Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Kitchen Lab Notebook: Rice Report

As an excuse to perfect my rice skills, I made lemon-oregano rice to go along with the chicken and vegetables last night. Rinsing the rice until the water ran clear was very helpful, and the rice turned out to be very acceptable, but not great. When I brought my rice and water to a boil, there was not the starchy bubbling over that generally occurs, so it seems pretty clear to me that there was a significant amount of loose starch nestled amongst the rice grains I was previously using.

As it was, I used 1 cup chicken stock and juiced 1/2 of a lemon into a measuring cup and filled it to 3/4 cup. I brought this mixture to a boil and then added my rinsed rice. Once the rice and water had come back to a boil, I reduced the heat and let the rice cook with minimal disturbance. After the rice looked acceptable, I fluffed it with a fork and added in 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano.

(It was a great pair with the rest of the dinner.)

My hypothesis is that the rinsed rice had a small amount of liquid adsorbed to it, so my liquid measurements were off. I will next reduce my liquid by a few tablespoons to see if this will completely alleviate the gluey rice problem. Other possible sticking points may be whether I add the rice to boiling water or bring the water and rice to a boil at the same time. I will continue to isolate these variables until I am satisfied with the results of my experiments.


At 6:40 PM, Blogger fiat lux said...

What kind of rice are you using? We use basmati, and rarely have problems with the rice being too gluey.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Sara E Anderson said...

Medium-grain rice is what I'm generally using. I'm not a huge basmati rice fan, and I certainly don't want to use it with everything. I am beginning to think of my problem here more as a curse than a problem with technique. I'm not quite ready to give up, but it's possible that I eventually will...

I also think that I need to try this without the lemon juice, which could be screwing with things.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger fiat lux said...

Well, even without going basmati, changing brands of rice might be worthwhile if nothing else works.

I doubt that the lemon juice is a problem. My food chemestry is a little shoddy, but lemon's acidic, I don't see how that would cause gooey-ness.

Oh, and my last $0.02 ... don't put the rice in before the water boils.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Jude said...

1. rinse rice 2-3 times in cold water. This is adequately washed even if the water does not go perfectly clear.
2.add water to rice and bring to a boil (for firmer rice use 1 1/2 times the water to 1 part water)
3.keep water and rice boiling, stirring periodically, until rice and water are at the same level. (this usually happens in a couple of minutes so watch close so as not to overcook the rice)
4. place lid on top of pan and reduce heat to lowest temp. setting on cooktop.
5. steam rice for the recommended cooking time

basmati -12-14 minutes
jasmine-20 minutes
japanese sticky rice- 20 minutes
brown rice- 20-30 minutes (variable time dependent on type of brown rice)
6. remove lid and fluff with fork

I get perfect results most of the time. I have a really great recipe for saffron coconut rice that goes really well with carribean/east indian spiced food.

let me know if I helped

....Jude's lovely wife


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