Cooking rice can be quite daunting if you don’t have a rice cooker at home. Steamed white rice tastes a lot better than boiled rice, so the few extra minutes are worth the time. Here’s the PlanBuyCook guide to perfect steamed rice.
The key to perfect steamed rice is to have a pot with a tight-fitting lid to keep the steam in. If your pot lid doesn’t seal well, you can always use aluminium foil over the top of the pot before adding the lid to trap in the steam.
With a few easy steps and the correct ratios, rice cooking is a real breeze and doesn’t require another gadget in your kitchen.
- 1 cup of long grain white rice of your choice
- 300ml of water
(this ratio applies to any serving size. Half a cup of rice to 150ml, 2 cups of rice to 600ml etc.)
- Wash rice in a colander or sieve prior to cooking. This is more for rice bought in bulk than in smaller packets in the supermarket, but a good step to include just in case.
- Place washed rice in a pot, add water and bring to a rapid boil. It is important it gets to a rapid boil to create a lot of steam before you trap it in.
- Cover using a tight-fitting lid and simmer on a very low heat for 12 minutes. If your lid isn’t too tight, first cover pot with foil then top with the lid.
- Remove rice from the heat and allow rice to stand for 5 minutes without removing the lid, as it continues to cook in its own heat.
- After 5 minutes remove the lid and your rice should be perfectly cooked. Enjoy.
TIP: Yellow rice in Indian restaurants comes from using saffron. You can get the same effect at home by adding a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric to the water prior to cooking.
If serving rice as an accompaniment, most dietitians recommend you use only half a cup of cooked rice per serve. This equates to a ¼ cup of uncooked rice per person. It is also a good guide to portions if you are watching your weight. Active and growing kids may need a little more.
If rice is the main event (i.e. for risotto, fried rice etc.) a serve would be closer to 1 cup of cooked rice, which is a half cup of uncooked rice.
There are so many varieties of rice on the market, it is important to use the right cooking method for the variety you are cooking.
Long grain rice (jasmine, basmati) and sushi rice should be steamed.
Arborio (risotto) rice works for risotto and should be cooked by slow absorption method. Same for paella rice.
Brown rice is probably better boiled, as it takes longer than any of the white varieties. Brown rice needs to be cooked for around 20 minutes in plenty of water. Taste prior to straining to ensure it is ready.
Black rice is better soaked overnight before cooking, and then boiled or steamed for 25–30 minutes. It is fantastic when cooked in coconut milk.
Wild rice also needs to be rinsed in cold water prior to cooking, and will take about 45 minutes to boil. It is great in salads or mixed with long grain white rice.
With any new rice variety it is best to check the packet for any specific instructions, as they may vary according to type.
What’s your favourite rice?