Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Basics: Rice

Rice is a staple food in many countries. It can be used as a base for all kinds of dishes, from casserole or gumbo to dessert!

Cooking rice can be confusing at first. Sometimes it comes out crunchy or chewy. Sometimes it's overcooked and sticks to the bottom of the pan. How do you get that nice fluffy rice that tastes so good?

One solution is to get a rice cooker! These things are amazing. Add the rice and water by following the lines on the inside of the pot. Press the button, and it pops up when it's finished!

But what if you don't have a rice cooker, or can't afford to buy another kitchen gadget right now? Good rice on the stovetop is not impossible!

For brown rice, you will need 2 cups of water per one cup of rice.
For white rice, you will need 1.5 cups water per cup of rice.

Here's what you do: Put the rice and water in the pot (or you can use broth, which is incredibly good), add a dash of salt if desired. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Turn the heat down and leave it alone while it cooks. Do not stir it. Do not even touch it! You can peek every once in a while, but leave the lid on, we want the steam to help the cooking process.

If you look into the pot and see that the liquid is absorbed, and the top of the rice has little "craters" from the bubbles of liquid, it's time to turn off the heat. Leave the cover on, and NO STIRRING yet! Let it set for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

Brown rice will take about 45 minutes to cook.
White rice will take about 30 minutes.

If you have never tried different types of rice, I encourage you to experiment a bit. Jasmine and basmati "aromatic" rices are amazing, the smell while they are cooking is heavenly.


  1. I agree! Jasmine rice is AMAZING!! Though I find that the cheap Kroger brand is almost exactly like regular white rice. I also use my big skillet to cook my rice instead of a soup pot. For some reason the larger cooking area seems to help cook my rice better, not sure why!

  2. Thanks for that info Faith! I buy "Dynasty" Jasmine rice, it seems to be a good balance between inexpensive and good flavor. I have bought Jasmine and Basmati brown rice (in bulk from the Dekalb Farmer's Market), and it was good, but it seems hard to find close by.