Boiled rice is starch or filler-food.
rice per person
water per person
spoon for stirring
ten minutes to cook, and a few minutes afterwards
- See below for comments. Cooking rice can cause problems!
- Measure out the right volume of . Many kitchens have a known cup or glass, where you fill it or fill to a mark, for a certain number of people. I use a measuring jug. You may prefer to use more, or less, rice for yourself. Put the rice in the saucepan.
- Add twice the volume of water. Cover the pan.
- Set the timer for ten minutes.
- Put the heat up high until boiling. Then stir the rice and water once, to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Put the saucepan lid back on, and turn the heat to minimum.
- After the timer has gone off, remove the pan from the heat. Look inside. Try tasting a single grain to check that it's cooked. If it is, and if the rice is dry but not stuck to the bottom (this is unlikely to happen), then it's ready.
- It is more likely that the rice is still slightly sloppy, and the rice is cooked, then leave it for a bit (you DID turn off the heat, didn't you?) The rice carries on absorbing the water, and ends up dry. It doesn't stick to the bottom, since you turned off the heat.
- If the rice is dry, cooked and stuck to the bottom, you can retrieve the situation (as long as it isn't too badly burned. Burned rice tastes horrible!) Add a little water and scrape away at the bottom until as much as possible comes off. If it has become cold, then put on the heat for a very short time to warm up, stirring. Then remove from the heat and lave, to soak up the rest of the water. Next time, add a bit more water than I said.
- If it is not quite cooked and still sloppy, then my cooking times are wrong for your pan, your cooker, and your amounts of water and rice. Carry on cooking, and try to adapt the times for next time.
- If it is not quite cooked and dry, add more water and carry on cooking. Adjust the recipe for next time.
- If it's burned, oh dear! You might be able to spoon up some unburned but cooked rice, and use that. If not, throw it in the bin, cook some more (keeping an eye on it this time) or use some Nan bread instead.
- Every description of cooking rice seems to assume it's very simple. It isn't! The reason is that you know how to do any dish that you cook regularly (or you give up cooking it!) One problem with rice is that the normal method cooks it until dry, which is a risky thing to do.
- The type of rice is important. This recipe assumes white long grained rice. There is an especially good rice for boiling, called basmati rice, which is easy to get now. Short grained rices behave differently to long grained rices, so don't get them muddled up! You can use brown rice, but it will take longer to cook, and be chewy. There are also 'easy cook' rices and 'quick cook' rices. I suggest you read the instructions on the packet in those cases.
- I have given the timings that work on my own cooker, with my own saucepan, and using the amounts that I normally do (for 2-3 people). When you adjust this for your own equipment and needs, try to work it out so the rice is slightly (but not too) sloshy at the end of the boiling process. It does carry on absorbing water when off the heat, and this gives you some leeway for your other cooking. Dry rice is seconds away from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and minutes away from burning.
- Please note that I set the timer before the rice boils, not afterwards. The timing is important, and it's another thing that you may need to adjust. f you don't have a timer, and don't trust yourself to keep looking at the clock, then check the rice from time to time. You can't do this without lifting the lid of the saucepan, and that lets out steam, and so water, from the rice. So you might need to start with more water to allow for this.
- This is plain boiled rice. You can add other ingredients. You can fry an or in the saucepan, then add the uncooked rice and water on top, cooking them all together. You can use instead of water. However, be careful. Plain boiled rice is a good contrast to whatever you eat it with. If you make it too fussy, then it may not go with the main dish.
- You can also add frozen peas. Put these on top of the water and uncooked rice before you start cooking the rice, and they will be cooked by the time that the the rice is done. They add some cheerful colour, and a little nutrition.
© Jo Edkins 2007 -