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Oct 31, 2008 06:13 AM

How to cook massive quantities of rice?

My neighbor and I are hosting a Hunger Banquet (a la Oxfam) for about 100 people in early November. The majority of those people will have a dinner of only rice, or rice + beans or something small. I've never had to cook rice in that quantity, and I'm wondering if the ratio of water to rice gets altered when you start going large like that. While I do have a rice cooker (and so does one friend), it's too small to really be of assistance.

Does anyone have tips on this? Or even better -- experience?

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    1. re: fourunder

      I agree. I work in a private school kitchen and that's the way we do it!

      1. re: fourunder

        One suggestion - parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben's) holds up exceedingly well under all kinds of abusive conditions. It cooks perfectly, will not get gummy or sticky and can easily be baked as the link above describes. It's not generally my choice for rice, but for a situation like that it would be ideal. You can get it in large generic packages (remember: parboiled, NOT instant) or in bulk.

      2. The water to rice ratio is the same for tiny and giant pots.

        And before anyone tars and feathers Nyleve, par boiled rice is simply rice that was boiled briefly prior to being redried and then husked and milled. The process drives nutrients into the grain from the bran making it healthier than normal white rice. Parboiling is traditional in Bangladesh and parts of India. Parboiled rice does not have to be Uncle Ben's (which I've never had). Here in Colombia, I often cook half regular long grain white and half parboiled - no stickiness at all and not too "nutty".

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Thank you for fending off the attack, Sam.

          I have used parboiled rice in certain dishes - especially when I do a large amount. I did some film catering a while ago and made large pans of arroz con pollo in which the chicken is browned, then combined with uncooked rice and liquid and other stuff then baked. The parboiled keeps its shape and doesn't get mushy. You don't have to be quite as careful with the baking time and liquid amount - so it's good for that kind of thing.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I'm so glad to know that (about the pot size). Thank you. While I'm not opposed to doing it in the oven, I just don't have a hotel pan and I'm nervous about putting cling wrap in my oven under the foil. I know restaurants do that, but I wonder if the plastic wrap has a higher temperature tolerance than plain old cling wrap I buy for home use. Either way, knowing I can use a huge pot w/ the same ration is great to know. Thank you again!