Rice Two Ways

Rice is a staple in many households. There is much discussion over whether brown or white is better, so I leave it to your taste. My preference is brown.

Long grain rice tends to want to maintain individuality. Short grain rice tends to want to stick together. Sticky rice really is sticky, and great for sushi. Jasmine rice and Basmati rice have a little different flavor. Arborio rice is best for risotto.

All rice cooks essentially the same: 1/2 cup rice per person to 1 cup of water. The freshness of the rice will determine whether you need a little less water, or more; you can drain off the excess, if needed, or start with a little less and add more until the rice is tender.

Prepare the rice. Short grain brown rice will make a stickier rice; if you cook extra, you can add milk to it next morning for breakfast. Long grain brown rice is more usual.

Measure out 125 ml (1/2 cup) rice per person; rinse to get rid of dust and excess starch, and pick out anything non-rice.

(Note that some countries add talc to the rice to kill pests, and keep rice from clumping. When in doubt, rinse until the water runs clear. Talc is very bad to ingest.)

Put into a saucepan with almost twice the amount of water (this will vary with the rice; experience will tell you, so just watch over it); bring the rice and water to a boil on the stove, and then turn down to simmer for about 30 minutes (it could take 45 minutes). Sometimes the rice will need a little extra boiling water near the end, so check it: if it looks dry but the rice is still too chewy, add water, a tablespoon at a time.

When the rice is tender, take it off the heat and leave the lid on; let it stand for about 5 minutes (longer is fine). Then use a fork to lightly lift and fluff the rice to make it perfect! Serve.

Two ways…? Well…

You can make a stove-top “rice pudding” (known in my family as “milk rice”) by adding the same amount of milk as the water above (or make that a mix of coconut milk and water), and cooking it a while longer at a much lower temperature. Stir it often! It will want to stick to the bottom of the pot. This is where that wood spatula shines.

When thick and pudding-y, serve hot or cold with your fave toppings. Mine is brown sugar and cinnamon. You could add butter. You could top with yogurt and berries. You could add raisins part-way through the cooking. There’s no egg in this, so it’ll keep a few days in the fridge without problems… unless you eat it all at once!

I take a shortcut: I cook enough rice for dinner -plus- enough for milk rice. The “leftover” rice gets a second cooking with milk for breakfast or dessert the next day. Cook once, eat twice!




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