06 January 2007

D'oh!

Am I just a fucking idiot, or is cooking rice really that hard?!

I've never successfully cooked rice that wasn't in a bag or in a rice cooker.

Including tonight.

Freaking A, man!


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A little secret to cooking rice:

Rice is pasta, just boil it like pasta and forego the measuring madness. After 15 minutes, just drain out the extra water et voila.

Then, if you overcook it by a minute, you don't get burnt rice, just mushy rice.

Anonymous said...

The secret is to wash the rice thoroughly beforehand until the water runs clean. Then soak for an hour and drain for an hour. This gets rid of all the surface starch so the grains stay separate.

Then use twice as much boiling water as rice in a foil covered dish and cook for 35 minutes in the oven at 200 degrees centrigrade.

FritzVonT said...

Hell with all that. Instant Rice FTW!!!

learn said...

Hello Avah,

How are ya?

Well I'm not sure if you were just ventin frustration, or were on a forage for tips... but rice is one of the only things I can make consistently, so I had to comment.

I like the first anonymous's (?) idea, cos it's how my grandma used to cook it. A cool thing is too that you can use broth instead of water, and then use the liquid for soup instead of dumping it out. It'll be thickened from the rice starch, and have a nice flavour. Add cooked chicken, vegetables, some of the rice, whatever.

Some of my own tips would be:
1) Buy good rice. Basmati or jasmine tend to be forgiving of slip-ups. Avoid no-name brands. (Just in this case, they don't seem to turn out as well.) Oh and no Uncle Ben's.
2) I agree, wash the rice. I don't know about soaking for an hour and draining it for another. A rinse with warmish water, a couple of shakes and a minute or two wait usually work for me.
3) 2:1 water:rice ratio usually works, especially for long-grain.
4) The more spread out the rice can be while cooking the better. So use a large pot or saucepan, even if just cooking for yourself.
4) Finally, 2 other easy cooking methods are:
i) (Ooo a sublist) Err where was I?
Right, first easy way. Dump lukewarm water, rice, a tablespoon of oil per cup of rice into a pot. Bring to boil at medium-high. Give it a stir. Reduce to low, cover for around 15 mins. Don't stir, don't keep checking on it.

ii) Or you can melt butter/margine (again a tbs per cup of rice) in the pan on low heat. Add the rice, toss in the butter to coat. Add 2 times as much of boiling water. Reduce to low, cover for around 10 mins.

In both cases, it's good to check up once or twice only, maybe at around 10 mins. It's best not to play around too much, but if you poke with a spoon and it is really dry but the rice is uncooked, you can add a splash more of hot water. If it is too wet, just keep it cooking a little extra on low heat.

Oh and finally, the best trick for rice is once it's done, or even nearly done: take off from heat, place a paper towel on top, cover again, and let it steep until you're ready to serve, around 5 mins at least. This will also help if it feels too wet. (Herm.) Then, you can fluff with a fork and serve. Voila.

Oh and this is more if you're going for a 'pilaf' thang, if you're going for Asian-style sticky rice: forget the washing, scrap the oil, cook on very low and do a burst of heat in the last minute of the cooking, and let it clump.

Or you can use a rice-cooker. :)

K well this was a ridiculously long comment about rice, it's not my life's passion I swear. Really I am just procrastinating work. Though I do hope it'll be helpful. I enjoy your blog, totally agree with the Jane's Guide: you are always genuine and smile-worthy.

Take care,
learn

Gillette said...

Problem with regular rice is that you cannot take the lid off, you cannot stir it, it has to be set up perfectly or it gums. Not so with Basmati.

Basmati rice works every time for me. Undercook it and I put in more water to make it right. Start to see if it is overcooked/too much water and I can usually fix it by
"airing it" and allowing it to "dry" more and/or draining some water. It is almost always perfect. There are different brands and styles so you might have to play with it for awhile, but it was a lifesaver for me. I do other kinds for variety but this is the favorite, another reason being it cooks so fast,even though not an "instant" rice- only about 10-15 minutes. Regular long grain brown takes much much longer. Can get basmati in either white or brown.