What Are the Secrets to Perfect Rice?

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My rice usually comes out a little on the mushy side, and the bottom is often burnt crusty.   

I've made it by both sauteing the rice a little in the pot with some oil, before adding water, and without sauteing it. 

I've cut back on the water to about 2 cups per 1 cup of rice.       That's with a bunch of onions, some garlic and often some some green pepper, and/or celery, in it, too; as well as some olives.     I usually make my rice pilaf style with some veggies in it. 

I'm thinking of cutting back on the water a little more, but that might make the bottom even more prone to crusting up.      I usually start the rice with cold water and a high heat, them turn it back to a simmer after it boils.       Maybe I should try starting it on a medium heat. 

Also, does anybody recommend rinsing the rice first?    I haven't done that. 
 

kuan

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That's way too much water.  It should be anywhere between 1.25 and 1.75 water to each cup of rice.  The shorter the grain the less water.  1.25 for Japanese rice, 1.75 for Basmati.

Bring to boil, stir, cover, turn it down to low.
 
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The crusty (not burnt) bottom is heavenly. In Spain they kill persons for the socarrat. So i've been told.
 
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@TomNYC  have you tried using stock/broth ILO of water in your Pilaf yet?

Do have gas or electric cooktop?  Maybe the burner that you're using is

not low enough and therefore scorching the bottom? 
 
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The crusty bottom is covered in Indian cooking as well.

There are so many ways to go about fixing this my head is spinning from ideas. When I make rice the way you are attempting to its important to remember that the vegetables are also releasing liquid so ease up on the water. You can always add water as you go along, but you can only remove it by overcooking and turning your rice to mush. I never measure, just put a bit of water in and then gauge it, it may need more. I start on high heat and once it gets going I cover it and turn off the heat and let it steam the rest of the way.
 
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Mushy rice is overcooked rice.

Crispy burnt rice is a result of too high heat.

But if you like it that way and it tastes good to you, who cares.

Rice done-ness, like many other things in culinary is subjective. 

I make pilaf at work regularly.

I use Uncle Ben's. I saute shallots, a little garlic, and the rice in butter, stirring constantly until all the grains are coated and start to give off a toasted nutty flavor without browning the individual kernels.

I then add hot stock, season with salt and pepper, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. After that I check to see that all the liquid has been evaporated. I add a knob of butter and fluff.

My ratio is always 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of stock.

To each his own.
 
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I use Uncle Ben's.
My ratio is always 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of stock.

To each his own.

That ratio works with uncle bens. But if I put that much water in my basmati rice the rice turns to mush 15 minutes before all the water evaporates. Every rice is different.
 
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Also let the pot rest before taking the lid off.  5-10 minutes will make a huge difference in the fluff factor.
 
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I was taught to cook rice (as well as a few other dishes) by an Persian expat's wife (the husband was my mentor).

Obviously I don't do it this way every time but consider it a comfort food when I am throwing myself a pity party....if it is a 911 situation and have no time to cook I turn to eating ice cream out of the carton /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crying.gif.

As I am way too lazy today I will provide a link..... http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/persian-steamed-white-rice-em-chelo-em-51109800 .

The linked site has some other awesome recipes .

IMO a stew is not complete without a dollop of homemade yogurt.

mimi

Edit for incomplete sentence.... Stew is not complete without this rice and a dollop of homemade yogurt.

m.
 
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When I am making a Mexican style rice (the yellow kind based on chicken stock ...never ever have I used /img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gif  tomato sauce in the TexMex style rice).

It is rinsed until the water is clear then browned in oil (with some fideo tossed in if I have any on hand) carrots and green peas and chopped sweet (Texas 1015's) onions added, covered and then baked.

mimi
 
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Then there's chinese congee, a comfort, healing staple. In its basic form just rice and water -a lot of water-, and a couple of hours simmering until it becomes a porridge.
 
I was taught to cook rice (as well as a few other dishes) by an Persian expat's wife (the husband was my mentor).

Obviously I don't do it this way every time but consider it a comfort food when I am throwing myself a pity party....if it is a 911 situation and have no time to cook I turn to eating ice cream out of the carton /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crying.gif.

As I am way too lazy today I will provide a link..... http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/persian-steamed-white-rice-em-chelo-em-51109800 .

The linked site has some other awesome recipes .

IMO a stew is not complete without a dollop of homemade yogurt.

mimi
I need to try this method.

Ah... and let's not forget the rice porridge from China: Congee.
 
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Congee is something that is eaten in Greece too.  Except it is only served when one has the stomach flu, I remember my mother making it for me when I had a tummy upset.  Very soothing.  And we don't call it congee, it's called Lapa.
 
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"Lapa". Noted. As far as i know, Congee is also used as a healing dish in China.
 
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"Lapa". Noted. As far as i know, Congee is also used as a healing dish in China.
Funny, we do kinda the same thing in France, we just don't have a name for it. You'd think we'd name it "suprême de riz à l'eau de chateau" or something fancy like that. But we just call it "rice water". So when you have a stomach flu, you boil rice with water and lots of salt and drink the salty white water. The rice itself is discarded. 
 
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"Lapa". Noted. As far as i know, Congee is also used as a healing dish in China.
Funny, we do kinda the same thing in France, we just don't have a name for it. You'd think we'd name it "suprême de riz à l'eau de chateau" or something fancy like that. But we just call it "rice water". So when you have a stomach flu, you boil rice with water and lots of salt and drink the salty white water. The rice itself is discarded. 
Same in Mexico altho they have it all the time.

A refreshing drink for the hot climate.

I don't really care for it but then again maybe I never had a good one.

mimi
 
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In Hawaii, Congee is referred to as Jook.

MMM, a nice big bowl of it on a cold, rainy, yucky day, 

very comforting indeed.  Loaded with fresh Ginger,

sliced Green Onions, Chicken or better yet Turkey.

There was a super small Dim Sum Shop next door to where I worked, 

they made it only when it rained.

I haven't made it in awhile, mainly `cuz I'm the only

one who likes it in our house /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif

Can't see makin' a big ole' pot for just me, but then wait...

Do you think it would freeze okay? HMMM 

Leftover Turkey coming up soon...
 
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When we make jook we just put it in the fridge and eat it for the next few days.  Always have to add water to it before nuking in the microwave though.  Always is jook/congee/rice porrage a comfort food or food for those 'I'm feeling yuky/upset tummy days' in our house:)

Oh and we do rinse the rice before cooking it... didn't think that took away from the stickiness though.  The rice comes out well sticky for us.  Parboiled rice though (can I say eww here?) will ever stay un-sticky.

Boots
 
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