www.whyville.net Aug 28, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Cooking With Jadenman

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With billions of grains of rice eaten each day, you'd figure rice would be a pretty popular food. And you'd be right. You don't have to be Asian to cook rice either, don't feel bad if you're not. Cooking rice is pretty simple. In fact, I learned how to cook rice just a few weeks ago from my sister and have been enjoying it ever since.

That being said, it's a shame many people are intimated by cooking "perfect rice", but don't be. It's fun, easy, and delicious. Rice is the first step in many more complicated dishes I'll be covering in later articles. But hey, you have to start somewhere right?

Preparing rice doesn't take a fancy rice cooker or super talent, although the process is significantly easier if you have either of the above. There are however a few necessary things you'll need to have beforehand.

Rice (Since cooking time with brown rice is a tad longer, I'll be teaching you how to make WHITE rice, so have that)
Canola oil (optional, but recommended)
A pot (not too large)
A lid for said pot (transparent lid recommended)
A strainer
A measuring cup

Before Cooking:

Take your measuring cup and measure 1 cup (8 ounces) of your white rice, and put that rice in the pot.

Next, fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the rice. Now vigorously swish your hands around In the rice to wash it, then pour the water out. The point of this is to get excess starch out of the rice. Repeat this 4-5 times, emptying the water into the strainer so that the strainer catches any rice that falls out of the pot.

  Cooking your rice: (NOTE: 1 cup of uncooked rice makes approx. 4 cups of cooked rice, use rice sparingly!)

Cooking times may vary slightly depending on your type of stove, gas or electric. Note that electric stoves generally take a little longer.

Fill your measuring cup with water depending on how many cups of rice you're using. The ratio I use for water to rice is 2 to 1, meaning for every cup of rice I use, I'll use two cups of water. Add this water to the pot and add 1-3 tablespoons of canola oil. Note that the more canola oil you use the sticker the rice will be, which isn't necessarily good for fried rice.

Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Now that the water is boiling, add your rice and stir only once. Adding the rice is a very important step, as once you add the rice the water will stop boiling. Wait until the water returns to a boil, then put your lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, take your pot off the heat and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. You want the rice to rest because while cooking, the rice closer to the bottom will be further cooked than the rice on the top, and while it's resting the rice sort of evens out.

Do not lift the lid off of the rice during cooking, the steam trapped in the pot is what cooks the rice. If you're having trouble remember that you can tell if the rice is done or not when there is no more water left in the pan, and when the rice has formed 'craters' in the pot.

After cooking:

Serve and enjoy. This rice should be pretty tasty plain, unless you made some horrible mistake. So remember to be careful in the kitchen. If you feel the rice is missing something, try adding butter before simmering next time.

This is Jadenman, being Asian. And as always, have a good day.
- Jadenman


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