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I've made chicken rice soup several times in the past and I've always ran into an issue of the soup coming out too starchy/thick because of the rice. Or in the worst case scenario when I added too much rice, the soup ending up looking like rice porridge.

Usually it isn't too much of a problem right after it's cooked. But after its been sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours, the issue becomes much more pronounced.

I recently had chicken rice soup at my work cafeteria and the rice grains seems fully in tact and the soup isn't overly starchy.

Is there a variety of rice that hold up better in soup where it doesn't disintegrate into a starchy mess? Or is there a preparation to help preserve the integrity of the rice grains?

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I've found that the most consistent way is to use short grain rice that is prepared much like it is in Indian cuisine. I was taught to rinse it repeatedly until the standing rinse water runs clear. That seems to remove most of the starch that causes that sticky breakdown.

Also, I've found that making rice soups in a slow cooker can be made less sticky by adding the rinsed rice after the other ingredients have settled in and become well heated. I've only dealt with this a couple times, so I definitely recommend experimenting if you prepare your soup in a slow cooker. Good luck!

  • Can you expand more on how short grain rice is prepared in Indian Cuisine. I thought long grain rice was the primary staple in Indian Cuisine. – Jay Oct 7 '15 at 18:46
  • Also I was always led to believe short grain rice released much more starch than long grain rice. – Jay Oct 7 '15 at 19:12
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    @Jay - there are several different kinds of rice used in Indian cooking. While long grained basmati is often preferred and might be considered the highest quality, it is not really the staple. There are many shorter grained rices used (sona masoori is a popular medium grained one). Also, there are multiple different cooking methods for rice, but it's true that usually in Indian rice preparation you do want to remove any excess starch that you can before cooking so that the grains will be separate and fluffy instead of clumping and sticky. – NadjaCS Oct 8 '15 at 3:32
  • My apologies, I wasn't very clear. I meant that it is useful to use the technique commonly used in Indian cooking for preparing rice. As NadjaCS suggests, the rice is rinsed repeatedly until the rinse water runs clear, to remove much of the starch. Doing this with short grained rice is quite helpful if the rice is going to be in soup. The way I do it is to put the rice in a strainer resting in a larger pot. Run water over the rice until it is submerged, swirling my fingers through it. When the water becomes cloudy, lift the strainer and pour out the water. Repeat until the water stays clear. – IntrepidSuccess Oct 10 '15 at 0:25

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