How to Cook Perfect Rice
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Respecting our elders and the generations that came before us isn’t the norm in western culture. In many (or most) cultures the oldest in the family are valued more than the youth. Their opinions are respected, and their traditions are passed down and cherished.
In western culture, youth is prized. New ideas are given the highest value. It’s counter cultural for us to put value on our elders and the ways of the past.
When it comes to food, there are constantly new products on the shelves, and marketers try to win your purchase by standing out in some way. New packaging, new phrasing, etc. While I think it’s important to find innovative solutions to problems, sometimes looking to the past can solve our problems.
On this blog, you’ll find that we’re bringing back some traditional methods of cooking.
For years I didn’t think twice about the best method for cooking rice. I just threw it in the pot with the required amount of water, heated it up, and ate it. Maybe it boiled, maybe it steamed. I really didn’t pay much attention. When it came time to eat it, sometimes it was mushy…and sometimes a little crunchy. Certainly not perfectly cooked, but good enough.
Things are different now. Now, I’m more intentional about how I cook food. I do my best to research the best methods for cooking food before I throw it on the stove or in the oven.
When it comes to cooking rice, the best method for cooking is found by looking back several generations to see how rice has traditionally been cooked.
Rinsing the rice is an important step because it lowers the starch content of the rice, and makes the rice easier for our bodies to digest. Another benefit of rinsing the rice is that it will remove anything the rice may have picked up from the processing facility (dirt, dust, talc, etc.).
To rinse the rice, pour it into a pot, and cover the rice with water. You’ll see the water turn cloudy. That is the excess starch that we don’t want to eat. Starch will spike your blood sugar without giving you many nutrients. The excess starch is also what makes rice sticky and mushy. I usually rinse the rice four or five times until the water turns almost clear.
After rinsing, soak your rice for about 30 minutes. You can soak it longer if you have the time. I’ve read some suggestions to soak overnight. You know your time limitations better than I do. I usually don’t think that far ahead to cook rice. Soaking the rice makes it easier for our bodies to digest. Drain the water after soaking. Now, your rice is ready to cook.
I haven’t had much luck with a rice cooker, however many people swear by them. We use the stove method in our house. To cook the rice, put the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it sit without heat (or very low heat) until the rice is done. Once it’s cooked, you can fluff it with a fork, or use a rice paddle.
Depending on which type of rice you’re cooking (white, brown, short grain, long grain, etc.), the cooking time will vary slightly. We’ve been hooked on basmati rice for a while now, and it cooks pretty quickly – about 15 minutes with this method. Brown rice will take longer, and will also require slightly more water.
By taking a few extra steps in the preparation, your body will thank you, and the rice will be delicious.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cups water (not including water for rinsing and soaking)
- 1 Tbs coconut oil, or butter (optional)
- pinch of salt, optional
- Prepare your rice by rinsing 4-5 times until the water turns clear
- Soak your rice for at least 30 minutes
- Put the ingredients in a pot and bring water to a boil.
- When it reaches a boil, cover with a lid and turn the heat to low for five minutes. Don't take the lid off while it's cooking.
- Turn the heat off and let the pot sit with the lid on for ten more minutes.
- Take the lid off, fluff with a fork, serve.