 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.
Rinse 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 will remove starch and make the resulting product less sticky, this will prevent it from being mushy and keep it from losing texture. Soak for around half an hour prior to cooking. 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. As the water leaves the pot the steam that is trapped will complete the cooking.
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 better for salads and other meals which will be eaten cold.
Letting It 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. Letting 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 ubiquitous oriental appliance is one that is found throughout Asia and elsewhere where rice is a staple grain. It allows you to easily cook to a uniform texture and flavor and cooks perfect fluffy grains each and every time. Getting perfectly cooked grains each and every time takes a lot of effort and so a rice cooker may be worth it if you eat it regularly.