Knowing how to cook rice is a basic culinary skill. However, with several types of rice available today, it is important to learn the best cooking methods for each kind. From wild rice to basmati varieties, rice is a nutrient-dense food you can’t afford to have on your diet. Not only is it healthy, it is also low-glycemic, low-calorie and very tasty.
Types of Rice
Learning how to cook rice depends on the kind of rice you want to prepare. Some popular varieties include white, brown, wild and basmati rice. White rice is the most widely consumed. In recent years however, brown rice is becoming more popular for its nutritional profile. Wild rice is slowly gaining more attention for its versatility and basmati rice is loved for its wonderful aromas and flavors.
In addition to types of rice, knowing whether it is long grain or short grain is important. Long grain rice can be easily identified by its long kernel and pointy edges. Short grain, on the other hand, has a shorter kernel. Long grain varieties become fluffy when cooked, while short grain tends to be sticky. Knowing how to cook rice according to grain size and type can help you choose the right one for your dish.
Health Benefits of Rice
All the above-mentioned kinds of rice have high amounts of nutrients like fiber, phosphorus and potassium. You have to keep in mind though that some rice contains more nutrients than others. Brown rice, for instance, is very high in fiber and is good at preventing bowel and digestive problems. Wild rice has very high protein content and the fewest calories.
There are some nutrients that are present in all rice types. These include calcium to strengthen teeth and bone, manganese for lower cholesterol, iron to create blood cells and zinc to boost the immune system.
How to Cook Rice the Right Way
Rice, regardless of type, can be prepared the same way. The biggest difference is in the cooking time. Although rice can be baked, the easiest way to learn how to cook rice is by boiling. Here is a basic method that will work on all rice.
Measure 1 cup of rice to every 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water and add to a pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and cook rice until soft.
Alternatively, you can bring the water to a boil and transfer the hot pot into a preheated oven. Bake the rice at 375 F until the water has evaporated.
- White rice is done when it’s fluffy with a soft texture. Cooking time is 22-35 minutes.
- Brown rice is cooked when tender but with the capsule still intact. Additional water may be needed, which you can add towards the end. Cooking time is 28-45 minutes.
- Cooking time for wild rice is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- It is best for Basmati rice needs to be soaked in water for a couple of hours and cooked for 20-30 minutes.
Knowing how to cook rice of different kinds is very beneficial. Not only will you achieve the perfect texture, but you can also choose which rice goes best with your meals. Generally, long grains should be soaked before cooking and keep in mind that some rice grains are naturally firmer when cooked than others. Serve with soups and use in dishes like Spanish rice and rice pilaf. Enjoy.