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How do you cook your white rice?

Last night my wife asked me , "why is your rice always so good"? I said it's because I always use chicken stock & a little minced onion and garlic and cook it pilaf style sauteing everything first in butter or olive oil, including the rice grains, then adding the stock.I sometimes add fresh herbs near the end of the cooking process. I notice on CH that a lot of folks use rice cookers. I own a small one that I've cooked Nishiki Medium Grain Rice in but I find plain white rice boring. I realize that in a lot of cuisines that's the desired result as a contrast for spicier fare on the plate. Does anyone make pilaf in a rice cooker? Can it be done? Do you prefer simple plain rice or rice that has aromatics added?

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  1. You can't do the sautéing step in the rice cooker as far as I know, but you can use stock instead of water. If you add other ingredients, they tend to either sink to the bottom or float to the top, but you can always give everything a stir after the liquid level goes down. You will have to experiment with the liquid volume because it may be quite different from what you're used to on your stove top, and this will also affect the seasoning.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DeppityDawg

      It depends on the style of rice cooker that you have, whether or not you can saute successfully. I think the "smart" rice cookers won't work at all, unless they have a saute function (some do!), whereas the one button sort will. As an aside, the Iranian style ones definitely work for this, because they seem to be either alternating cooking for the set time and keeping it at that temperature, or just cooking (like a timed electric pot).

      1. re: ipsedixit

        ipsedixit....what type of rice do you use? Can you use, say a basmati, and get grains that are not stuck together?

        1. re: zackly

          Yes.

          It will depend on your rice cooker. If there isn't a separate setting you will need to play around with the water:rice ratio.

      2. Water, rice, saucepan, daily. Periodically, pilaf with various add-ins depending on mood. I have a rice cooker but rarely use it. Ok, never.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tcamp

          When I make 'pilaf' in my rice cooker I do what you do regarding sautéing first. I use well rinsed basmati. After sautéing I dump everything in the rice cooker, add the stock in place of water and it turns out perfect.
          BTW I use equal parts of rice to liquid in the rice cooker. Alway ends up fluffy and perfectly cooked through.

        2. Always toast the rice first. Into a pot or cooker with water, salt, seasoning. Use Cajun Cabin Med. grain or either Toro...a long grain that cooks up like a medium. Both grown in Louisiana....Falcon Rice Mill in Crowley.

          1. 2 cups water,pat of butter, bring to boil, add1 cup basmati rice, 15 minute slow simmer in covered LC soup pot,fluff, 5 minute rest , serve.
            Dirty rice(aromatics,onion,mushrooms,peas,tomato,etc), when in mood...Stock sometimes,
            Wild rice, medium ,and short grain are an other story.