I am a professional cook, and the number of times I have fucked up rice is beyond count, so I am making this guide in the hope that my mistakes will not be repeated. My mistakes were usually due to eyeballing the amount of water required, and not taking into account the different types of rice I was working with. Sometimes it would have some crunchy bits, sometimes it would be too mushy, either way the result was unpalatable.
The basic technique for cooking rice is pretty consistent regardless of the type; rice, water and salt are put into a pot, brought to a boil on high heat, then a lid is placed on the pot, the heat is lowered, and the rice simmers and steams for about 15 to 30 minutes and bingo, you got some rice.
But each type of rice has a different water ratio, and cooking time. If you have the luxury of a very advanced electronically controlled rice cooker, good for you, I’m jealous, have fun. But two things are always consistent, bring the water and rice to a full boil before lidding, and NO PEEKING, if you take the lid off a pot of rice before it is done cooking it is pretty much bitched, spank yourself, and not in a fun way. Trust the method, and only remove the lid when the rice is done.
These methods are presented in both a “ratio” format similar to bakers ratios(where each ingredient is represented as a fraction of the flour),except the measurements are in volume, because the average totsean has a scale, but it is not in the kitchen. And a also a recipe format. The ratio format allows you to scale for larger or smaller batches, the recipe format is intended for a 1.5-2 liter pot (about enough rice to feed 3-4 people), the “medium” size pot in your cupboard, not the pasta pot.
To cook rice in any quantity you will need a pot with a tight fitting lid, sealing in the heat once you have got the rice and water boiling is essential. I would say the maximum amount of rice that can be cooked on an average stovetop, on the big burner, caps out at about 5 litres, beyond that you will need a rice cooker, a big one, just make sure it is plugged in when you turn it on or you will have a fuckload of pissed off Korean tourists.
When the method calls for “rinsing” the rice; Take the rice and place it in a large bowl with water, enough to cover it, plus a couple of inches, stir the rice with your fingers for a few seconds and drain off the water by pouring the rice into a sieve. This takes off the surface starch that has accumulated from the rice granules rubbing against each other during transport, or in the case of whole grain rice, it removes any residual pesticides, or so you would hope.
Onward into the land of rice, I will do the most popular types of rice first. Recipes for things such as Risotto, Sushi Rice, and Rice Florentine, will follow in secondary posts.
Oh, and as for conversions from metric, for fuxxake U.S. get with it, your cell phone should have a handy conversion tool, all measurements are by VOLUME(not weight, regardless of reference to bakers ratios). But if you are at home looking at a bag of rice and a measuring cup; 250ml=1 cup(approx), 2.2 liters=1 gallon, you can figure the rest out. Your fudge factor is about 10%, and it will still turn out okay.
General method, unless otherwise specified; Rinse if called for, place rice and water in pot, turn stove element to maximum, pay attention. When the rice comes to a boil, put the lid on, and turn the element down to a little bit above it’s lowest setting. You may have to stand there for a minute or two lifting the pot off the burner to stop it from boiling over. When the RXN calms down, forget it exists for the amount of time specified. DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF AND CHECK IT. When the time is over, open the pot and enjoy your perfect rice.
Salt is mostly optional in rice, use sea salt if you decide to use it, I didn’t bother with a ratio for it, about 3ml for every cup of rice is adequate.
Converted rice, (Uncle Bens); Converted rice has been par cooked by subjecting it to high pressure steam. This does two things, it forces the minor amounts of nutrients in the rice bran into the starchy part of the rice, and essentially cooks the rice. It is then “hulled”, removing the bran and endosperm, and dried. Converted rice is basically idiot proof, all you need to do is cook it as per the directions on the box. The downside is that it has no character, and will not suck up any sauce you put on it. It works well with some foods because each grain will stay separate from the others. I don’t know if it is actually served in Mexico, but in Mexican restaurants in Canada it is usually spiked with some butter and paprika and served as a side along with refried beans.
- (100%)300ml Converted rice.
- (180%)570ml Water
- 5ml salt
- Cook time; 20 min
The most popular variation of converted rice is a converted rice/wild rice blend. In this case increase the water by 15%.
Long grain white rice; Whether or not your long grain rice has the Calrose name on it, chances are it is Calrose rice. This is a green revolution strain meant to increase yields, at the price of flavor and nutrition. When this strain was introduced to China, even though yields went up, and more of the grain was available, people developed symptoms of malnutrition. This is a reliable starch, but inferior to just about every other grain nutritionally. If you buy “rice” chances are this is the strain you are buying.
- (100%)300ml Calrose long grain. Rinsed.
- (180%)570ml water.
- 5ml salt.
- Cook time; 20 min.
Long grain brown rice; You have to be careful buying brown rice, it is not a fast moving item on grocery store shelves, and if it sits for too long the oils in the rice bran will go rancid, this is easily detected by smell. If you buy a package of brown rice and it smells like paint and ass, return it, and scold your grocer for being a cheap fuck that doesn’t rotate his inventory. Brown rice has a good “chew” factor, is filling in smaller quantities than white, and is all around a healthier choice than white. It just doesn’t groove with anything that has less texture than it. It is great with a veggie stir fry, not so much with fish or anything of delicate texture.
- (100%)300ml Long grain brown rice. Rinsed twice”
- (210%)630ml water.
- 5ml salt.
- Cook time; 30 min.
Medium grain Jasmine rice; My personal favorite for oriental dishes, unless you are doing something that really does not groove with the slightly floral scent of Jasmine. (like a Mexican or Indian dish) It is quite sticky, and this makes it an excellent base to toss a saucy stir fry on. And the smell will fill up your house with an exotic aroma that almost drowns out sweat and futility. There is less water in this method than usual, if you want to play it on the safe side add another 20%. But I like my Jasmine rice just right, firm, sticky, but it comes apart and is not mushy.
- (100%)300ml Medium grain Jasmine rice. Rinsed.
- (170%)525ml water.
- no salt
- Cook time; 17min.
Basmati rice; My least favorite rice. Good with Indian dishes due to it’s aroma, which to me seems a little like wet dog, but it has it’s fans. Basmati is usually hit with some Ghee(clarified butter), sauteed onions, and fennel seed before serving. To it’s credit, it is quite high in protein, and closer to the original strains of rice that eastern countries developed before the green revolution types took hold. I use it strictly for Indian, Pakistani, and Punjabi dishes. It is a good grain to cook in large batches as well, as it takes well to being boiled for a full half of the cooking process, then taken off the fire and left to sit in a clay pot, well sealed with a cloth liner to seal the lid, for the other half.
- (100%)300ml White basamati rice, rinsed 3 times.
- (200%)600ml water
- 5ml salt
- Cook time; 25 minutes.
Notes on short grain rice;
Generally, short grain rice is oval in shape, and, well, shorter than other strains. I will exclude Arborio rice from this guide at this point even though it is a short grain rice, because it is strictly for Risotto. Medium grain Italian rice also has an oval shape, and is useful in such dishes as Arancini, but not usually served as a dish unto itself. Such things as Risotto and Arancini will be covered in additions to this thread, along with sushi rice, etc.
White short grain rice; Is a sticky variety of rice commonly found in Korea and Japan. It is eaten plain and hot with an egg yolk and some pickles in Japan for breakfast, and as a side to such dishes as Beef Bulgogi in Korea. Short grain rice prepared properly for these dishes should be sticky, but not mushy, with each grain distinct and firm.Water ratios and cooking time are crucial to getting “perfect rice”, perfect rice is the first thing a Japanese chef learns, I hear it takes a year or so.
- (100%)300ml short or medium grain rice, not arborio, just small oval grains. Rinsed 3 times, until the water runs clear.
- (133%)400ml water.
- 3 ml salt
- Cook time; 18 min, pray it works, and your lid was tight.
Short grain brown rice; This is a staple food in my home, I love it, the texture is firm but not gritty like brown long grain, and I can use it with lighter dishes because it does not have an overpowering nature. This category also includes “red rice” which is also awesome, and black “forbidden rice” which is a short grain sweet rice, but has cooking characteristics in common with short grain brown.
- (100%)300ml short grain brown rice, or red rice.
- (200%)600ml water
- 5 ml salt.
- Cook time; 30 min
Wild rice is a good adjunct to rice, and you can include it in any converted or brown rice recipe, but it will not cook in the same time as white rice. Wild rice is actually a form of rye grain that grows in flood plains.
“my roomate just went to work”