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I make several types of rice in my rice cooker. My Thai Jasmine says to rinse 3 times but what about Long Grain White, Basmati and Uncle Ben's Converted? I do soak the Thai Sticky Rice before steaming on the stove but does it need multiple changes of rinse water? Thanks everyone!

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  1. always soak & rinse basmati thoroughly for that characteristic scented every-grain-seperate-and-distinct thing that is essential for the desired texture. i rinse all rice that isn't being used in risotto or rice pudding or paella-- it's traditional, hygenic and quick.

    i've never used uncle ben's converted, i mistakenly thought that it was the same thing as minute rice until recently, but a lot of people like to use it & from what i hear it doesn't need to be rinsed or soaked.

    brown rice doesn't seem to care if it is soaked or not, in my experience, with the exception of brown basmati. i suspect the longer cooking time evens it out.

    9 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      I try to match the rice to the cusine. I use Uncle Ben's when I make some Cajun recipes, usually from Paul Prudhomme's first book. And my lads often request it over the other choices! About he only type that I don

      1. re: sel

        I don't do this very often, but, I'm going to give you the "heads-up" on a rice that is unmatched for Cajun recipes. It is the best, most fragrant, and most flavorful rice I've ever eaten. It takes my Crawfish Etouffee recipe (from Paul Prudhommes Louisiana Kitchen cookbook) to a different level. Here's the link:


        1. re: dhedges53

          I do appreciate the "heads-up" !!! I'm gonna order a bag of white rice from them but would you suggest the brown? I've spent quite some time in Southern LA but I must say that I don't recall seeing any brown rice during the course of my travels.

          1. re: sel

            I've never tried their brown rice. However, I wouldn't be averse to it. No, I use their white rice with it's wonderful "Popcorn" scent, it's perfect texture, and it's taste with any cajun recipe.

            Damn, I sound like I work for them. I wonder if they're hiring? Hahahahaaaaa

          2. re: dhedges53

            I got my five pounds of rice from stansel yesterday, and cooked it last night to go with some beef rendang.
            amazing stuff.
            the smell really is unbelievable.
            AND, while following everyone's thoughtful tips about rinsing, it came out PERFECT.
            (I rinsed 3 times with a normal whisk)

            Great rice!

            my dinner was funny: malaysian beef rendang with southern louisiana rice in a pita, served with chinese watercress on the side

            1. re: mr mouther

              mm, sounds fantastic, delicious! Great combo!

              1. re: mr mouther

                I'm so glad to read this post. My father, who worked for a Cajun Company back in the 1960s, loved that rice. He passed in 1994, after having given out the rice, with his company LOGO, to so many of his customers in the Oil and Gas business, and to a Cajun restaurant here in Denver. He was also responsible for the Crawfish Boil Parties amongst the Houston Oil and Gas folks, starting back in the 1960s. I'll never forget how he would pull a mason jar of "Aunt Tee's" crawfish etouffee out of the freezer, cook some of that popcorn rice, and we would all feast. I can tell you another secret. The closest thing I've tasted to "Aunt Tee's" crawfish etouffee is Paul Prudhomme's recipe from "Louisiana Kitchen" cookbook, but, cut the 2 tsp. of cayenne in half. LOL. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you have enjoyed this rice. It means a lot. Thanks for the post.

                And, to Sam Fujisaka, whose posts I relish, I beg you to try this rice, and let me know what you think!!!!!!!

              2. re: dhedges53

                man, i ran out of that rice a while ago and have meant to reorder. today i kept doing searches for stanley's rice and finally just retraced my steps back to this post. Stansel's rice is the best!!!! Just reordered and can't wait for it to come (also - it makes great gifts for friends who cook!)

            2. re: soupkitten

              Basmati, especially the higher quality brands, has been dried for a long time. I had problems with it cooking unevenly until I started soaking it before cooking. A new crop short grain rice does not need much soaking.

              Rinsing removes some surface starches that promote sticking, though sticking is also a function of rice type. Some rice is polished with talc, and rinsing removes this. On the other hand, most long grain US rice packages say not to rinse. Some of those rices have water soluble vitamins sprayed on. Converted rice is a whole different beast. Stick with the instructions on the box.


            3. Rinse rice until the water is just barely cloudy and no longer opaque.
              Some rices from outside the U.S. are coated with talc to make them look whiter. Definitely a good idea to rinse this off.
              I have heard if you rinse rice grown in the U.S. you are rinsing off the vitamins they add to make it 'enriched'. I don't bother if the rice is grown here.
              Also there are brands of Japanese style rice that are pre-rinsed.

              1. I rinse my Basmati until the water runs clear (at least 10 times, I find)and then soak it for at least an hour.. more like 2, rinse again 2- times and then cook by absorption method

                1. Thanks, thought you'd never ask. I give all rices a couple of rinses (see below). But rinsing and soaking really don't do much. paulj is right: rinsing does get rid of any surface starches (just generated by the grain rubbing together). Stickiness, however, depends on amylose content, with the stickiest rices having low or no amylose. But amylose is internal, not on the surface and not affected by rinsing. Soaking can make a very small difference in cooked "softness". Different rices are not dried for shorter or longer periods of time: all are all dried to 14% moisture content.

                  Most polished rice isn't coated with a bit of talc. Rinse if you find one that is.

                  But, here's the kicker--although this was before I became a rice scientist and may be an urban myth: Apparently, polished Japanese rice was coated with something that included asbestos! Good washing was necessary, albeit we didn't know about the asbestos at the time. The Japanese did have the highest global rates of stomach cancer at the time. So, I washed rice until the water ran clear for years. Don't anymore.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    What about jasmine rice? The last batch I tried did generate cloudy water when I rinsed it, and the result of rinsing and cooking was tasty. But was I supposed to rinse that? (Also, side note - does anyone add jasmine water to jasmine rice ever?)

                    1. re: Cinnamon

                      The cloudiness comes from fine rice powder generated in the milling process and a bit from the grain rubbing together. Nothing harmful. You can rinse or not.

                  2. Soaking basmatic rice is especially important. About 30 minutes is enough. Drain and add new water. This allow the rice to puff and form its elongated shape during cooking.

                    1. The water used in rinsing rice is an ingredient in some Korean soups and stews. Reading about asbestos and talc coating the rice is freaking me out. Should I now avoid using rice-rinsing water?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Humbucker

                        No! The days of asbestos or any other dangerous substances used for coating rice are long gone. Its enough to worry about Campylobacter and Salmonella. Rice is safe.

                      2. I don't think I know how to rinse rice. I've tried many times, but this basic act eludes me. Last night I had some jasmine rice and put in a measuring cup and poured water on. It didn't work very well.

                        In the past, I've tried a colander thing, but the rice always fall through.

                        What do you rinse rice in? How?

                        And how do you know if the water is cloudy anymore if the water is just pouring off? (Or is that just for soaking rice?)
                        Thank you!

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: mr mouther

                          Just run a bunch of water into the cooking pot with the measured quantity of rice; swirl the water and rice around with your hand; drain out the water being careful to retain the rice in the pot; repeat a few times. Add the cooking water at the end.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            OK - sounds good. Will try tonite.
                            Any advice on best way to retain rice in the pot (my experience is that it's hard to gbet the water out because it starts draining so slowly and the rice wants to fall out of the pot too)

                            1. re: mr mouther

                              Guess its kind of like panning for gold. You get used to doing it after a bit. Seriously, at the end of each swirling let the rice settle to the bottom of the pan; and then gently tip the water out the side of the pot. Doesn't matter until the last draining if you only dump out a portion of the water for each rinse.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Panning would work, but hardcore rinsers would construct a downsized sluice box: Hydraulic pressure hosing perhaps optional.

                                But more seriously, see spring-whisk posted below.

                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                  Funny, I have one of those exact same whisks, but have never used it for rice. Use it for quick faux cappuchino.

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    Washoku-sensei used a low walled stockpot, tipped at a 45 degree angle to put the rice in the edge, then plunge-whisked. Untraditional?... I dunno. But effective. I also use the spring-whisk for heavy gravies, and for hot chocolate as a molinillo.

                                    Outside the kitchen, it performs as a top-of-the-head-mounted wigggler in costume party situations.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      I really appreciate getting into the details of this - thank you.
                                      When you say "plunge-whisked" does that just mean pushing the rice down to the corner of the pot with that device?

                                      1. re: mr mouther

                                        Tipping the pot at a 45 angle sends the rice down into the base of the angle. Once it is there, collected as a group, then the plunge-whisk can be pushed (with vertical force) over and over onto the grains. Varying the angle of the pot, and varying the angle of the vertical plunging, will bring all grains into play. (Rock the pot and rotate the wrist). This would also work with a circular bowl, but it wouldn't gather the grains into a pile as quickly. Sensei used a straight-walled pot for most grain-collection efficiency. But hey...hand agitation and swirling as variously described in this thread will get the job done just fine, just not as quickly. Sensei was a hard-wired Type A who did the work of 3 people in his kitchen. A real plunge-whisker of a man.

                                        On all the methods, you are simply looking for the final result of cloudfree water, which means no loose starch on the surface of the grains, which means they won't stick together on cooking.

                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  here's another method used for restaurant quantities of rice that can be used at home before you get the hang of the traditional "pan-for-gold" (i like that) method.

                                  1. measure out rice, dump into large cambro, bowl, or other container

                                  2. run cold water over rice, immersing by several inches. swirl rice around with your hand or--in gigantic quantity, with a long-handled spoon. water will cloud.

                                  3. go do something else for a few minutes.

                                  4. return to rice, swirl again, dump thru fine colander, return rice to cambro, immerse again in water, swirl with hand or utensil again.

                                  repeat rinsing process until water no longer clouds, then continue to soak or cook rice as desired.

                                  this method may look more complicated, but it's actually a really fast and easy to soak your rice while doing other prep, and people who don't have the pan-for-gold knack will wind up with less basmati in their drain. :)

                          2. Using this spring-whisk tool will change your rice-rinsing life. I was given this tip by watching my local restaurant owner in Japan rinse his rice. I shall never forget the rhythmic sound of his work. Follow the above tips on several rinsings.