There is something about rice that confounds us here in the West. So often, the idea of perfect rice evades us, and we end up with a gluggy, sludgy mess. Well, never fear – we are here to help, with our method of how to cook perfect rice, every time, and a few handy tips and tricks about cooling, storing and reusing cooked rice.
Remember To Rinse
Rice is often covered with excess starch, so rinse it in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. This will make sure that your rice will be fluffy, and not sticky.
Use the ratio of 2:1 when measuring your water and rice. One cup of rice to two cups of water, and so on.
Bring The Water To The Boil
Bring the water to a rolling boil. Remember that rice expands as it cooks, so use a saucepan that will accommodate this. Don’t forget to use a pan with a tight fitting lid.
Add The Rice
Add the rice, don’t stir and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to it’s lowest setting and bubble gently. As a rule, cook white rice for 10-15 minutes and brown rice for 25-35 minutes.
Lift The lid
When you lift the lid, the water should be absorbed and there will be small holes in the rice. Fluff with a fork, allow to sit for a few minutes to dry out, and serve.
Rice Safety Tips:
Very few people realise that improperly stored cooked rice can be a cause of food poisoning. Uncooked rice often contains the bacteria Bacillus cereus. These bacteria can form protective spores that survive the cooking process and if the rice is cooled slowly (and left between 5 °C and 60 °C for a long time), these bacteria spores can germinate, grow and produce a toxin (poison) that causes vomiting.
These simple tips will reduce your risk of illness from eating cooked rice:
- If you must cook rice in advance, do not cook more than you need at one time.
- Either keep cooked rice hot (above 60 °C) or cool the rice as quickly as possible and store in a refrigerator below 5 °C.
- Rice cools quicker if removed from the hot container and divided into smaller, clean shallow containers less than 10 cm deep. Keep the containers separate, not stacked.
- Alternatively, you can cool the rice in a colander under cold running water before storing in a refrigerator below 5 °C.