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Lesson 44. How to cook rice

Best thing: Buy a rice cooker.  Many are available at your local thrift shops and online. 

Next best thing: Learn how to make rice on the stove top. 

Rice has to be steamed to cook. It needs about 20 minutes of steaming to become tender. There has to be enough water in the pot to steam the rice until fully cooked so as not to burn the bottom of the pot. Also there should not be too much water in the pot so which would leave water behind after it's done. Though this is rarely a problem. 

The amount of time and water needed depends on the size of your pot and the heat of the stove. Only you know that. If the pot is narrow, the water will evaporate at a certain speed. If the pot is wide, the same amount of rice and water will evaporate quicker than it would in the smaller pot. The heat of the burner also has an influence on how quickly the water evaporates. Generally, small amounts of rice and water don't cook well. That could be because there's so little water to cook the rice. If you steam 1 tablespoon of rice you'll need enough water to steam for 20 minutes. Same is true if you steam 1 cup of rice. Clearly there are many moving parts.

Do you see why general instructions don't work? Only you know the size of your pot, the amount of water, the heat of the burner. You'll have to experiment making rice using your favorite pot. This pot has to have a tight fitting lid. A pot with a diameter of your hand or a little bigger is a good one to try. 

White rice takes about 20 minutes to steam cook under the right conditions. You have to work on providing the right conditions. Brown rice takes about 50 minutes to steam. 

So you have to have enough water to be seeping up into the rice and also simmering for either 20 or 50 minutes to make those rices. 

Here are the general rules for steaming white rice.

1. We never wash our rice though I see many recipes where people are using a lot of precious water to do that. That's a personal decision you can make.

2. Use a half cup or more of rice (anything less than 1/2 cup just won't work)

3. For every part of rice, use two times that amount in water. 

4. Add salt if you like.

5. Bring pot to a boil.

6. Turn heat down to a low simmer (for steaming).

7. Cover with tight-fitting lid.

8. Check in about 20 minutes (40 minutes for brown rice). If rice still not cooked, add a little more water. Put lid, check in about 5 minutes.

9. Once down, turn heat off. Keep lid on until you serve it.

Take notes along the away and keep tweaking the amount of water and your procedure. Use the same pot and burner every time. Eventually you'll find the magic trick. 


These two videos show the process pretty well. 

We never rinse our rice.