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Jun 18, 2007 05:46 AM

Back to 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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.