HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

white rice...cooking tips and tricks...PLEASE!!!

I stink at rice. Jake loves white rice with lime and cilantro. I do not own, nor do I really want a rice cooker. I usually use Carolina rice, season the water and cook super low for 20 minutes or so. Still not very exciting.

Any help for some great rice to go with some sesame chicken???

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Chelley, have you ever tried Robert Lauriston's Cilantro Rice? It is SO good!

    http://www.chow.com/digest/1041

    1. Do you want to know how to cook the rice, or how to season it? It's not really clear from your post.

      Cooking rice is simple. Take one part rice and a little less than two parts of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, salt the water, cover and cook at the lowest possible heat for about 15 or 20 minutes, until you see clam holes in the top of the rice.

      It's not supposed to be very exciting when plain.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Euonymous

        I have the seasoning part down pretty good...I sometimes use broth and seasonings, butter, red salt, etc...

        I guess its the cooking part. Should I be stirring at all during the cooking process? I feel like the rice is gummy, almost risotto like instead of nice and fluffy.

        1. re: chelleyd01

          If you want fluffy rice, don't ever touch it while it's cooking. Put the rice, water and salt in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and cover. Set the timer for 20 minutes and walk away. When the timer goes off, turn the heat off and let steam for another 5-10 minutes, remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.

          If long-grain rice gets gummy using this method, you're using too much water.

          1. re: chelleyd01

            You should never stir rice unless you're making risotto.

            1. re: chelleyd01

              You may also want to try pre-soaking your rice if you are using a long-grain varietal. Soak it in water for 30 minutes before cooking, drain, and then cook it in less water-- maybe 1 1/4 parts water per part of rice. It should cook in in 10-15 minutes if its been pre-soaked.

            2. re: Euonymous

              I do the same, but I do not stir the rice after breaking up the clumps in the first few seconds after pouring it in boiling water. I turn the burner down as low as possible, lid it and let it go for 10-15 minutes or until almost all the water has been absorbed. The presence of "clam holes" is a good sign it is almost done.

              The pan is them removed from the burner and let set while covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

            3. If you have a microwave oven, making rice is a snap. The best part is no watching or stirring. For long grain white rice I follow the box for rice/water proportions. Put in microwave-safe bowl with lid and cook at full power for about 7 minutes and then 50% power for about 22 minutes. Let sit about 5 minutes to finish steaming. You may need to adjust times depending on the wattage of your oven. I sometimes mix in a handful of wild rice into the white. Just add a bit extra water and it comes out great--adds just a nice slightly nutty taste.

              I just got a new Sharp mwave oven and it has a programmed button for 'rice'. OMG jasmine rice comes out perfect!

              4 Replies
              1. re: medford

                I agonized over cooking rice for a long time, until I saw the sadly recently deceased Urban Peasant, James Barber, explain it simply.

                Place rice in it's cooking pot. Cover with cold water with enough water over the rice to the height of about a half inch, or when you stick your baby finger into the pot, the water reaches halfway to the joint. Boil until you see the water bubbling up through the grains of rice. Lower the heat to lowest setting, cover the pot, set the timer to 20 minutes and WALK AWAY. Do NOT lift the lid. When you hear the timer, taste a few grains. Too dry? Add a few tablespoons of VERY hot water and put it back on the low heat for a few minutes. Too wet, but cooked? Fluff, raise the heat, cover and watch it like a hawk, for about 5 minutes. Good enough, but all stuck together? It probably will be anyway. Fluff it, set the lid so the steam can escape, and leave for about 5 minutes.

                I have used this method for numerous kinds of rice, from parboiled, to sticky rice, to purple rice, to brown and red rices, that need longer sitting, but the same method and never had a failure.

                It's been fool-proof for this fool, anyway

                AnnieG

                1. re: violabratsche

                  Good explanation. Totally agree. I had been using a smart brain rice cooker before I visited my sis in Australia and was forced to use a simple pot. She was amazed that this worked. On the other hand my grandma (who passed away before I was able to get her proportions) baked the rice in a covered pan along with the meal and it was sticky, tasty and had the lovely brown bottom crust- odd from a woman who never cooked with rice before age 45) I loved that show Urban Peasant- not because the recipes were great, but because he was so joyful and playful and simple about the food.

                  1. re: violabratsche

                    Totally agree with the method described above - I learned the exact same way from a master sushi chef - perfect every time. I did however, learn to add the h20 to the 1st finger joint - not halfway...perhaps that explains the dry rice experienced by the above poster? Brown rice will take 25 min...

                    1. re: jbyoga

                      I stand corrected. It is to the first joint. I don't know what I was thinking about.

                      Mea culpa.

                      AnnieG

                2. Wow..I have been stupidly stirring every 5 minutes or so because I was afraid it would clump or stick. Im going to NOT stir tomorrow night and see what happens then!

                  Also, would a covered skillet be more effective than a saucepan?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chelleyd01

                    If you don't want your rice to be sticky, try rinsing it a few times before you cook it. That way, some of the excess starch will wash off and you won't have the gumminess. Also, backing off on the water to rice ratio like Euonymous mentioned is key, as well as letting it sit to steam for a while - especially if you're stirring in extras like cilantro.

                    I bring mine up to a boil, and then turn the heat to the lowest setting and just let it steam.

                    And use the saucepan - it works better.

                    1. re: jazzy77

                      Another way to keep rice from being sticky is to fry it in a little oil to coat the grains before adding the water.

                    2. re: chelleyd01

                      I'd still go with the sauce pan. I used to stink at making rice, but finally succumbed to my husband's foolproof. I use the amount called for on the package, bring it to a boil, and boil until little holes appear on the surface of the rice (almost all the`water will be gone), then cover, put the lid on, turn to lowest setting and set the timer for 15 minutes. This method also works well for brown Basmati rice, though it may take a couple more minutes.

                    3. I know you said that you don't want a rice cooker, but I have to say, it is unbelievable how good the rice turns out. I always made the worst rice and 2 years ago, my MIL bought me a rice cooker for Hanukkah. I didn't even want the thing, but my husband told her that it would be a good gift.

                      It sat in the box for 2 YEARS until one day (very recently) I took it out, tried it, and now I actually look for excuses to make rice! We used to eat a lot of pasta and now we actually eat way more rice than pasta -- who woulda believed?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: valerie

                        I totally agree, I love my rice cooker, but it's a unitasker - and I've found it's really only good for making plain, white rice. If you're introducing other seasonings or sauteed things into the rice as it's cooking, then a saucepan is much better.

                        1. re: jazzy77

                          That is going to depend on the rice cooker. There are so many cookers now that multifunction very well.
                          take a look at this site for some examples.
                          http://zojirushi.com/ourproducts/rice...

                          1. re: hannaone

                            This is the one that I have. I've been thinking about trying other things with it, but haven't ventured out yet. So far, just white rice, sushi rice (which is what we like the best) and brown basmati rice.

                            http://zojirushi.com/ourproducts/rice...

                          2. re: jazzy77

                            I use my rice cooker for steaming artichokes and cauliflower. Also good at large gatherings when you run out of room on the stove--cooks/keeps warm.