Jun. 1st, 2009

tetra: (Default)
[personal profile] tetra
One thing I'm not seeing people doing enough of is getting as much flavor and texture as they could from their rice dishes. So, here are a few pointers:

-Fry your rice raw in a pan with a tablespoon or two of oil first for about 3 minutes. This causes the uncooked rice to gently caramelize on the outside (resulting in a delightfully nutty flavor) and results in a less sticky texture with each grain shiny and perfect.

-Flavor your cooking water beforehand. This is easily achieved by simmering a chicken carcass or other bones in the water for 15-30 minutes. If you're going to add vegetables/whatever to your rice dish, deglaze the pan they cooked in with the rice water.

-Keeping in mind the above two tips, be sure to heat your flavored water first so that when you add it to the caramelized uncooked rice, you get a fierce boil. This may be alarming but is totally desirable as it causes the starch coating the rice to dissolve in the water resulting in a evenly grained rice that isn't clumpy.

-I've played around with a ton of cooking times and ratios but the classic 3:2 ratio (3 cups water to 2 cups rice) is ideal. The moment you add your rice to the water it should flash boil immediately and at that point you just cover and simmer undisturbed on low for 17 minutes (Alton's favorite time proves perfect).

Aaaaand, that's about it. If you've got any other tips, please comment with them.

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