Rice, one of the world’s most popular food, forms an essential part of people’s diets in America. But, seeing as this food is eaten worldwide, there’s no one way to cook it.
Some prefer to boil water before adding rice, while others might add the rice into the water and let it boil.
Candidly, either of these methods is fine; you don’t always have to boil water before adding rice. It is not one-size-fits-all.
Yet, many people argue that the way you cook rice should depend on the recipe or the type of rice you’re using. Will this idea always apply? Let’s find out.
Do you boil water before adding rice?
Yes, you can, but you don’t always need to boil water before adding rice.
Although there are many ways to cook rice, many rely on the generic boiling water before adding the rice method. I understand them because we, too, would continue to do something that gives us satisfactory results.
There’s an opinion among the rice enthusiast community that some rice cooking methods work well with specific types of rice, and they are not wrong!
Here’s what we mean.
The pasta method
If you’re cooking a large quantity of rice or one that takes a long time to cook, the pasta method is the best. Here, you cook the rice the same way you do pasta: boil water before adding rice. The pasta method uses any amount of water.
The classic method
This classic method is one many people are used to. Here, there’s a standardized measurement of rice and water, and you can add the rice to the water and bring them to a boil together or boil water before adding rice. The classic method often requires that the rice to water ratio be 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water.
The microwave method is suitable for short, medium, and long-grain rice. It often requires a 2:3½ ratio of rice to water.
Rice cooker method
The rice cooker method works well for any rice. The rice cooker method uses a 1:1 ratio of water to rice.
The pilaf method
Here, you toast the rice to bring out a delicious nutty flavor. The pilaf method requires you to bring the water to a boil before adding it to the toasted rice. This procedure is excellent for sweet-smelling types of rice like jasmine and basmati.
What happens if you put rice in water before it boils?
Nothing will happen if you follow the proper water to rice ratio.
Some believe that putting the rice in water and bringing it to a boil serves them better than the traditional boiling method before adding the rice.
If you put your rice in water before it boils, here’s what to do:
- Add some salt.
- Set the heat to medium and let it boil.
- When the rice/water begins to boil, reduce the heat so that they can simmer for about 20 minutes without stirring.
The best water to rice ratio
The best water to rice ratio for cooking rice the traditional way is two parts water to one part rice. However, different types of rice require varying water to rice ratios. Below is a tabular indication:
|Type of rice||Rice ratio (cups)||The ratio of water (cups)|
|Basmati or jasmine rice||1||1 ½|
|Sushi rice||1||1 ¼|
|Brown rice||1||2 ½|
How to make perfect, less messy rice – Working tips
- Rinse the rice in cold water.
- Measure the rice and water according to the required ratio (see above) and add them to a pot with a wide surface area.
- Turn the heat the pot on medium heat and let the rice and water come to a boil.
- Set the heat to low once it begins to boil, and let the rice simmer for about 18-20 minutes without stirring.
- off, cover the rice with a clean kitchen towel and make an airtight seal by lacing and pushing the lid of the rice on the kitchen towel. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
- Use a fork to fluff the rice afterward.
How to make white rice not mushy
Rinse your rice
The first and most important thing to avoid mushy rice is to rinse your rice before cooking. Giving your rice a thorough rinse about three times before cooking will get most of the outer starch out of the rice.
Follow the water to rice ratio
Ensure you get the water to rice ratio right always. You would see the ratio in the table we outlined above.
Leave the rice to rest
When the water in the rice has been absorbed, you may notice that the rice grains on top are firmer than the ones below. This isn’t an issue. What you need to do is:
- Turn on the heat, open the pot’s lid, and place a clean, folded towel over the pot.
- Place the lid on the pot and press it down to produce an airtight coverage.
- Leave it for about 15-20 minutes.
This cloth absorbs excess moisture that drips into the rice.
How to wash rice before cooking
- Pour the rice into a deep bowl and add enough cold water to cover the rice.
- Gently stir the rice in the bowl using clean hands (the water will turn milky and opaque).
- Allow the rice to settle at the bottom of the bowl and then drain with a mesh sieve.
Repeat this process at least three times
How long do you cook rice?
- A cup of white rice should take approximately 17 minutes to cook on the stove.
- One cup of white rice takes about 30 minutes to cook in a rice cooker.
- One cup of rice should take between 5 and 15 minutes to cook in the microwave depending on how high you set the microwave.
- It should take you 20 to 35 minutes to cook an oven-baked cup of rice.
How much salt do you add to rice?
Add a teaspoon of salt to every 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice.
How to know when rice is done
Rice is considered to be cooked when the grains are fluffy and less dense to chew. If your rice is still medium-hard, you might want to give it a few extra minutes to cook.
How to fluff rice with a fork
After sitting for five minutes, use a carving fork to stir the rice carefully for about a minute.
How to boil rice for fried rice
- Rinse the rice (see above) to remove excess starch.
- Add the washed rice to a pot or saucepan and add the required quantity of water.
- Cook on high heat till it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook till the rice starts to emerge above the water, then slightly open the lid over it as it cooks for another 5 minutes.
- After then, the rice should have absorbed the water; turn off the heat and close the lid properly, leaving the rice to rest for another 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it for fried rice.
How to cook rice the Asian way
- Measure your rice into a pot and rinse it with cold water a few times to get rid of extra starch.
- Measure the corresponding quantity of water needed into the pot of washed rice.
- Set your stove to high heat, cover the pot, and let it come to a boil.
- Turn down the heat when the rice starts to boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat when the 15 minutes are over and let the rice sit for another 5 minutes.
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I write about the intersection between evolutionary biology and food. I also talk about practical applications, sustainable agriculture, and general tasty things