In the Kitchen‎ > ‎Basics‎ > ‎

Rice

I'm still a little surprised that i need to make a page about rice, but i've been shocked one too many times by people who still think it's okay to boil rice in water like spaghetti and then run it through a strainer.  It's not okay!

I also thought it would be useful to have a good guide for making sushi rice here, because that is actually a little more advanced, and doesn't follow the regular rules of rice.  So without further ado:

Basic Long-Grain Rice

The key to remember here is that there's a simple volume ratio of water to rice, no matter how much you're making: 2:1.

There are no extras you need to add, but if you're worried about it boiling over, add just a small dash - a half teaspoon or so - of olive oil.  You can add a little salt if you like.  With some recipes, i like to add a couple of eyedropperfuls of cardamom essence or a handful of green cardamom pods, especially when cooking Basmati, which is really one of the only rices worth cooking. 

2
[blank]s
cold water
1
[blank]
rice


(optionally):


salt


olive oil


cardamom essence
  cardamom pods
  • Put two [blank]s of cold water into an appropriately-sized vessel with one [blank] of rice.
  • Turn heat on high and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat way down, cover, and let simmer for 7 minutes.
  • Do not remove the cover for any reason.
  • Turn off the heat, but still don't remove the cover!
  • Let stand for an additional 10 minutes.

Other Types of Rice

The above recipe works well for most other types of rice as well, with a few minor adjustments:

Brown Rice

For brown rice, use the ratio 2:3 (two parts rice to three parts water), and wash the rice before cooking.  Extend cooking time to 20 minutes, and standing time to 10+ minutes.

Wild Rice

Wild rice isn't really a rice, but the same method works.  Use the ratio 1:4 (one part rice to four parts water), wash the rice before cooking, and extend cooking time to 35 minutes.

Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is a little more varsity-level.

Amazingly, for something with only five (or sometimes six) ingredients, there are as many recipes for sushi rice as there are japanese grandmothers.  Maybe more.  The recipe that i've found works best is still fairly simple, but the above ratio is a little different, and there's some more before-and-after.

The first major difference is that you will need to wash and rest the rice before cooking it.  This removes any sediment or starch that has built up on the rice grains. After washing and resting, it needs to be soaked in cold water before the actual cooking begins. 

The cooking itself is pretty standard, but then it needs to be cooled quickly and some extra ingredients added to give it the right taste and consistency.

So here's my recipe:

3
cups
short-grain sushi rice
cups
cold water
cup
rice vinegar
2
tbsp
white sugar (preferably powdered)
1
tsp
salt
4
inches
konbu (optional)

Washing & Resting
  • Put the rice in a bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Stir it around with your hands a bit to get the sediment out.  Then pour through a colander, return to the bowl, and repeat. 
  • Do this seven times in all.  The seventh time you fill the bowl, leave the water running in a low stream (low enough that it's not carrying rice grains over the edge of the bowl), and let it run for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain the rice through the colander one last time, cover the colander with a cloth, and let it rest there for 15 minutes.
Prepare the Sushizu
  • In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. 
  • Some say heat it on the stove; I find 40 second in the microwave works just as well.  In any case, heat it until the sugar dissolves. 
  • Set aside to cool. (I put it in the fridge.)
Soaking & Cooking
  • Pour the rice into your cooking vessel and add water.  If you are using konbu, add it now.  Cover and leave it to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat as far as you can, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Do not remove the cover for any reason.
  • Turn off the heat, but still don't remove the cover!
  • Let stand for an additional 5 minutes.
Cooling & Seasoning
  • Pour the rice into a non-metallic, preferably wooden bowl (glass works well too).
  • Spread it as thinly as possible, and use a fan to blow away as much steam as you can and cool it.
  • Still using the fan, pour the sushizu evenly over the rice and turn the rice with a wooden paddle to incorporate it evenly.
  • Make sushi!
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