Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Perfect Stove Top Rice

On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, learn some of the basics when it comes to cooking rice on the stove top and some common cooking mistakes.

Nowadays there’s a piece of specialized kitchen equipment for every food you want to make. We have grills, fryers, steamers, rice cookers and so forth but do we really need a gadget for every single thing? Probably not. Sure it would be nice but not everyone has a 10,000 sqft house with unlimited cabinet space or closets. Today let’s take a step back and go old school like our parents did and actually make rice in a pot on the stove. Yes the stove. No microwaves, no steamers, no pressure cookers. Just a pot and lid.

What prompted this was a question I posted on Facebook asking you guys what’s one food/recipe you struggle with making. Mine is just simple skillet boneless chicken. It’s more often a miss than a hit with me but I’ll get it right and get it consistent. Well one of the comments that many of you made was about rice. Just simple rice on the stove.

So with rice the rule of thumb is usually a 2:1 ratio of water to dried rice. I say usually as that ratio depends on the type of rice AND the length of the grain that you’re cooking. It can be rather confusing. Too much water and your rice is gummy, not enough and it’s hard and crunchy. Hopefully this post will help take some of the guessing out of it for you.

So let’s start with the ratios that I’m familiar with:

→ Long Grain, White Rice: 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
→ Short Grain, White Rice: 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
→ Long Grain, Brown Rice: 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
→ Short Grain, Brown Rice:  1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
→ Wild Rice: 3 1/2 cups water to 1 cup of rice
→ Wild Rice Blend (wild rice and brown rice combined): 1 3/4 cups water to 1 cup of rice
→ Jasmine Rice: 1 3/4 cups water to 1 cup of rice

*Note – in lieu of water use stock as it’ll make the rice more flavorful.

Next, how to cook it. Each type of rice is a tad different but generally they follow these guidelines:

  1. Add the rice, liquid plus any salt and or butter to a heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Swirl the pan with the ingredients, DO NOT STIR (I’ll explain later on).
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Do not disturb the pot. Now depending on the type of rice it can take 15-22 minutes. Long grain, white rice takes 18 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, place a clean dish towel over top and then place the lid tightly back on top. What you’re doing here is now steaming the rice but not allowing the water (condensation from the lid) to drip down on to the rice. Let this stand for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid, remove the towel and gently fluff the rice with a fork.

Some things NOT to do when cooking rice:

  1. NEVER skip rinsing your rice before cooking it.
  2. Not all rice is the same. As shown above the liquid ratios differ as well as the cooking times.
  3. Rice is list pasta as in by itself it’s bland. SALT your rice water. No you do not have to be aggressive like you are when you make pasta but for the love of god, season it BEFORE cooking.
  4. Never, EVER stir your rice. Well okay you ONLY stir if you’re making risotto. But that’s not what we’re making here. Stirring rice activates the starch. That starch is what makes your rice all goopy.
  5. Let it rest. You must let your rice rest (steam) after it’s done cooking. This is important and critical to perfectly puffed rice.
  6. Cook it too high. You only want the heat on high to get the rice to boil. As soon as it boils immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. No peaking!  Seriously, either invest in a pot with a see-thru lid or sit tight and let the pot do its magic.

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