Ask the ex­perts:

Our food ex­perts Fran Ab­dal­laoui and Pamela Clark ex­plain the best meth­ods for cook­ing rice.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - Contents -

cook­ing rice to per­fec­tion

Rice is a ver­sa­tile grain and to cook it per­fectly re­quires just a few sim­ple rules. All rice is long-grain, medium-grain or short-grain. Within th­ese three types, there are many vari­a­tions – brown, white, red, black, fra­grant, sticky, creamy-cook­ing, firm­cook­ing and more – that all take slightly dif­fer­ent times to cook. Long-grain Cooks to give sep­a­rate, fluffy grains ideal for pi­lafs, sal­ads and most savoury dishes. Medium-grain Slightly more clingy than long-grained when cooked. Ideal for cro­quettes and for eat­ing with chop­sticks. Spe­cial va­ri­eties, such as ar­bo­rio, are used for risotto and other dishes. Short-grain Cooks to soft, moist grains that cling to­gether, per­fect for pud­dings and sushi.

Cook­ing meth­ods

Boil­ing This method keeps the grains sep­a­rate, but can taste a lit­tle wa­tery. Bring a large saucepan of slightly salted wa­ter to the boil. Add rice, stir once, then boil gen­tly, un­cov­ered, for about 8 min­utes. The rice should be ten­der but not mushy. Drain be­fore serv­ing. Ab­sorp­tion uses an ex­act quan­tity of wa­ter and re­tains the flavour of the rice. Rinse rice in a sieve un­der cold run­ning wa­ter, run­ning your fin­gers through the rice to help dis­lodge the sur­face starch un­til the wa­ter runs clear. For 1½ cups (300g) un­cooked white or brown rice, bring 3 cups (750ml) wa­ter for white rice or 3½ cups (875ml) for brown rice to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, then the rice. Re­turn to the boil; cover with a lid. Re­duce heat to very low. Cook white rice for 10 min­utes and brown rice for 30 min­utes. Re­move from heat; stand cov­ered for 10 min­utes. Fluff with a fork. The pan must have a tight-fit­ting lid for this method to work. If the lid is loose, seal the saucepan with foil or wrap the lid in a tea towel to pre­vent the steam from es­cap­ing. Mi­crowave Place 1½ cups (300g) of rinsed white rice in a medium mi­crowave-safe dish. Pour over 2 cups (500ml) of cold wa­ter and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for 12 min­utes. Stand cov­ered for 5 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

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