Lotta rice

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cooknguy, May 20, 2003.

  1. cooknguy

    cooknguy

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    I am quite proficient at cooking rice in a 1-2 qt pot. But, when I need 3-5 lbs at a time, I can't find my way to hot water.

    I've tried several different approaches on these amounts, but no luck. I always come out with a mix of mush and uncooked rice.

    Is there a secret without a rice steamer? I don't want to go that route unless that's the only way. Thanks.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I too have that problem. I fall apart at the 2 cups of raw rice mark. After that I start scorching rice on the bottom. The anwer I was told, but haven't tried yet, is to bake it. Takes longer, but it should work.

    Phil
     
  3. mudbug

    mudbug

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  4. brreynolds

    brreynolds

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    and yes, I lift the lid.

    The formula that Mudbug posted is what I learned decades ago as the oriental way to cook rice (it was described in a Chinese cookbook of the time), and it's always worked well for me regardless of the amount. There are a couple of modifications that can be made to adjust for very large amounts or very small amounts.

    The "water up to the first knuckle" measurement seems to work out to about 1 1/4 as much water as rice (a little more than that for small amounts). With very small amounts, which I usually do, just using 1 1/4 as much water works best for me.

    The three levels of heat are needed for large amounts, but not smaller ones (less than about 1 1/2 cups raw rice). With the smaller amounts, you can just boil and then turn down to very low for 30 minutes.

    This cooking method will leave a crust of rice on the bottom of the pan, which may be a little brown but should not be burned, and is served as part of some Chinese dishes. I avoid it by violating the DO NOT LIFT LID instruction just enough to stir the rice as I'm turning it down to very low. I've found that, unlike souffles or 19th century cake recipes, rice doesn't collapse if you lift the lid for a very short time, and mixing the rice up just before the long, slow simmer keeps the bottom from drying out and crusting over.

    What that description doesn't call for is washing the rice before cooking. Oriental cooks would run cold water over the rice and stir, changing water until it doesn't cloud over. That washes loose starch off the rice (and probably a bunch of water-soluble vitamins), and gives it a slightly different consistency than just tossing into the pan with water and cooking (it seems a little less "gluey"). Either way comes out good.
     
  5. coolj

    coolj

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    Try 4 litre of rice to 8 litres of water, I used to make that everyday at work.
     
  6. bubbamom

    bubbamom

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    My tried and true recipe is twice as much water as rice. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat (to just above simmer) for 14 minutes. ;)
     
  7. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Sarah Moulton cooks it like pasta: lots of water, cook until al dente or desired consistenty, drain. (Boom! as Sarah is wont to say. Not to be confused with Bam!) I confess I never tried it before, but she demonstrated it on Sarah's Secrets on Food TV a few months ago.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I've done it pasta style. Doesn't taste as good. Most of the flavor leaches out into all the water.

    Phil
     
  9. cooknguy

    cooknguy

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    My problem isn't the rice/water ratio.

    If I try to cook 3 lbs in a 12 qt pot, I get mush on the bottom and undercooked rice on top. I tried it in a 20 qt pot so as to spread out the bottom, not so much depth. Only the rice over the burner cooked properly. The rice that was past the burner ring didn't finish as well.

    I guess I will have a bunch of 2qt pots going.:rolleyes:
     
  10. bumblecook

    bumblecook

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    Let me guess...you have an electric stove, right?
    Electric stoves suck when it comes to cooking rice.
    I grew up with a gas stove and cooked perfect rice every night. Then when I got married I had to cook on an electric stove - the rice was never done right like I didn't know what I was doing. I gave up.
    I use a rice cooker for white rice and if I'm making
    a rice casserole I bake it in the oven.
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I have about a dozen different rices, with various amounts of liquid to rice ratio suggested for each.....
    basmati has a short cook time
    short grain
    long grain
    texmati
    Stansil's Louisiana rice
    red rice
    black rice
    risotto
    Jasmine
    etc.........It's helpful to talk about what kinda rice you use, they all don't cook the same.
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree. I usually cook basmati. But I do arborio just fine for risotto with all the stirring, even in larger amounts.

    Phil
     
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    That might be because your pot is too tall, the sides are too thin, the lid is too light, and doesn't seal properly.

    Go to an Indian Grocer and get a nice rondeau with super thick sides and heavy lid for rice. It might cost some money but

    1) It's a nice pan and
    2) You can use it for other stuff.

    Still it's tough. Many a man's heart has been broken when he discovered that his wife could not properly make rice. (You gotta be Asian to fully appreciate that one) :D

    Kuan
     
  14. cooknguy

    cooknguy

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    Sorry, long grain, usually.

    Yes, I'm on an electric for now, but I didn't have any better results over a gas flame.
     
  15. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Don't cook it on the stove; BAKE IT IN THE OVEN. It may take longer that way, but the heat will surround the pot and penetrate evenly, instead of cooking the bottom to mush or to cinders before the top is cooked. Bring the water and rice to the boil on top, then move it into the oven to finish cooking.

    The thing about rice cookers is that the heat is not only on the bottom; it is all around. You can get a similar effect in the oven.

    (I was going to mention rice-to-water ratios, but I saw that's already been addressed. It DOES vary for different kinds of rice.)
     
  16. cooknguy

    cooknguy

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    Thanks, Suzanne, that may be my next step.
     
  17. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Both of the last couple of suggestions regarding a heavier pot or oven are excellent. Depending on the budget, I agree with kuan about getting a pot which is more thick and retains more heat for even cooking.
     
  18. pollyg

    pollyg

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    If you don't work it out on the stove-top, use a rice cooker.
    They're fabulous! They're easy, no mess, no fuss.
    Everyone should have one.
     
  19. agoodcook

    agoodcook

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    You must "wash" you rice (long grain) before you cook it. Wash it until the water is clear, then place in pan and add enough water up to your index finger first joint. Add a bit of salt if you lik, and add a tsp of white vinegar. The vinegar will make the rice very white. Cook the rice on med high until the water is almost gone, and then cover with a tight fitting top, and lower the flame to low simmer. Do not take the top off until the rice is done. In fact, you can just let it sit covered until you are ready to serve it.
     
  20. nolafoodie

    nolafoodie

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    Interesting that you wash long-grain rice. We use long-grain and never rinse it. The only rice I was taught to wash was basmati.