culinary review

How To Cook Rice on your Stove Top

Last Modified: 12/26/14
First Published: 10/09/07
Views: 172195
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Views: 172195

Rice is one of the most popular and widely used grains in the world. It is a staple in countless dishes, especially in Asian cooking. However, a lot of people perceive cooking rice as a little tricky. Sometimes the result can be too mushy, too dry, or the rice burns in the pot. I think we have all experienced that...

So in order to achieve light, fluffy rice there are a few basic steps to think about.

First of all, it's very important to use a sturdy pot with a thick bottom. If the pot is too thin, your rice is much more likely to burn. A thick pot will ensure more even cooking as there will be less “hot spots” on the bottom. You also want a pot with a tight-fitting lid.

We like this pot for small portions (2-4 people)

All-Clad 2 Quart Stainles Steel Sauce Pan

The Rice-to-Water ratio
If anything will effect your rice's consistency, it's your rice-to-water ratio. This ratio changes depending on what kind of rice your cooking. Short-grain white rice will need less water than long-grained brown rice. This ratio will also be affected depending on the amount of rice you cook, as well as the altitude you're located at. Generally, white rice will need about 1 to 1 ½ cups of water to every cup of dried rice. Brown rice will need about 1 ½ to 2 cups of water to every cup of rice. Here, it's best to experiment until you achieve the perfect result based on the amount and the kind of rice you use.

Most commonly, rice is simply seasoned with a little salt. However, if you want to add some more depth to your rice, you can either substitute water for broth, or add a bouillon cube to your water. While this method will season your rice slightly, it will not overpower your rice. If on the other hand you really want to spice up your rice, you could lend it an oriental feel by adding some whole spices such as a cinnamon stick, some star anise and some cloves.

The cooking process
The method by which you cook rice is basically pretty straight forward. Add rice, then water to the pot along with salt or other flavorings. Bring up to a boil, put on a lid and lower the heat. Let the rice simmer with the lid on for about 10-30 minutes depending on your rice. Next, remove the pot from the heat and leave the lid on. Let the rice rest and fully absorb the liquid for about five minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Cooking time
So how long do you cook your rice? Well, that depends on what kind of rice you are cooking. Generally though, white rice will need about 12-15 minutes and brown rice about 25-35 minutes.

How we usually cook our rice
We generally use a 2 quart pot and Basmati rice to cook about 2-4 portions. Through experiment we find that 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water works well. After we put in the rice and water we add a bullion cube, beef or chicken. We let the rice come to a boil, then reduce the heat, stir and cover on low heat for 12-15 minutes.

When we want to use 2 cups of Basmati rice we have found that we can reduce the ratio of water to rice. 2 cups rice and 3-3½ cups of water. The cooking time is the same.

Since various factors will effect the result of your rice, your best bet is to experiment with different types of rice, rice-to-water ratio and cooking times, in order to find a solution that fits your taste.

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