If you’re trying to stretch your food dollar, there are few ingredients that will serve you better than white rice. White rice is cheap, filling and delicious. It’s also easy to make, just follow a few simple steps and you are guaranteed success.
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Does rice need to be rinsed before cooking?
There are two schools of thought on this subject. One is to rinse the rice to remove the starch powder on the surface that could cause it to become gummy and sticky. The other argues that rinsing “enriched rice” removes most or all of the nutrients that are added during processing.
What is enriched rice? Enriched rice is coated with various nutrients such as iron, niacin, thiamin and folic acid that were lost during processing.
So, should you rinse your rice? It’s really up to you. The best way to rinse rice is to add it to a large, mesh strainer and run it under cold water until the water runs mostly clear.
If you need more or less rice
Adjusting the recipe for rice to make a little, or a lot is easy. The water to rice ratio for long grain white rice is 2 to 1. For each cup of rice you add 2 cups of water. For example:
- 1 cup of rice add 2 cups of water
- 1½ cup of rice add 3 cups of water
- 2 cups of rice add 4 cups of water
You get the picture. Just make sure to use a pan that is large enough to accommodate the increased amounts and remember to increase the amount of salt. I usually do 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup of rice.
Tips to make great rice
Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of cooking white rice.
- Bring the water to a boil before adding the rice.
- Do not over stir to avoid sticky, gummy rice. Stirring activates the starch, the more you stir the stickier it will get. Resist the temptation!
- As we mentioned earlier, you can rinse the rice prior to cooking to remove some of the surface starch. I usually don’t rinse my rice. I’ve never seen much of a difference from rinsing, but test it out for yourself.
- If you’ve ever had a thin layer of rice burn on the bottom of the pot you know it gives the rice an unpleasant “smoky” taste and makes the pot really hard to wash. Avoiding this is easy, just don’t crank the heat. Once covered, let it cook on low heat. Raising the heat will not make it cook faster; it will only serve to burn the rice and make a mess out of your pot.
Alright, let’s make some rice! This recipe will make approximately 4½ cups of cooked rice which is about 6 servings.
- 3 cups Water
- 1½ cup Long Grain White Rice
- 1½ teaspoon Salt (we use kosher salt)
How to cook white rice
Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
Once the water is boiling, add the rice and salt to the pan. Stir to break up any clumps. Lower the heat to medium when the water comes back to a boil.
Leave the pan uncovered and continue simmering until most of the water has cooked out and the rice can be seen on the surface. This will take approximately 7-10 minutes. Stir the rice only 1 or 2 times just to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. At this point the rice should still have a “soupy” consistency but should not sink to the bottom when stirred.
Give the rice one last good stir; lower the heat to low and cover the pot.
Cook for 25 minutes or until done. Do not stir the rice after it’s covered. Fluff with a fork and serve.
What can you do with plain white rice? Here are a few ideas:
- Combine rice with other ingredients and completely transform it, like in this bacon fried rice.
- Serve rice in soup. If you need a little inspiration, try this Cuban-style beef soup.
- Use rice as a bed for your favorite meat or vegetables. Try this beef and broccoli, pollo en salsa or chicken fricassee over white rice.
- Serve white rice with these homemade Cuban-style red beans for a nutritious and filling meal.
- 3 cups Water
- 1½ cup Long Grain White Rice
- 1½ teaspoon Salt we use kosher salt
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
- Once the water is boiling, add the rice and salt to the pan. Stir to break up any clumps.
- Lower the heat to medium when the water comes back to a boil.
- Simmer the rice, uncovered until most of the water has cooked out and the rice can be seen on the surface, approximately 7-10 minutes. Stir the rice only 1 or 2 times to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom.
- At this point the rice should still have a “soupy” consistency but should not sink to the bottom when stirred.
- Give the rice one last good stir; lower the heat to low and cover the pot.
- Cook the rice for 25 minutes or until done. Do not stir the rice after it’s covered.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.