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Aug 5, 2013 04:25 PM

Reduce starch from rice..

We know rice is a starchy grain.. given that the question is how to reduce that starch!

Few suggestions I've heard -
1. boiling rice with excess water and when rice is cooked, discard the extra water and along with it a lot of starch is removed
2. pre-soaking rice

Does any of these really reduce the starch?
Also, are there other ways to reduce the starch from rice?


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  1. There's probably not a huge difference in the amount of starch removed with either method, but I have converted (no pun intended) to the pasta method of rice-cooking. Instead of the typical simmering for 40 minutes for my brown jasmine rice, it gets 30 minutes at a gentle boil in a large amount of water. Pour the water and rice into/through a large sieve, immediately dump the rice back into the hot pot, cover it, and let it sit off the heat for an additional 10 minutes to absorb the remaining water. This way the grains are always separate with no clumping.

    1. Buy and cook less starchy rice (e.g. long-grain).

      1. If you wash it in cold water, you can see the starchy, cloudy liquid you'll be pouring out as you change the water. Very gently run your hands through the rice to wash it. I usually do 3-4 changes of water, but I buy a very starchy variety.

        1. i usually make basmati. i soak it for at least 1/2 hour then rinse, rinse, rinse til the water drains mostly clear.

          bring the cooking liquid slowly to a boil, simmer for 6-7 minutes. cover, remove from heat. rest about 20-25 minutes. perfect every time.

          1. Why do you want to reduce the starch?

            11 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              I have sneezing fits from the starch in white rice (and from white bread as well). It's an allergy that developed after the age of 50. It's not Celiac disease. With white flour products, I can usually alleviate the problem by well toasting the bread or roll, BUT pasta and white rice are a problem.

              I have found that I need to fully wash pasta and white rice changing the water at least a half-dozen times to avoid the sneezing fits.

              I use a 12 cup rice cooker. I use 6 cups of rice and fill the metal bowl to the top with fresh cold water, then pour off. The first time the water will be milky white, I do this 5 more times and by the 6th time the water is almost clear.

              Why bother? I love white rice, as do my wife and kids and dogs. I don't care for brown rice. I use cooked white rice in many recipes, and usually have 4 cups cooked in the fridge.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  <I have sneezing fits from the starch in white rice>

                  It must be something else beside the starch. Most of the starch is inside the rice grain. The starch you washed away is minuscule compared to the grain.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I know that you moniker implies that you understand chemistry. This is the pronouncement of my allergist, who did the tests, and lifestyle study-eating, sleeping, activities, etc.

                    Since I have only a JD and he has an MD and post graduate studies in allergy medicine, i accept his pronouncement.

                    All I know is that washing and rinsing the white rice 6 times eliminates my sneezing. I cannot eat white rice in restaurants or other people's homes without the sneezing attacks...they don't rinse/wash as I do.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      i'm not a chemist, nor a jd, or md. :) am wondering if it's simply particulates on the exterior of the rice? from processing and storing? not necessarily the "starch content"?

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        <All I know is that washing and rinsing the white rice 6 times eliminates my sneezing. >

                        I don't question your experience at all. All I am saying is that there are plenty of starch in the rice grain itself. It isn't anything about chemistry, or JD or MD.

                        It is really just common knowledge. Think about it. If washing rice a few times can remove all of its starch, then effectively you can remove all of the calories by washing rice. People can lose a lot of weight by doing that. We know that cannot be true.

                        I don't question your experience. I was merely saying that there is something else. Something on the surface of the rice, but not the starch.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          It might just be that thw 6 times washing/rinsing removes sufficient exterior starch from the white rice to make the interior starch a level that doesn't cause the sneezing.............

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Doesn't white rice have a light coating of cornstarch on it?

                            I wash white rice too, when I make it, and rub it against a colander. I do this several times. I do it to lessen the stickiness after cooking.

                            I've learned to like brown rice.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              <Doesn't white rice have a light coating of cornstarch on it?>

                              Cornstarch? Not that I know. I think that is just starch/powder from rice. Where did you hear/read about cornstarch?

                              <I've learned to like brown rice>

                              I like brown rice a lot too. But a few thing I still insist on white rice. I have only tried and eaten fried rice with white rice.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Sometimes there is a residue of talc (rock) used in the polishing process. No cornstarch.

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Ah talc. Could that be what triggers the sneezing?