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Old 01-27-2012, 01:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Do you cut down on the amount of water if you soak the brown rice first?
Not that I've noticed, but I think I also use a little different ratio of rice to water than some of you. I've seen a couple people in this thread mention using 1 part rice to 2 parts water. I vary the amount of water depending on the type of rice.

For brown rice, I soak 1 cup for an hour in cold water, then drain and rinse it. Then I add 2 1/4 cups water and cook until all the water is evaporated, which can take 40-50 minutes. So maybe I'm adding a little more water and cooking it longer. I should add I don't like rice al dente, or with a lot of "chew", unless it's going to be used for a salad.

Now if I'm making a white rice like basmati, I do it a little different. I soak 1 cup of rice for 30 minutes, and wash and rinse it well. The stuff that makes the water cloudy is starch, and by washing off the starch you get rice that doesn't clump together near as much (nicer for Indian and Middle Eastern type dishes). Then saute the rice in a little oil about 5 minutes before adding 1 1/2 cups water. Cover, cook over very low heat until the water is evaporated.

I do the same as you and make up larger batches about once a week, which I then refrigerate to use with meals throughout the week. I haven't tried freezing, though. I will have to give that a shot.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #32
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I also saute my rice in a little oil before cooking, I like the results. I've never done a soak though, I do rinse.

Basmati and Jasmine are about the only white rices that I cook now. If you go to an Asian market, they usually have great prices on it compared to the grocery store.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:58 PM   #33
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I am with you Steve. I don't like al dente anything. I hate veggies that are barely steamed. I want to be able to get my fork into them. I hate eating at a restaurant and have to pick my veggies up with my hands because I can't get my fork into them.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:34 PM   #34
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Pretty clearly there are a lot of ideas of what people think steamed long grain white rice should be like. The brand distributors obvious think it sounds nice to say it's "fluffy," which I take to mean all grains cooked dry but distinctly intact and not sticking together at all. I don't like it "fluffy" and want it somewhat softer and "forkable." And if it's going to be placed in a bowl before or after the soup goes in, I want it of a consistency that a mass of it will scoop up and hold its shape.

The medium grain rissoto rices need to be able to cook for a time in liquid and still have separate grains, and they're left al dente so they don't clump. The "sticky" part leaves the rice and thickens the liquid.

Tonight, I'm making black rice to get a third night out of some chicken sausage soup because we ran through the cornbread the first two nights. It's soaking right now, because it needs plenty of cooking time anyway. I want to order some South Carolina heirloom gold rice and try it.

I sometimes see a modified rice cooking directions, typically, combine 1 part rice with 4 parts water and simmer for 30 minutes, drain, and leave covered for 15 more minutes. Anyone tried that?
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #35
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The most important elements of cooking any kind of rice are (1) use a pot or pan with a tight fitting lid, and (2) cook it over the lowest possible heat, just enough to ensure production of the steam that cooks the rice.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:10 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
The most important elements of cooking any kind of rice are (1) use a pot or pan with a tight fitting lid, and (2) cook it over the lowest possible heat, just enough to ensure production of the steam that cooks the rice.
I'm not convinced about the tight fitting lid. Or, maybe we define that differently. I don't think the lids on my enamelled cast iron pots fit tightly, but they make perfect brown rice. I have no idea about white rice. I have never cooked it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:12 PM   #37
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Thanks for all the advice! I really can't afford a rice cooker, so I'll stick to the old fashioned way. But, its still good to hear advice from all sides! (:
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #38
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I'm not convinced about the tight fitting lid. Or, maybe we define that differently. I don't think the lids on my enamelled cast iron pots fit tightly, but they make perfect brown rice. I have no idea about white rice. I have never cooked it.
A tight fitting lid keeps the steam in. Steam is what cooks the rice. Thus the term "steamed rice." If the steam escapes then the cooking method is compromised. With less steam the heat from below becomes more of a factor, and that direct heat is what toughens and burns rice.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #39
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I get great results using the directions on the package, in a pot! It's pretty much the same as Taxlady's TNT method. Love brown rice.

As much as I love gadgets, not sure I could find the space for a rice maker.
I'm with you, I just follow the directions on the package and never had a problem!


I used to have a rice cooker but it ended up breaking. I loved it for steamed vegetables and rice but not everyone wants or has room for it. I can definitely live without it but if I gain one again I won't complain.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:43 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
A tight fitting lid keeps the steam in. Steam is what cooks the rice. Thus the term "steamed rice." If the steam escapes then the cooking method is compromised. With less steam the heat from below becomes more of a factor, and that direct heat is what toughens and burns rice.
Yeah, I understand your theory. Did I mention that my rice comes out perfect?

I just don't want anyone to be too deterred from trying to cook brown rice if the lids on their pots aren't all that tight fitting. Yes, you want them snug, but do they have to be tight? And, as mentioned before, maybe we are just arguing about the definition of "tight fitting lid".
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