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I have several sauce pans and a 3qt saucier. I was thinking about buying a rice steamer, but thought maybe I can save some money.

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  • What do you mean by Asian style? Like for sticky (glutenous) rice? – Jolenealaska Apr 29 '17 at 9:29
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A Google check says that P.F. Chang's serves steamed jasmine rice. Jasmine rice doesn't need a steamer at all, just a saucepan with a lid. Like the steamed rice method here: Rice gets burnt and watery.

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  • I feel that it should be obvious, but to be safe: for "Asian" style rice, do not add oil or salt. – kitukwfyer Jan 16 at 12:44
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.... I will actually disagree a little with the great Jolenealaska here. I've found that the single most important thing when making rice is to follow the package instructions. The answer she links to is a solid technique. That's how my mom has always done it, and people are always amazed at how well it turns out. But I got obsessed with kimchi just in time for the hallyu wave a few years ago and I experimented altogether too much with rice.

.....and to reiterate the comment I left above, never add butter or salt to cooking rice. For me it ruins the flavor. I'm all grown-up with two opposable thumbs. I'll get butter if I want it lol. But usually I don't.

If your rice needs to be rinsed, it should say so in the cooking instructions on the package. (Barely add enough water to wet all the rice and you'll be able to get most excess starch off quickly. You'll have to rinse it 3 or 4 times at least.)

I rinse rice by default now. My mom makes fun of me, but she doesn't think the rice turns out badly at all.

Some varieties of rice call for soaking before you drain completely, measure out the water, and cook. Others don't call for a soak, but do expect you to heat the rice with the water just to a simmer.....While you can cook these using Jolene's method, they might not be as fluffy. It's a subtle difference though.

I've also had rice that came out markedly better on the stovetop than it did following rice cooker directions, and vice versa. I can't tell you why, but it's something to be aware of.

All of which is to say that if your rice doesn't turn out right the first time, you can try different techniques and also try different rice.

There are also tons of general techniques that are completely different from Jolene's that are worth looking into. This site for example...looks promising? I might try it just to see how my own medium grain rice turns out:

https://thewoksoflife.com/how-to-steam-rice/#:~:text=Place%20in%20a%20steamer%20filled,at%20least%205%20more%20minutes.

The ratio for long grain rice to water is 1:1.3. The instructions say to soak your rice for at least 10 minutes. Place the rice and water in a heat proof bowl, then place that bowl in a cold steamer. It says specifically not to preheat. Then turn the heat on to high for 20 minutes with the lid closed, heat off, and let sit for at least 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

I don't have a commercial steamer either, so what I'll do is put down a cheap vegetable steamer tray in my big pot and set my bowl on top of it. You might be able to rig something workable with metal cookie cutters or silverware as well.

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