If you’re tired of ending up with mushy or burnt rice, there are a few simple tricks that can help you cook perfect regular rice every time. Whether you’re using a pot on the stove or a rice cooker, the key is to get the right balance of water and rice, and to let it cook at the right temperature for the right amount of time. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of cooking regular rice and some tips for getting it just right.
What Type of Rice Should You Use?
Before we dive into the specifics of how to cook regular rice, it’s important to understand the different types of rice available on the market and which ones work best for cooking regular rice.
This type of rice has long and slender grains that stay separate and fluffy when cooked properly. Long-grain rice is perfect for dishes like biryanis and pilafs. Basmati rice is a popular long-grain rice that adds an aromatic flavor and fragrance to the dish.
Medium-grain rice has a slightly sticky texture and is perfect for dishes like sushi. Short-grain rice is a popular medium-grain rice that works well for making rice puddings, risottos, and paella.
Short-grain rice has a sticky texture that makes it perfect for dishes like sushi and rice pudding. Arborio rice and Calrose rice are types of short-grain rice that work well for making risottos.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Before cooking regular rice, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment to ensure a perfectly cooked batch every time. Here are the essential tools you’ll need:
A Pot or Rice Cooker
To cook regular rice, you’ll need a pot or rice cooker to hold the rice and water. A pot is the most affordable option and can work just as well as a rice cooker. However, a rice cooker is a more convenient option as it will automatically cook the rice to perfection.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
To ensure your rice cooks properly, you’ll need the correct ratio of rice and water. Measuring cups and spoons can make this process easy and accurate. You’ll need a one-to-two ratio of rice to water, so one cup of rice will require two cups of water.
After cooking your rice, it’s important to remove any excess water remaining in the pot. A strainer can be helpful in this process and will also help fluff up the rice grains.
A Wooden Spoon or Rice Paddle
When stirring or serving your rice, it’s best to use a wooden spoon or rice paddle. These tools will prevent the rice from becoming too sticky or mushy and will help keep the grains separated.
How Much Water Do You Need?
One of the most important aspects of cooking regular rice is getting the water to rice ratio right. Too much water and you’ll end up with mushy, overcooked rice. Too little water and your rice will be undercooked, firm and hard to swallow.
The Standard Ratio
A standard ratio for cooking rice is 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. This ratio works for most types of rice and it’s easy to remember. It consistently produces fluffy, tender rice that’s great for any dish.
A Different Ratio for Different Rice
However, different types of rice will require different ratios of water to rice. Let’s look at a few popular types of rice and the ratios that work best:
- Long grain white rice: For long grain white rice, use a 1 Â¾ water to 1 cup rice ratio.
- Jasmine rice: Jasmine rice requires slightly less water than long grain white rice. Use a 1 Â½ water to 1 cup rice ratio.
- Basmati rice: Use a 1 Â½ water to 1 cup rice ratio for basmati rice to get the perfect texture and flavor.
- Brown rice: Brown rice requires more water than white rice due to its bran coating. Use a 2 Â¼ water to 1 cup rice ratio for perfectly cooked brown rice.
What Cooking Methods Can You Use?
Regular rice is a staple ingredient that can be versatile and often a go-to option for many meals. Here are three methods to consider when cooking regular rice:
The stovetop method is a classic way of cooking rice and is ideal if you want to cook rice in large quantities. Here’s how you can cook rice on a stovetop:
- Rinse the rice in cold water to remove any debris or excess starch.
- Take a medium-sized pot and add 1Â½ cups of water for every cup of rice.
- Bring the water to a boil and add the rice.
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the rice to cook for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes before uncovering it.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Rice Cooker Method
The rice cooker method is a simple and convenient way to cook rice. Follow these steps:
- Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add the rice to the rice cooker and add 1Â½ cups of water for every cup of rice.
- Close the rice cooker and turn it on.
- The rice cooker will automatically switch off when the rice has finished cooking.
- Let the rice sit for about 10-15 minutes before fluffing it with a fork and serving.
The microwave method is a quick solution to cooking rice when you’re in a hurry. Here’s how you can cook rice in the microwave:
- Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
- Put the rice in a microwave-safe dish and add 1Â¾ cups of water for every cup of rice.
- Cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave it on high for 10-12 minutes.
- When the rice has finished cooking remove it from the microwave and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
The cooking method you choose will depend on your personal preference, the time you have available and the type of rice you are cooking. Using these methods, you can cook perfect regular rice every time.
How Do You Season Regular Rice?
Regular rice doesn’t have to be bland and boring. With the right seasoning and technique, you can turn this simple grain into a delicacy that complements any dish. Here are some tips and tricks to make your regular rice more flavorful and exciting:
1. Use Stock Instead of Water
If you want your rice to be more flavorful, consider using stock or broth instead of water. Stock gives the rice a richer taste and adds a layer of complexity to the dish. You can use any type of stock you like, such as chicken, beef, or vegetable. Just make sure to adjust the amount of seasoning you add to the rice based on the saltiness of the stock.
2. Add Aromatics
Aromatics are ingredients that add flavor and fragrance to a dish, such as onions, garlic, ginger, and herbs. To add more flavor to your rice, sautÃ© some aromatics in oil or butter before cooking the rice. This will infuse the rice with their flavors and make it more interesting. You can also add aromatics directly to the rice while it is cooking, such as bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary.
3. Spice It Up
If you like spicy food, you can add some heat to your rice by using chili flakes, hot sauce, or diced jalapeÃ±os. You can also add a pinch of cumin, coriander, or turmeric to give the rice a warm, earthy taste. Just be careful not to add too much spice, or it might overpower the dish.
4. Experiment with Seasonings
Seasonings are what give your rice its unique taste. Besides salt and pepper, there are many other seasonings you can use, such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. You can also use different types of salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt, for a different flavor. Be creative and experiment with different combinations of seasonings until you find the perfect match for your taste.
5. Mix In Ingredients
If you want to take your rice to the next level, mix in some ingredients to give it more texture and flavor. This could be anything from vegetables to protein to nuts. For example, you could add diced carrots, peas, and corn to your rice for a colorful and nutritious side dish. Or you could mix in cooked chicken, beef, or tofu for a hearty main course. You can also add toasted almonds, cashews, or sesame seeds for a crunchy texture.
What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid?
When it comes to cooking regular rice, the process seems simple enough. Rinse the rice, add water, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer until cooked. However, even with the simplest dish, there are potential pitfalls. Here are some common mistakes that can ruin your rice and how to avoid them:
Using the Wrong Ratio of Water to Rice
The most common mistake when cooking rice is using too much water. The ratio of water to rice should be 1:1.5, meaning one part of rice to one and a half parts of water. Too much water will result in mushy and overcooked rice. On the other hand, too little water will lead to unevenly cooked or undercooked rice.
Skipping the Rinse
Rinsing rice may seem like an unnecessary step, but it can make a big difference in the texture of the finished dish. Rice grains contain starch, and rinsing helps to remove the excess starch and any impurities. Skipping this step can leave your rice with a gummy or gritty texture.
Not Letting the Rice Rest After Cooking
After the rice is cooked, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the rice to finish cooking and also distributes the moisture evenly. If you serve the rice immediately, it may be undercooked and crunchy.
Lifting the Lid Too Often
While the rice is cooking, resist the urge to lift the lid and check on it. Every time you lift the lid, the steam escapes, and this can affect the cooking time and the texture of the rice. Only remove the lid once the cooking time is up and let the rice rest before serving.
Using the Wrong Type of Pot or Pan
The type of pot or pan you use can affect the final result of your rice. Non-stick pans or pots with thin bottoms can cause the rice to stick or burn. A heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid is the best choice for cooking rice. It allows for even heat distribution and prevents the rice from sticking.
Stirring the Rice While It Cooks
Stirring rice while it cooks can cause the grains to break and release excess starch, which can make the rice sticky. It’s best to leave the rice alone while it simmers and only fluff it with a fork once it’s cooked. This will help to separate the grains and yield perfectly cooked rice.
Thanks for reading!
We hope this article has helped you in cooking the perfect regular rice every time. Just remember, the ratio of rice to water is important and make sure to let it rest before serving. With these tips, you can impress your family and friends with your amazing homemade rice dishes. Don’t forget to visit our website again for more cooking tips and recipes.
Cook Perfect Regular Rice Every Time
- 1 cup regular white rice
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp salt optional
- 1 tbsp butter optional
- Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water (and salt and butter, if using) to a boil.
- Add the rice to the boiling water and stir.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it simmer for 15-18 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.