Rice . . .
I love rice from Chinese restaurants, but I can never make my rice taste the same. I use a rice cooker but the rice is also gummy or mushy.
I also love fried rice, but every time I make it, it tastes like gummy soy sauce. Ick.
I am also interested in other types of rice and how to use it.
Please give me your best rice tips and advice!
tinkerszs: I saw a reply in the following CH link that might help you for the fried rice. My personal favorite is Jasmine rice however and is really easy to make. I do buy the organic version of the rice as well. It resembles what you might get at a Benihana's, etc.
The thing that changed our rice from bleh to wow was to purchase rice at an Asian grocer. An Asian friend of mine came to visit, and told us the rice he and I were cooking with was terrible, and told me to never purchase rice from a regular grocery store. I've followed his instructions, and ever since, delightful rice.
re: Indirect Heat
There are many different types of rice (Long Grain, Medium Grain, Short Grain, and among those are countess varieties. The kind of results you get with rice are based upon the type, variety, how it's processed before cooking and how it's cooked.
Here's some information that might help you learn more about this wonderful food - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
)If you'd prefer not to spend the time on learning all of the rice products you might want to try using long grain rice, cooking it at a slow simmer in a closed vessel and taste testing it frequently after about 10 - 15 minutes to determine when it's reached the level of texture you're looking for. long grain rice usually makes better fried rice than other types. A medium grain rice will also work but it's a bit more finicky. Use short grain rice if you want to make a pudding or similar dish.
For plain white rice cook it as you would cook pasta, in a pot filled with water. Once it's cooked strain it well, let sit a couple minutes, fluff and serve.
Pilaf is rice first sauteed in oil until lightly browned before adding the water. The sauteeing process cooks the starch and prevents gumminess. And an hour sitting uncovered will do wonders if your pilaf is still a tad sticky.
I disagree with this advice. Boiled and drained rice is soggy and nasty. I measure the water so that it gets absorbed. As a general rule, I use 1.5 parts water to one part rice (ex. 1.5 cups water and 1 cup rice). If I'm cooking a very small amount of rice, I'll throw a little extra water, because the evaporation messes up your ratio with such small quantities. I cook mine on the stove, and bring the water and rice to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat and check after 20 minutes or so, and it comes out perfect and fluffy. Sorry, I can't be much help with a rice cooker.
I have bought some rice that I just didn't like. I buy the white basmati in a big burlap sack from either Sam's or Costco, and really like it. You might want to try a different brand of rice and see if you like it better.
Dry basmati rice does fine with the boil and strain method. I strain it while it is still firm, and finish with 'steaming' - sitting on warm in a covered pot with added seasonings. This is roughly the method used for biriyanis.
But the OP is talking about Chinese style rice, not Indian.
tinkerszs, that's supper tonight! Turned out very well. I know what you mean about gummy, not like "from Chinese restaurants." It's really imperative to make the rice the day before. I use long grain white--usually bulk from Whole Foods. I put one part rice to two parts water in rice cooker. But mostly I find if it's left refrigerated overnight (covered but not airtight) it has the right texture for the fried rice. And I cook all the goodies first, before adding the rice and sauce.
For Chinese style rice, use short grain rice rather than basmatic or jasmine, to get it sticky but not mushy. Try Chinatown or a Chinese grocery or better quality rice.
Other tips- wash the rice well before hand. Get in with your hand and scrub it around in a few changes of water, to wash a bit of the starch off. Then let it sit, power off, soaking in the water for 15 minutes or more. Turn on the rice cooker. When it is finished, leave it on warm for ten minutes before serving. (I learned my rice cooker techniques from my Japanese husband) . Our rice cooker is the extremely basic type that has a cook setting and a warm setting, and has to be unplugged to be turned off.
I have found that long grain rice requires less water than the short grain in the cooker.
For fried rice, definitely use day old rice - it's a bit drier, and fries better. Cooked rice keeps well in the freezer, so just make a double batch when you make it for other reasons. And a little soy sauce goes a long way.
First of all we always advise our customers to buy the very best rice they can - we usually use basmati and Thai jasmine rice for our plain white rice. When choosing packs of rice, make sure there aren't too many broken grains in there as this can sometimes cause a problem with sticky rice - make sure the majority of the grains in the pack are long.
Before cooking, measure your rice out into the measuring cup and transfer to a sieve and rinse under cold running water until the liquid coming from the rice is clear, the starch in the rice can often be the culprit for soggy rice.
Then leave the rice to drain for 5 minutes or so, to make sure all the water has run off (give it a good shake and shuffle to make sure).
Put the rice into the rice cooker and flatten the top of the rice pile down and fill the cooker up to the relevant line with fresh, cold water. We fill to the bottom of the indicated line rather than the top - the less water there is in the machine during cooking, the less sticky and soft the rice will be - a very precise way of doing things, but it works.
Once the cooker has swtiched to keep warm, open the lid, give the rice a good stir with the spatula to release any excess water and to break any clumps of rice which may have formed and then leave on keep warm for maybe 30 minutes.
This works every time in our Zojirushi. If you are getting gummy or sticky rice in a rice cooker you are definitely using too much water.
Also for fried rice it's really important that the rice you stir fry with the soy sauce is cold - don't attempt to make fried rice with warm rice it will just be gloopy and not taste very nice. Leave the rice to cool for at least 2 hours (put it in the fridge if you have to!) then add the cold rice to your wok we usually break the rice up as much as possible so there aren't big chunks of rice stuck together...another tip is don't add too much soy sauce at once, just add a little at a time and mix into the rice with a spatula. You will then get a much better result for your fried rice.
I make rice in a pot and find do not have to buy expensive rice if it's not the main component of a meal. Meaning if I'm making stir-fry I just use private label medium grain rice. If I make sushi, then I will buy short grain rice specialized for sushi.
For my rice I soak my rice with equal rice to water. I do not rinse it. I want my rice to be sticky enough to eat with chop sticks.
Place it over high heat until almost all water has evaporated out of the pot, stirring a few times. Once it appears almost dry in the pot, place a lid on the pot and turn the heat to low for 11 min. After that I take it off the heat and mix with a wooden paddle. Place the lid back on the pan and let it finish steaming for 20 minutes.
This usually allows me to put the rice aside as I finish the rest of the meal I was prepping while it was cooking.
It may be because you are using the wrong kind of rice or that you are adding too much water. Also, you want to rinse your rice until the water is mostly clear, so you get rid of extra starch (which can lead to gumminess).
For chinese style fried rice, use a longer grain rice and use rice made from the previous day.