Cooking MethodsThere are a few ways to cook rice.
- On the stove. I've heard this is incredibly temperamental and is easy to screw up.
- Baked in the oven. I haven't tried this method, but I hear it's pretty fool-proof.
- In the microwave. Growing up, I used to make rice in the microwave in a large/deep glass casserole dish with a glass lid, that turned out really well, but would sometimes overflow the container and spill starchy water all over the glass turntable. Ugg, a total pain to clean up. Here's my recent experience making rice in the microwave, what a failure!
- In a rice cooker. Ever since I got a rice cooker (small generic one, then upgraded to large Zojirushi). I love the rice cooker, all you need to do is press the button and it takes care of everything else.
5 Tips When Making Rice
- Rinse It.
Start out by rinsing the rice off a couple times before you add the proper amount of water. Rinse it until the water is pretty much clear. The first few rinses where the water is cloudy is all the starch and impurities washing off. This helps ensure you will have soft, fluffy rice in the end and not a heavy clod.
- Make Extra.
Since regular white rice takes about 30 minutes to cook (50 minutes for brown), make a bigger batch than you normally make. You can have a couple different rice dishes during the week like a fried rice, rice-crusted quiche, curry, jambalaya, etc. If you don't have any plans for rice in the next few days, see #5 about freezing the leftovers.
- Add Seasonings.
Season the rice if you know you're going to use it for something specific. Using chicken stock instead of water is a good move for any regular savory recipe, but also think about herbs or seasonings that will complement your other dishes.
- Let It Be.
After the rice is done cooking, let it stand a bit, maybe 7-10 minutes. Usually I'm too impatient for that, I open the rice and let all the steam out and then it ends up sticky. Be patient.
- Freeze Any Leftovers.
I've heard that refrigerated changes the rice to a crystalline structure, which is why it turns out weird and not very good when you put it in the fridge. My Korean friend WooJin taught me to put rice in the freezer for better leftovers. To reheat it, add a splash of water and cook it for a few minutes in the microwave. Even freeze extra rice when you get Chinese food and plan to eat it again the next day. The rice will taste better frozen and then reheated rather than left in the fridge and reheated.