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I work long hours and my commute to work is about 2 hours long, when I get home, I basically grab a bite to eat and sleep.

Recently though I have learned to cook a big portion of a meal to last me through the whole week. This way I can eat healthy instead of going to Chicken Zone (my local fried chicken shop).

I have a couple questions with regards to Rice:

  1. How do you cook it perfectly (each and everytime) so that its softness is 'just right' and each grain is not stuck to the other? I use a Gas Cooker/Oven and my rice is Tilda Basmati.
  2. How can I safely store it in the fridge to last a week?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Sometimes, it's easier to just switch starches -- couscous, orzo and rice noodles cook faster than rice; bulgar is about the same time, but requires less attention. – Joe Sep 3 '14 at 15:54
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    Also, consider getting a new job. Work to live, not live to work! – ElendilTheTall Nov 12 '15 at 12:36
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Don't put it in the fridge, that makes rice hard. Pack it in individual servings (sandwich or snack sized zipper bags are great for this) and put them in the freezer. When you reheat the rice (microwave or boil in the bag), the rice will be almost as good as freshly made.

See: Safe to wash rice the night before and leave overnight before cooking?

And: Rice gets burnt and watery - Basmati is just the same (should usually be rinsed though).

  • Thanks Jolenealaska I'll try that. Any tips on cooking it perfectly? – J86 Sep 3 '14 at 11:00
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    @Ciwan Yep! cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/41235/… Basmati is just the same, you probably should rinse it first. – Jolenealaska Sep 3 '14 at 11:57
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    I store rice in the fridge frequently. It gets hard, but it softens up nicely when I microwave it with a bit of added water. – mrog Nov 12 '15 at 20:58
5

Rice cooker

Rinse the rice once or twice.

  • Jasmine - add a quarter to a third cup more water than rice.
  • Basmati - add half to three quarters more water than rice.

When the cooker is done, wait 15 - 20 minutes. Then using a paddle that came with your cooker, gently push the rice from the edge of the cooker bowl, to the centre. The rice should come away from the bowl cleanly. Go around the bowl to fluff the rice.

In a pot over gas

Same water measurements as a rice cooker. You need to keep a watch on it to make sure you don't over cook it. Use a low to medium heat. About 30 minutes of cooking. Then wait as with a rice cooker before fluffing the rice.

Steaming

Inside a bowl or pyrex container and then placed in a steamer. I find I can get away with not rinsing using this method.

  • Jasmine - equal amounts of rice and water.
  • Basmati - add a quarter to a third more water than rice.

Takes about 30 minutes, but handles over cooking pretty well.

This is generally better for small servings, but due to the fool-proofness of this method, it's useful.

Storage

I find storing in the fridge is fine for up to a week. I just let it cool and put it in the fridge. The rice does become hard, but if you cover the rice when you microwave it, it's fine. It's also good to make fried rice.

3

One way to make it stay texturally good when stored in a fridge, then reheated, is to prepare it a bit further, eg by making simple pilafs (coconut or saffron rice are... here you start with uncooked rice!), fried rice, tadka'd rices (eg lemon rice) from it ... all these methods coat the rice with a bit of oil or sauce so it cannot cement itself into big chunks. Just do not season these preparations in a manner too aggressive or complex, and do not overload them with mixins, if they are meant as a canvas for another dish.

1

For rice cooking directions, there are many standard rice recipes on the net. Tilda themselves provide a whole chart of cooking times based upon your rice variety at http://www.tilda.com/our-rice/cooking-basmati-rice. I agree with the poster above that if you're a regular rice eater, a rice cooker is the best choice; you'll save time, frustration, and quite a bit of money on the gas bill!

As to storage, I'm a huge fan of using wide-mouth Mason/Ball jars; I make sure the jar is very clean, put the rice in when it is just finished cooking (using a canning funnel makes this much easier), and put a lid on it immediately. The very hot rice cools down in the jar and creates a strong seal on the lid.

I usually leave it on the counter (or ideally outside in the cool air, or in front of the air conditioner or a fan) for the first ~30-45 mins of cooling so as not to stress out my fridge, and then put it my refrigerator once it's cool enough to touch with bare hands.

It'll keep for at least a week, and with no loss of moisture or worries about plastic leaching into your food. I do the same thing with soups, stews, stocks, and wet curries, and they keep in the fridge without spoiling for a very long time (2+ weeks) this way, so long as you put them in a sterile jar and seal them while the contents are still near-boiling in temperature.

  • I bet you would have even better luck with that if you put the jars in the freezer instead. – Jolenealaska Sep 3 '14 at 18:05
1

We keep rice in the fridge for around a week without incident. I generally agree that freezer may be better, but for our use fridge has been fine (and we have limited freezer space!). I haven't had a problem with the rice going bad or making me sick, and I've done this dozens of times over the last year.

The key is to add water to the rice when reheating it; about a tablespoon or so, then keep a microwave-safe lid on (or other steam-containing cover) and heat until quite hot and the water all dissipates either into the rice or steam (2-3 minutes for a 1.5c pyrex bowl for me in the microwave).

As far as cooking it, now that I've tried it, there is only one acceptable way to cook rice for me: in a pressure cooker. Some rice cookers have pressure cooker options (particularly asian imports). This is why we cook a lot at once: we cook 4c dry rice with 5c water or so, and have a week or so's worth of rice (two dinners and a few lunches) in around half an hour. Rice in a pressure cooker is much fluffier, has less problem with bad sticking (you can make 'sticky rice' if you want, but it will be good sticky not bad sticky, even and consistent rather than in clumps). It also tastes better (though some of that might be the small amount of oil or butter you need to add to prevent foaming!).

1

We tend to cook 2-3 cups of rice and keep the unused portion in the fridge. But it rarely lasts longer than a couple of days. Although, I'd throw it out if it was a week old.

I highly recommend getting a pressure rice cooker. It cooks rice perfectly every time, doesn't make a big mess, and most (if not all) models have a programmable timer so you can set it to start cooking at, say 4:30, and it's ready when you get home. Normally that's not necessary if you're just cooking white rice, which takes 15 minutes to cook. But brown/mixed rice can take much longer.

This is the one we have:

rice cooker

Source: My wife is Korean.

0

it is not a good idea to save cooked rice for later use. Raw rice normally contains B. cereus which is not killed at normal cooking temperatures and will continue to germinate in the cooked grain at temperatures over 10C. See: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/science/science-in-focus/foodborne-illness-pathogens/bacillus-cereus#.VAcyUWBdVYM I'm sure Tilda Basmati rice cooks in less than 20 mins, only slightly longer than it may take to heat up the rest of the meal.

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    Your linked resource simply recommends cooling the rice down below 5C within a total of 6 hours. So simply refrigerating (or freezing as other answers have suggested) helps avoid this hazard. I don't think anybody is suggesting keeping your cooked rice out on the countertop. – logophobe Sep 3 '14 at 17:39
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    Indeed, the normal food safety standards cover all foods equally, the ones which spoil easier and the ones which spoil harder (so people won't have to guess). Everything cooked is safe for 3-5 days in the fridge, so rice can last through a workweek. Also, B. cereus is one of the noticeable spoiling bacteria, you'll smell it if you have a colony going on. – rumtscho Sep 3 '14 at 20:31
  • Basmati cooks in 13 minutes actually, when cooked in a pot, and also in less than 20 in an average rice cooker - but it needs to rest (preferrably 30-60min.) in the pot after that for good texture. Alternatively, you can presoak it before cooking, but that doesnt reduce the shelf-to-table time. – rackandboneman Nov 12 '15 at 11:58
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There is a such thing as premade rice. It can be found at a local Asian market (which are all over the place but need to be looked for). If you're in a pinch these bad boys cook in 1-2 minutes. http://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Korean-Instant-White-Rice/dp/B00066DGHC

0

Commercial sushi producers are known to sometimes use a special sugar called trehalose to improve the palatability of rice that will be stored a while - it is nowadays available to the end user in some localities, you might want to experiment. Note that this does not improve the safety of the stored rice.

  • This should have been an edit, added to your original answer to this question, rather than being posted as a new answer. – Cindy Mar 13 '17 at 17:00

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