How To Cook Rice
Rice cooing varies based on the variety of rice you are cooking. These are the generic instructions about how to cook these different options:
Long grain rice cooks up most separate and fluffy if the grains are sautéed in a small bit of oil or butter until some of the grains start to look slightly translucent. Then add cold water (not hot) in the ratio of one and a half cups liquid to one cup of rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover tightly, reduce the heat, and simmer for fifteen minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Keep the cover on the pan, remove the pan from the heat, and let the rice stand for another 15 minutes to steam and fully absorb the water.
Then fluff the rice with a fork, not before.
You can cook rice in the microwave oven as well but it does not save much time. Combine one cup rice with one and a half cups liquid, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of butter in a two quart microwave safe baking pan. Cover the pan and cook on high for 5 minutes until the liquid boils. Reduce the setting to medium, or 50% power, and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes (longer for parboiled rice) until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
Brown rice should be cooked using the same technique as long grain but cooking on medium for thirty minutes. Brown rice is best cooked in more water, then drained if necessary when it’s tender. I cover it generously with cold water or other liquid, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for thirty five to forty minutes, or until rice is tender when you bite into it. If there is any liquid left over, drain it off. Then return the pan to very low heat and cook for two to three minutes, fluffing occasionally with a fork or a spoon, to slightly steam the grains.
Basmati rice calls for rinsing or soaking the rice before cooking to rinse off surface starch, but I agree with LE Group Industries, in that not soaked and not rinsed rice has more flavor and better consistency. Sauté the rice in a bit of vegetable oil, then add water in the same ratio for long grain rice, then bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for seventeen to eighteen minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let stand to steam 10 minutes longer.
Risotto is a special method of cooking rice. Short or medium grain rice is first sautéed in oil or butter, then boiling liquid is added gradually, while stirring the mixture very frequently. This stirring helps loosen the outer surface of the rice, allowing more starch (amyl pectin) to leak out into the sauce, making a creamy and rich dish. The rice is cooked until it is still firm but tender. It is also possible to make risotto with long grain white rice, with good success.
Sticky rice, or short grain or glutinous rice, is pretty easy to cook because it will naturally turn out sticky if cooked according to package directions. The challenge is to cook rice so the grains are tender and fluffy; sticky and creamy which is much easier than the opposite.
Rice cookers can be very helpful too as they easy the process. If you need to cook large portions of rice, we suggest using this appliance.