Plain rice

plain rice

Cooking plain rice like this by the absorption method (steamed rice) is I think the most straight forward way, it results in perfect rice every time as long as a couple of steps are followed.  I was trying to explain this method over the phone to my oldest daughter and it became clear that explaining how to do it was far more complicated than showing how simple it actually is to make.  Once you’ve mastered this method you’ll easily add the water by eye, no need to measure.

Notes:

1 – Before covering the rice make certain it’s at the right stage of having the slight bite.

2 – When making large quantity you may have to extending the resting stage by a 2-3mins.

3 – When cooking large quantities it’s better to use larger pans in order to stop the rice on the bottom from over-cooking while the top layer is perfectly cooked.

4 – If the rice is left for too long before being eaten it will carry on cooking and therefore over-cook.

5 – Basmati rice is the best for flavour and texture when making plain rice like this, but the American long grain white rice will also cook well.  For brown rice you need to extend the cooking times and therefore increase water amounts.  Stay away from sticky rices which are the short fat grain varieties unless wanting to particularly cook sticky rice for a recipe.  I use this method for sushi rice.

6 – For leftover rice; cool, cover and refrigerate.  It’s perfect for stir-fry rice.  Will also re-heat well in microwave, sprinkle a little water and cover with clingfilm before microwaving for 1-2mins.

7 – Use papertowels to cover rather than teatowels if your teatowels are washed with normal clothes where fabric softener is used because, as I discovered, the steamed rice will take on the taste of the fabric softener!

rice 1

This recipe is for two servings or one very generous portion (difficult to make less than this).  Add a little over half a mug (heaped 1/2 cup / 140ml) of rice to the smallest pan you have.

For a family of five I use a generous mug full of rice (heaped 1 cup).

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Add water to cover the rice generously, along with the salt.

The water should come up above the rice a generous amount of 1cm (1/2 inch).  If you want to measure the water the rule of thumb is twice as much water (by volume) to amount of rice you have.

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Bring the rice to the boil and then turn the heat down so that the rice boils away in a calm boil rather than in a vigorous boil.

If boiling too vigorously it will run out of water before it’s ready for the next stage.  If this happens add a little water when you come to cover it.

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At this stage (above) the rice is nearly ready for the next stage, it’s starting to form little volcano holes.

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When the water subsides below the surface of the rice and creates little holes through which it irrupts steam that’s the right time to cover it.  It should take about 5mins or so to get to this point.

At this point the rice should not be far from being fully cooked.  If you test eat some it should have a small amount of bite to the grain, almost ready.

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Put a papertowel over the pan to cover the rice and place the lid of the pan tightly over.  You’re making a good seal to stop steam escaping as much as possible.

WARNING: if the papertowel hangs over the sides of the pan too much tuck the ends in otherwise they can catch fire, so many times this has happen to me.

Put the pan on the smallest ring you have and turn heat down to the lowest.  Leave it like this for 2 mins, put the timer on, it’s so easy to over estimate.

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When the 2 mins timer goes off take the pan off the heat.  Do not lift the lid.  Leave it covered to rest for another 3 mins.

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After the resting period the rice is ready.

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When lifting the lid on the rice, gently stir the rice so that the bottom rice layer comes away from the bottom of the pan stopping from over-cooking.

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Plain steamed rice
Author: 
 
Ingredients
For one serving:
  • 140ml / just over half cup white basmati rice or white American long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 280-300ml water
For family serving (4-5 servings):
  • 250ml / 1 cup generously filled white rice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 500ml / 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Add the rice to the pan along with the salt and water.
  2. Bring the rice to the boil and then turn the heat down so that the rice boils away in a calm boil rather than in a vigorous boil.
  3. When the water subsides below the surface of the rice and creates little holes through which it irrupts steam that's the right time to cover the rice. At this point the rice should not be far from being fully cooked. If you test eat some it should have a small amount of bite to the grain, almost ready.
  4. Put a papertowel over the pan to cover the rice and place the lid of the pan tightly over. You're making a good seal to stop steam escaping as much as possible.
  5. Put the pan on the smallest ring you have and turn heat down to the lowest. Leave it like this for 2 mins, put the timer on, it's so easy to over estimate. When the 2 mins timer goes off take the pan off the heat. Do not lift the lid. Leave it covered to rest for another 3 mins.
  6. After the resting period the rice is ready. When lifting the lid on the rice, gently stir the rice so that the bottom rice layer comes away from the bottom of the pan stopping from over-cooking.