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How To Cook Rice

 Cooking rice is incredibly easy. However, most recipe books tend to over-complicate the process. Typical problems include:
  • The rice ends up soggy, and needs draining. You should never have to drain rice, ever!
  • The rice burns because you run out of water.
  • The rice ends up taking far too long.
  • You have to keep watching the rice, and it gets a bit stressful.
Here is our easy method:

The Healthy Supplies Guide to Cooking Rice

  • Do not soak the rice or wash it. The only reason that you would need to do this is if the rice contains grit or stones. Otherwise, it is a waste of time and could wash away valuable bits of husk and nutrients.
  • Find a saucepan with a lid. If you do not have one, you can improvise using plates etc as covers. The lid does not need to be super-tight-fitting, but the more sealed the better.
  • Put the rice, dry, in the saucepan, and level it off.
  • Boil some water in a kettle. This is the real trick, as it saves a lot of time boiling it in the kettle rather than trying to bring it all to boil on the hob.
  • Cover the rice in an appropriate amount of the boiling water. This varies depending on the type of rice. This is really the only part that you can get wrong, and you can only work it out using trial and error. Roughly speaking, the values are:
    • For white rice, cover the rice so that it is 1cm under water.
    • For brown rice, you need a bit more water, about 3cm above the level of the rice.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down as soon as steam starts coming out.
  • Simmer for around 10 minutes (white rice) or 20 minutes (brown rice), until all of the water is soaked up. This gently steams the rice.
  • Never ever stir the rice. Steaming the rice creates air pockets which result in a lovely fluffiness. It is a bit like bread-baking.
  • When all of the water is gone (no more steam), the rice is probably cooked.
  • The disaster scenario is to run out of water. In this case, you can add a little boiling water and continue simmering. This is not an ideal situation, but it at least rescues the rice.
  • For softer rice, you can use a little more water and cook for a little longer.
The important thing to note is that most of the instructions on the rice packets say to cook for anything between half an hour and an hour. However, this is nonsense, and it's rare to find a rice that cannot be cooked in 20 minutes using the method above.

Of course, the trick is to boil the water in the kettle first. This saves a lot of time, because the rice will then come to the boil in only 1 or 2 minutes instead of 10-20 minutes.


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