Rice is of the most common and versatile grains on the planet, but do you know exactly how to cook rice? Many people believe you have to have a special rice cooker to make perfect rice. Though the appliance is certainly nice to have, you don't need one to make delicious, perfectly cooked rice. Follow these steps and you'll have perfect stove-top rice every time.
Things you'll need:
- 1 cup of rice
- 1 to 2 cups of water
- Pot with a tight fitting lid
- 1 tsp. of salt (optional)
- 1 tbsp. of butter (optional)
- Fresh herbs and spices (optional)
How to cook white rice:
- Boil 1-1/2 cup of water.
- Rinse 1 cup of rice in cold water. Rinsing removes excess starch, which can result in overly sticky or mushy rice.
- When the water boils, turn down the heat and add the rice.
- Give the rice a quick stir, then cover the pot and cook on low heat. You want the rice to simmer.
- After 12 to 15 minutes, the rice should be cooked and the water absorbed. Here is the trick: Let the rice sit in the covered pot for five minutes. This will allow the rice to finish cooking and will result in a pot of light, fluffy rice.
- Serve hot.
How to cook brown rice:
- Follow the steps above, but use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
- Simmer the rice for 30 to 40 minutes. Then, as with white rice, allow it to sit for five minutes before serving.
Variations: Once you've mastered the basics of cooking rice, try these variations:
- Just before serving, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Even better: Add salt, pepper and a tablespoon of butter before serving. (Be sure to stir in the butter thoroughly. You want it to melt and mix in evenly.)
- If you're making Indian food, add a teaspoon or two of curry powder when you put the rice in the simmering water. This will give the rice a nice, mellow flavor and a slightly yellow color.
- Mince some fresh herbs and add to the rice just before serving. A tablespoon of fresh herbs is enough to flavor a whole pot of rice; use slightly less if using dried herbs. Oregano is great with Mexican food. Experiment with your favorite herbs and see what you like.
Rice is a versatile, healthy, gluten-free grain and a great addition to many meals. Once you've mastered cooking rice, make it a regular part of your diet.