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For me, the perfect rice is whole, loose and flavorful. To get that result, there are a number of techniques. As the flavor depends on the broth used, let's take that out of the equation.

I'm looking for a 'fail-safe' method so the rice won't pass, without using preprocessed rice.

At this moment, the method I'm using most is Rice Pilaf. This yields a good result, but it's not fail-safe. It's possible to either under or overcook the rice.

So, the question is what variables are important and how do I adjust these to the rice I'm using?

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Also depends on the recipe... you don't really want loose rice if you're cooking, for instance, risotto or sticky rice! –  nico Aug 4 '11 at 8:29
    
"Simplest"... Minute Rice in the Microwave. –  Cos Callis Aug 15 '11 at 18:07
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@Cos, we're talking about cooking here :) –  BaffledCook Aug 15 '11 at 21:20

8 Answers 8

up vote 11 down vote accepted

My foolproof method is as follows:

  1. Weigh out the desired amount of rice - I use 2-3oz per person - and put it in a saucepan.
  2. Wash the rice well by filling the pan with cold water, tipping it out, and repeating about 10 times. The more you wash the less the rice sticks together.
  3. Put enough water in the pan to cover the rice by about 5-8mm. Leave to soak for 25 minutes until the rice grains have turned opaque white.
  4. Put the saucepan over a high heat, uncovered, and bring to a boil. Boil until the water has evaporated and the surface of the rice is dotted with small holes. Turn off the heat. Cover tightly: if the lid isn't a tight fit, place a piece of foil on the pan, then put the lid on.
  5. Steam for at least 15 minutes.

The beauty of this method is that it doesn't matter how long you steam the rice for once it's past the 15 minute minimum - in fact, the more it steams the better it is, especially if you have added spices or flavourings to the water.

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I'll give this method a try and comment here. –  BaffledCook Aug 4 '11 at 14:16

The easiest way to get your "perfect rice" would be to use a rice cooker.

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OK, without a rice cooker :) Basic method –  BaffledCook Aug 3 '11 at 20:51
    
For this to be a useful answer to OP's question, you should enumerate the process by which a rice cooker cooks perfect rice. –  overslacked Aug 3 '11 at 20:51
    
i'll echo Thursagan. just get a rice cooker -- there is no other way i've found that is as foolproof. as for enumerating the process by which it's better, i have no idea. i consider it magic. but if you want rice that fits your qualifications, seriously... get a rice cooker. –  franko Aug 3 '11 at 21:05
    
Sorry all you need to do is wash the rice (to get rid of the starch)and then put half a cup more water than the amount of cups of rice like: –  CarrotDestroyer Aug 3 '11 at 21:06
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@franko: This is a site about culinary skills and techniques. Saying "buy this piece of specialized equipment that does it for you" really isn't a good answer to any question here, at least not without a proper explanation of the principles on which it operates and why it's difficult to recreate with conventional tools. –  Aaronut Aug 3 '11 at 23:33

Although we might have the perfect method, and the foolproof equipment, all of this boils down to one: The perfect method and the foolproof equipment, is operated by a mistake-ridden organism, namely, man. There's no way you can get a foolproof rice, unless everything was done by a machine, namely, a rice-cooker.

You want flavour? This is my favourite:

Measure out the rice
Put in tea. (For the total number of cups of rice used, add an extra half litre of water e.g. 5 cups, 5.5 litres, 6 cups, 6.5 litres etc.)
Mix in butter
Cook in a ricecooker.

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My way for basmati rice:

  1. Don't wash the rice - it's already clean and you don't want to lose the flavour or make it it wet or it won't absorb the oil.

  2. Measure 1 cupful for 2 people.

  3. Put a small splosh (1/2 tbs) of oil (or butter or ghee) in the pan and heat through. Add flavourings (eg cumin etc) at this stage, and then rice, stirring until well coated with oil.

  4. Add 2 cups (same cup size as rice) cold water, salt to taste, and bring to the boil. Stir.

  5. Cover and simmer gently for 12 mins and check done-ness. Should still have a little 'bite'.

  6. Turn off heat, cover with clean dish-cloth, and replace pan lid. Leave 10 mins.

  7. Serve. Can leave a bit longer without heat or transfer to an oven at 80 deg C for up to an hour or so.

  8. Enjoy. Hope this helps.

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Personally, I cook my rice in a pressure cooker. But I like medium grain, sticky, and moldable rice.

You want "whole, loose and flavorful". So cook it like pasta. You want to use a large pot, a dash of oil, and an excess of salted water. Cook, stir, cook some more, taste to check for doneness, and then drain with a mesh strainer, and put in a pan or wok to stir-fry with whatever flavorings you wish to use.

(I'm thinking caramelized onions, bacon bits, and turmeric for a bright yellow color)

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Basic recipe ingredients:

  • 1 cup Persian rice
  • 2 cups boiled water
  • 1/2-2 spoons olive or canola oil
  • Salt, pepper, ground garlic, etc. per taste

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan
  • Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes
  • Add water, salt and spices
  • Bring to boil then reduce to lowest heat and cover for 20 minutes
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving

Variants:

  • Basmati rice is similar but should be rinsed first
  • Using whole rice is similar but needs longer cooking times - wait until all the water is soaked - and will benefit from more ingredients (see below)
  • Using chicken stock instead of water
  • Adding turmeric or paprika for taste and color
  • Adding 1/2-1 cup green peas, cut Green beans, Zucchini cubes, and/or baby carrots (frozen are ok)
  • Adding 1/2 cup red lentils and paprika - the lentils dissolve and give a special flavor and texture
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+1 for the method, thanks. –  BaffledCook Aug 15 '11 at 13:59

Got from a Spanish cookbook.

Wash the rice and cook it in a lot of water as if it was pasta.

When it is cooked to your preference, pass it over a strain and cool down letting water run over the cooked rice.

Then, when you need to serve, melt some butter, your preferred seasoning and quickly mix in the rice until at desired temperature.

I use this recipe when i have to do rice for more than 6 people. It is much safer.

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Interesting, I'll give that a try once. –  BaffledCook Aug 15 '11 at 21:23

Put 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water into a pot with some salt. Bring it to boil and turn the heat down to the lowest possible. Put The lid on. When the water is gone your rice is ready :)

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