Pantry check – Rice

Ah yes, the humble rice. I am a regular rice consumer. If you’re thinking of consuming rice regularly, do yourself a favour and buy a rice cooker. You don’t even need an expensive model, you just need something that will produce properly cooked rice. My rice cooker cost $30 and it already served me for 2 years. Cooking steamed rice on stovetop is tricky and cooking in microwave, while possible, requires a lot of experimentation.

The type of rice I always have stocked up at home:
• Jasmine rice for regular consumption or for making fried rice and congee
• Basmati rice for Indian food, but I also like the slightly drier texture
• Short grain rice for sushi, risotto type dishes, and pudding
• Long grain brown rice, same as jasmine rice, but chewier
• Short grain brown rice, great for salads or on its own
• Red rice, taste different, similar to brown rice in texture
• Black rice, makes great Asian dessert

White rice is basically brown rice with its bran and germ removed (let’s say its skin if it makes it easier to understand.) Brown rice takes longer to cook due to this ‘skin’ and they retain their shape better. They do NOT absorb more water compared to white rice- however you do need to use more water cooking them because it takes longer for them to get cooked, which means more water evaporated during cooking (Yay science bomb!)

Some rice are interchangable, but you may not have the ‘ideal’ result, for example, I once cooked risotto using jasmine rice. The end result is simply different but not in a bad way. You do have to consider things like shape, size, time, and each rice variety’s starch content and adapt to it.

There isn’t too much I can say about cooking rice without making this post an essay as rice cooking really depends on what your goal is going to be, cooking a fried rice requires different techniques than say, a paella.

Try this nasi goreng recipe, and look forward to another fried rice recipe coming soon.

(Photo credit: Freeimages.com/Pascal Thauvin)
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