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Cooking Rice

Cooking tips for the caring cook.

Cooking Rice


Successfully Cooking Rice

  • Whether you soak rice depends on time and tradition. The reasons for soaking rice are to shorten the cooking time of the rice, and to allow for maximum expansion of long-grain rice, particularly basmati.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to each quart of water used to cook rice. The grains will stay white and separated.
  • If you freeze wild rice it will last three to four months compared to a week in the refrigerator.
  • After cooked rice has cooled in the refrigerator, transfer it to plastic freezer bags in quantities needed for future meals. Label with the date and quantity.
  • Cooked brown rice can be stored, covered tightly, in a shallow container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 6 months according to the USA Rice Federation.
  • Perishable cooked foods, such as rice, shouldn't be left at room temperature longer than 2 hours total time.
  • To prepare rice ahead of time, cook as directed, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Place a dish towel over rice before covering -- this will prevent sticky rice.
  • To avoid stickiness in rice, add a few drops of lemon juice to the rice while cooking, you will find that the grains of rice will remain separate.
  • To prevent scorched rice, use a heavy pan so the bottom of the rice won't burn. A heavy-bottomed pan will insulate food and evenly distribute the heat.
  • For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per quart of water. To add extra flavor and nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables.
  • Brown rice may be used instead of white rice in many recipes. It tastes especially good in salads, stuffing, stews and vegetarian dishes.
  • If cooking rice seems like too much fuss and an uncertain outcome, consider trying a rice cooker.
  • When using rice, keep in mind that 1 cup of uncooked long-grain white rice makes 3 cups cooked.

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Ready for That Perfect Rice?

  • Keep the lid on the pot while cooking rice to prevent loss of steam.
  • Use the correct size of cookware -- rice will triple in volume.
  • Avoid stirring rice while it is cooking. This releases starch and makes the rice sticky. Another tip, if more separate grains are desired: Saute rice in a small amount of butter or margarine before adding the liquid.
  • Test for doneness at the end of the cooking time. Cook 2 to 4 minutes longer if the rice isn't tender or the liquid isn't absorbed. If the rice is crunchy, it may be necessary to add more liquid before cooking longer.
  • At the end of cooking, fluff the rice with a fork. This allows the steam to escape and helps keep the grains separate.

Did you know?

Pouring Cream of Wheat on an anthill kills the ants. Each ant eats a tiny grain of wheat, which expands in its stomach, causing death by bloating. You can also try using uncooked rice, which, once eaten by an ant, swells its stomach causing it to burst.

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