How to Cook
Cooking Rice Is Easy
Every young Asian girl knows how to cook this simple dish. It is a staple in households across the orient seas. It is so common that people tend to overlook the beauty of its culinary tradition.
With technology nowadays, cooking rice is no longer a chore. If you have a rice cooker or a microwave oven, you can let these machines do the job for you. It’s pretty convenient for busy people.
How To Cook Rice
Whether you use a rice cooker or cooking it traditionally, you only need to do three steps to cook rice.
Wash – You need to soak the grain with water and drain to remove the excess starch, or else you will be eating mushy rice. Ideally, you will need to rinse the rice twice, but it also depends on the quality of the grains.
Boil – You could either boil the water first before adding the rice grains or cook them together. Add a pinch of salt to give it some taste. You can also add some aromatics like star anise for an extra punch.
Simmer – This step allows the rice grains to absorb the water and expand. Make sure the pot is tightly covered while cooking rice to keep it from getting mushy.
- Classic Method – This method is famous in the Philippines. You cook the rice by boiling it in water. You will have to master the right timing and measurements to perfect this method. It’s the perfect method for cooking long-grain, white rice.
- Pasta Method – That’s right. If pasta is for Italians, rice is for Asians. You can also cook rice in the pasta way. You will benefit much from this method if you’re not confident about your measurements. It is ideal when you are cooking brown rice.
- Pilaf Method – Here’s a rather exotic way of cooking rice. It is a popular method in India, Mexico, and the Middle East. To do this, you first sauté the rice with oil or butter before adding water and bringing it to a boil.
After cooking the rice in any way you choose, you need to do one final step before serving the dish on the dinner table. You must have heard some famous chefs talk about this. They tell you to fluff the rice. It means poking the cooked rice with a fork to separate the grains. Then, you can season it and add garnish to make a presentable dish.
How To Cook White Rice
As mentioned, rice is like pasta for Asians. It works as a base for cooking delicious dishes. You will find many tasteful rice recipes in Asian cuisines. Italians also have their famous risotto, and the Spaniards have paella.
Think of risotto. This traditional Italian rice dish is also another method of cooking white rice. It’s a pretty tedious dish to make. You will need both hands to cook it.
- 4 cups chicken stock
- a tablespoon vegetable oil
- three tablespoons butter (divided)
- one medium shallot (about 1/2 cup or 1/2 small onion; chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth (or dry white wine)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley (chopped)
- Kosher salt (to taste)
1. Simmer the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Keep it heated while cooking the risotto.
2. Sauté shallots or onions with oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until slightly translucent.
3. Add the rice and briskly stir until the grains are well coated. Sauté until you could smell a slight, nutty aroma. Make sure not to burn the rice.
5. Pour in a ladle of chicken stock and continue stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process for 20 – 30 minutes or until the grains become tender but not mushy.
6. Stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, Parmesan cheese and, parsley. Season with Kosher salt to taste.
While Italians are quite picky on the type of rice you use for making risotto, you can still try making your own with a different rice variant. Rice variants that are high in starch make great substitutes for Arborio rice when making risotto.
How To Cook Brown Rice
Whether you’re cooking brown rice or white rice, the method is practically the same. You only need to change the measurements. Instead of a 2-is-to-1 ratio, which is ideal for white rice, you will need a lesser amount of water with brown rice. Martha Stewart shares her brown rice recipe on her website.
How To Cook Basmati Rice
You probably have heard of chicken biryani. It’s a popular South Indian dish made with long-grain rice. You can use Basmati rice when making this savory, Indian dish.
1. Place the rice in a bowl and rinse well with running water by gently swirling it with your fingers.
2. Soak the rice with one cup of water for thirty minutes, drain and set aside.
3. Add 5 cups of water into a deep pan and place it over high heat. As the water starts becoming hot, add all the spices.
5. Gently stir with a spoon or fork.
6. Continue cooking uncovered over high heat.
7. Remove the pan from the heat when the rice when it is about 75 percent done.
8. Drain or rinse gently with water to stop the rise from cooking.
9. Gently fluff and set aside to prepare your biryani.
If you want to read more about how to cook rice or cooking in general, you can do it here.
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