Are you tired of undercooked or overcooked rice? Maybe you missed some important tips while cooking. Here are the 5 super simple tips on how to cook perfect rice every time.
In many parts of the world, cooking rice is an intimidating process. Some say it’s like riding a bike for the first time, wiggling and falling off until you get the right balance.
It’s true! Unless you fully understand the principles of cooking your main ingredient, that is the only time you will learn how to cook it expertly.
Rice is actually tasteless and spongy yet why are we so hooked up with this grain? I know a lot of people who cannot eat dinner without rice.
Whatever your reasons may be, rice is the only food you can easily eat with almost anything!
If you are not familiar with rice history and varieties, you might be surprised to learn that there are more than a hundred types. What we see at the groceries are just popular choices.
White rice is the most common grain we cook and eat. You can make a lot of recipes using this type from fried rice down to rice pudding, and even rice flour!
But how do you cook rice flawlessly? Is there a science behind it? Here are the 5 super simple tips on how to cook perfect rice every time.
#5 Get To Know Your Grains
Like what I suggested earlier, white rice is the easiest to cook among all the varieties so we’ll focus on this.
White rice has several sub-categories and characteristics too. We have short-grain, medium, and of course, long-grain white rice.
Now, each of this size has several more varieties based on its origin.
You may have heard of Arborio rice from Italy, Basmati rice from India and the Middle East, Japonica rice, Jasmine, Sticky rice, and many more.
Normally, what we buy in the supermarkets range from these types.
To ensure that you get a quality grain, you may consider the following factors:
- Packaging must be tightly sealed and labeled
- Grains should not be broken
- No discolorations
- No presence of dust, dirt, and mites
What you can do is to focus on quality brands that have been trusted in the industry over time. There are also local brands that sell quality rice.
Make sure that you also buy enough amount based on what your recipe calls for. Otherwise, you can store the rest of the rice grains in a sealed container.
To avoid contamination, store your rice in any of the following:
- Heavy-duty freezer bag
- Rice Container Bins
- Rice Dispensers (for bulk storage)
- Food-grade buckets
While storing your rice in any of these containers above, you may optionally add some oxygen absorbers to seal its freshness.
If your rice is cooked, you can store it inside the fridge for about a week, but the best time to reheat and re-use it is after 1 day old.
You may also keep it in the freezer and it will last for about 6 months or so, but then again, consider this before cooking your rice.
You can easily tell if the rice grains went bad when it has changed its original color and insect infestations. Another thing to note is the smell, if it doesn’t smell normal, you can discard the grains.
#4 Washing Is a Must
After purchasing your rice, what you can do next is to prepare and cook it for your next meal. The very first thing you must do is to measure the desired amount of rice to be cooked.
Say, you will be cooking a cup of white rice for dinner. One cup of uncooked rice doubles its size when cooked. This can already be good for two people.
However, before you toss the grains inside the cooker, make sure to wash it under running water.
Rice grains that came overseas have undergone shipping stresses like rubbing against each other. This then tends to make the rice more starchy when cooked.
So to avoid getting starchy rice, rinse it properly before cooking.
Most people actually tend to skip this part and just head over to adding water and cooking it right away. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended that you wash your grains thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Washing ensures that no extra starch gets in the way along with dirt and dust that might cause issues to people with sensitive tummies.
Unless of course, you are using a “No-wash” or “Musenmai” rice. This is a Japanese technology which no longer lets you wash the rice.
They already pre-washed the grains before cooking and making sure all the nutrients are still intact and sealed. No-rinse rice is different from the regular white rice we buy at the groceries, make sure to check the labels before heading out to the counters.
#3 Measure the Right Amount of Water
Now, this is the make or break part, the water ratio. I was also a victim of mushy rice before until I finally understood that each grain variety has its own unique water intake.
Generally, there is a 1:1 water ratio, some say it’s 2:1, or 2 parts water to a cup of rice, but then it might end you up with either an overcooked or undercooked rice; especially when you are using long-grain white rice.
- You need at least 1 and 3/4 cups of water over a cup of long-grain white rice
- For short-grain white rice, you need a cup and 1/4 of water when cooking a cup of rice
- A cup of medium grain white rice needs 1 and 1/2 cups of water
This measurement may vary depending on the cooking method you will be using. If you use a rice cooker, you might need to use the measuring cup included in the box. Remember that most rice cooker measuring cups are quite smaller than the standard.
#2 Don’t Forget to Fluff the Rice
Dry rice is actually boring to eat and mushy rice is…. never mind. 😀 The second to the last tip I will share with you is the secret to having a fluffy bowl of rice.
Usually, when the rice is cooked, we tend to just let it sit there until we are ready to devour it. However, this is a critical period.
While your rice is resting, run a fork over the rice and fold them gently. This is to allow the steam to flow through all the grains.
After fluffing them with a fork or spatula, let it rest for another 3-5 minutes before serving. You will notice that your rice grew a little fluffy compared to the usual flat and boring texture.
#1 Cooking Method
If talking about the super simple tip on how to cook rice, I strongly recommend using a rice cooker over any other cooking methods. And this is the final tip I will give.
I find rice cookers more convenient and efficient more than the traditional stove-top method. But hey, it all depends on your preference.
What I’m emphasizing here is the ability to cook rice at the same time while cooking your dish to partner with. You can sometimes cook your food along with the rice.
Such food I’m talking about is steamed salmon or chicken with veggies on the side.
You simply toss everything in and place them on a rice cooker steamer and put it on top of the cooker while the rice is cooking.
Apart from that, I tried a lot of rice cooker recipes and mind you, they’re just as great! 😛
More About Rice Cookers
Let’s get a little more informative on a specific rice cooker that’s been making positive waves in the world of kitchen equipment and even online.
Among the many rice cookers out there, I find Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 a bit special because of its neuro-fuzzy logic technology. Imagine cooking with a device with artificial intelligence added, surely cooking will be a breeze.
We have covered mainly the special features of this rice cooker such as its ability to cook different kinds of rice:
- Regular white rice (added option for sushi rice, softer or harder)
- Sweet rice
- Brown rice
- ‘No-rinse’ rice
- And more…
But how does this rice cooker do all the cooking? Find out!
Science Behind Zojirushi NS-ZCC10
Imagine cooking Basmati rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, and sushi rice in a week. You’ll certainly get dizzy on remembering each method for cooking each type. Just one wrong move and you mess up.
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 is perhaps the best-selling rice cooker today because of the many advantages it offers compared to the conventional cooker. It is even recommended by top chefs worldwide.
Apart from its Japanese origin, this rice cooker brand is something to look up to in terms of its technology. This specific model is equipped with a microchip that empowers it to regulate the temperature and the cooking time to deliver perfect rice every time.
This model was particularly designed for everyone who simply loves eating rice and cooking. From its design, you will get:
- A detachable lid for easy cleaning
- Spherical inner cooking pot for even heat distribution
- Stay-cool side handles for safety
- Spatula, a spatula holder, and 2 measuring cups (one for regular rice, and the other for rinse-free)
Pros and Cons
Say goodbye to burnt rice with Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Logic rice cooker. Unlike traditional cookers where it only turns on and off, this microchip enabled rice cooker stands out because of its modern design and futuristic technology.
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of this rice cooker:
- Cooks different rice types perfectly
- Adjustable timer
- Cleaning is a breeze because of its non-stick pot
- Retractable cord for easy transport
- Allows versatile cooking
- Perfect for beginners
- Cooks longer than regular cookers due to its neuro-fuzzy elements
- Quite expensive than the conventional cookers
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Recipes to Try!
Its neuro-fuzzy logic technology does not just apply to rice cooking. In fact, you can cook a lot of other recipes in this rice cooker. Here are some dishes you can try!
- Baked Mac n’ Cheese using the brown rice setting
- Seared Scallops
- Sponge cake
- And many more…
You see the list just goes on, on what you can cook in this rice cooker. Check out this video from the manufacturer itself!
Bonus Tips after Tips!
Once you have fully understood the essence of rice cooking, it will come naturally. However, apart from the 5 important tips, I shared above, here are some minor tips you also need to ponder!
- Do not check or open the pan when cooking on stove-top every minute. Let it cook and wait until the water boils completely and have subsided before turning the heat down low.
- You are free to add flavors to your rice if you wish. Butter or oil, and herbs and spices are a few options.
- Never stir your rice while cooking. As I said, you can only fluff it with a fork or spatula once it’s cooked.
Did you get some leftover rice? Toss them in the rice cooker and press the keep warm button. Or, if you are like me, this event calls for fried rice! No one can refuse a bowl of fried rice.
Why Is it Worth Buying Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Rice Cooker?
There are so many good rice cooker models out there but when it comes to function, feature, and convenience, Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 rice cooker has it all.
Why? Because it matches every household needs whether you are a beginner or already an expert. Its neuro-fuzzy logic technology sets it apart from the rest of the cookers out there.
What’s more? You will certainly get quality rice all the time plus it is energy-efficient! With all the features and advantages already mentioned, is it worth buying Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 rice cooker? Definitely!
Don’t be intimidated with rice cooking. I was also scared to try it at the beginning, but here I am, getting more creative with every leftover rice I have!
Rice is a staple all over the world and it seems that everyone must actually know how to cook it. All you need are these 5 super simple tips and you are on! In regards to rice cooking, if you feel more comfortable with using a rice cooker, go ahead, explore your choices such as considering a modern rice cooker.
You only need to remember your rice grain, water ratio, washing, cooking technique, and fluffing it at the end. Come on, you can be an expert in no time!