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Do you pan-toast your rice before cooking?

Last night I pan-toasted (dry - no oil) some basmati rice before I cooked it in water. The aroma was wonderful, but I don't know if I actually could taste the difference...perhaps!

Do you pan-toast your rice prior to cooking? If so, do you notice a detectable difference in taste? Please do share any other special techniques you have for cooking rice...thanks!

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  1. I do when making pilafs and the like.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      I do also, however, there's normally some oil in the pan, not just "dry toasting."

      1. re: rtmonty

        "...some oil in the pan..." What kind of oil do you use? Do you think the addition of oil adds more flavor? Have you ever tried dry-toasting to compare?

        I am just wondering if it is worth the extra step????

        1. re: liu

          Normally olive oil, but butter would be just fine. And yes, I do think it adds additional flavor. Plus, adding a little oil or butter is really not much of an additional step. See DanaB below. I agree with her and that's why I do it.

    2. I saute my rice in butter before adding the water, in sort of a pilaf method. Sometimes I let the butter get a little browned, in which case it adds a nutty, buttery taste to the rice.

      1. The only times I pan-roast my rice before cooking is when I'm making something where I want to activate the creaminess of the rice. So that's everything from risotto to paella to jook (Chinese porridge). So if you don't want your rice to be soft and creamy, you probably wouldn't want to pan roast it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: singleguychef

          With the basmati rice last night, I did dry pan-roast it and it was not at all creamy or soft. In fact, it was dry and fluffy and really just right. However, there was nothing scientific about this, so I don't know what would have happened if I had NOT pan-roasted it first.

          1. re: liu

            Maybe you should try it once not pan-roasting and see if it still turns out the same?

        2. Except for Chinese boiled rice,I always toast rice in a little oil and butter until translucent, or light golden, before adding boiling stock or water.

          It always comes out perfect, never sticks together, and the grains are always fluffy, but separate.

          1. My husband tosses a little ghee into the rice cooker when making basmati. Tastes great and smells fantastic when cooking.