Back to basics...how to cook rice perfectly?
I don't have a rice cooker and don't want one. I want to be able to cook rice perfectly (dry, fluffy not sticky) on a gas stove. Are there diffferent techniques for, say, jasmine, basmati, bhutanese etc? After the liquid comes to a boil, exactly how much of a simmer? Timing? Most recipes say 20 mins but sometimes that doesn't seem enough. Do you rinse your rice first? Soak it? Drape a towel beneath the cover of the pot to absorb steam?
I have been disappointed in my rice & would appreciate all tips, advice, recs...thanks!
The most important thing is the correct amount of water to rice.
I don't remember where I saw this but...till this day it's worked for me.
Put the rice in the pot an add enough water so that when you put yout finger in, the water reaches your first joint.( your finger has to touch the top of the rice)
I've been doing this for years and always worked for me.
Bring to a boil the lower to simmer
I never rinse my rice (I'm actually surprised so many people do). I just put the salt and a little butter or olive oil in the water, boil it, add the rice and turn the heat waaaaay down, and cover. Let it be for 20 minutes and bingo. Pretty much always comes out just right. Never, ever lift the cover while it is cooking.
I would also add, once you have put the lid on for the rice to simmer, do not remove it until the rice is ready (hense renov8r's comment about a glass lid.) However, I don't know why you wouldn't want a rice cooker if you make rice fairly often. They cook the rice perfectly every time, keep it warm while waiting for everything else, and are easy as pie. We gave one to my mother in law years ago and she said she doesn't know how she ever got along without it.
I use a Moosewood Cookbook method. I rinse but do not soak. I put the rice in a pot and measure with my finger. Say it comes to the first knuckle. Then I drizzle a little oil and sautee it for a bit (depending on the rice and the consistency I want - I may not do this step at all). Then add water to the first knuckle with my fingertip touching the rice. Cover and cook on high and when it begins to steam, remove from heat for 10 minutes. Replace on a low setting for a gentle simmer for 25 min, remove for 5 and fluff. Don't remove the lid during the whole process. Works great.
My husband is the resident rice maker. He uses the amount of water called for on the packaging. Put rice and water in the pan, bring to a boil, and boil until you see small holes appearing on the surface of the rice - by this time, most of the water is no longer visible. Put the lid on, turn to v. low cook for 15 minutes. Perfect everytime. Works v. nicely for brown basmati, though it sometimes needs a couple more minutes of cooking time. If I'm making Persian/Iraqi rice dishes - I rinse the basmati several times and soak, then boil until all dente, then continue with the recipe - the kind that makes a nice crust on the bottom.
The only (physical) thing I have and wanted from my deceased parents is the rice pot from pre-WWII. I cook rice almost every day on the gas stove.
Rinse rice, add water, bring to a boil, turn down to simmer for 20 minutes, let sit for 10 minutes--all without lifting the lid. Fluff.
The only variable is the amount of water: I use 1:1 for low amylose Japanese rice and 1 rice to 1 1/2 water for high amylose long grain. You may need to experiment with the rice to water ratio.
Many many moons ago (1975 to be exact) jfood, recovering from knee surgery watched the Galloping Gourmet every day. Kerr approach was typical Kerr, hey the rice knows what to do. He did not measure the water but made sure there was MORE than enough. Then he brought the pot to a boil, lowered to simmer and set the timer accorning to the directions or from his experience. Then he had a glass of wine, again typical Kerr. When the timer went off he knew the rice was done. He used one of his cirved spatulas against the side of thepot and drained all the excess water.
To this day more than 30 years later jfood follows this guidance, and to this day it works every time.
The trick to the whole process is keeping the slow simmer going. given the high-btu stoves, you must have a "small" burner to make this happen. that was one of the must haves when jfood re-did his kitchen.
My sister got me a combination rice/veggie steamer about 4 years ago. I highly recommend one. Just dump in the right amount of rice and water and it comes out perfect every time.
I usually skip rinsing the rice unless I am making sushi. Then, I rinse all of the starch off so it becomes sticky.
Only tip I have is that I use a pot with a glass lid. That way I can see if the simmer is too strong and turn it down without losing steam. (if the simmer is a boil it is too high, simmering rice will throw up an occaisional starchy bubble, but that is it) The glass lid also allows me to wait until all the liquid is gone before fluffing. Those last few minutes of steam seem to do a world of good -- I think that the fuzzy logic Panasonic cookers actually up the heat a few degrees as the liquid simmers off to encourage a steam filled finale.
The glass lids fit all the standard & non-stick Calphalon. Worth the little bit extra clean up.