Help me fix my rice!

Sounds like overcooking/too much water/too high of heat to me. You’ve cooked the grains past done, so they’ve exploded their starch molecules and created a sticky white glue with the excess water that was in the pot. Rice should never be boiled for this reason - if it boils, it makes glue. Rice absorbs hot water, it doesn’t need to be boiled like pasta. Go ahead and bring the water and rice to a boil, but then immediately bring it down as low as your burner will go, cover tightly, and walk away for 20 minutes. If it’s still too hot, get a flame tamer for your burner.

I like sticky rice for Chinese food, but when I’m cooking American food, I like my rice like **Shawn1767 **describes. His method is a bit labor intensive for me, though, if I’m also busy making the rest of dinner. I get very similar results by simply using long grain rice, 2:1 with water and adding a dollop of butter to the water before putting it over the heat. The butter lubricates the rice grains, keeping then separate and fluffy. No need to even bother melting it and tossing the grains in melted butter; simply throwing a pat into the water works just fine.

Automatic rice makers are almost foolproof. I’ve never screwed up a batch…and I’ve experimented with all types of rice. A few points:

  1. You may be brainwashed by Minute Rice. Real rice isn’t supposed to fall apart and be all puffy like that. It’s unnatural. You can’t make sushi with Minute Rice.

  2. Don’t use salt. It changes the boiling point.

  3. Buy quality, long grained rice.

  4. Equal portions rice and water. Sometimes I use more water (1-1/4 cups of water to 1 cup rice) if I need a stickier rice.

  5. When the button pops up and the rice is done, fluff the rice up with a fork (being careful not to mash the grains), then put the lid back on and let it steam a few minutes.

Not by enough to make a difference, unless you’re adding vast quantities. Rice cooked without salt is bland beyond belief.

I agree with WhyNot pretty much, although I’ve never added butter or oil to rice (I pretty much only ever use Basmati rice) unless I saute it before adding cold water (which I only do if I’m making pilau rice). She’s bang on about the temperature control being critical.

The step that should never be left out is the rinsing of the grains before cooking, you need to get rid of the powdery starch that’s a residue of the milling process.

You could also soak the rice after rinsing in cold water for 20minutes prior to cooking (Madhur Jaffrey recommends doing this). I can never be bothered to do it though.

That tip doesn’t make sense. Different people have different size fingers, so the ratio of water to rice is going to be different for those people. Also, the ratio of water to rice is going to depend on how much rice is in the pot and the diameter of the pot. If the rice is 1/2 inch deep and you have one knuckle of water above it, that’s a different ratio than 3/4 inches of rice and one knuckle of water.

And yet, it works. The lord works in mysterious ways.

What am I, chopped liver? Post #4. :stuck_out_tongue:

And yes, the technique works. With a little experience with the size of your finger, you’ll know where the water level should be on your finger. No measuring ever again.

I’m torn on the rinse, rinse, rinse procedure. That’s makes for a nice, glossy rice for presentation purposes, but it also rinses away nutrition that is often added to the rice.

Yeah. I personally don’t like rinsing my rice. I also generally do not like completely separable grains. As for water to rice ratio using the stovetop (non-rice-cooked) method, it very much depends on your rice. The fresher and younger your rice, the less water you need. The general rule of thumb is 2 cups water for 1 cup rice, but this can get as low as a scant 1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice for some of the rices I use. I would start with 1 3/4 cup water to 1 cup rice, and adjust in future cooks from there. My method is the simple bring rice and water to boil, immediately reduce heat to lowest setting, place lid, wait 20 minutes (no peeking), turn off, let sit 5 minutes or so, serve.

When I do Mexican rice, I will rinse, fry in oil, and then cook as above to achieve more separable grains. I’ve never used Shawn1767’s method, but I have seen that mentioned in Indian cookbooks as a method of making delicate and distinct cooked grains of rice.

There’s nothing wrong with rice that can’t be fixed by a liberal application of lemon pepper.

Depending on the kind of rice. Brown and wild rice varieties take a lot more time, as the water needs to get through the hull that has been polished off white rice.

Depending on what I’m using it for, I sometimes like to cook my rice in broths and stocks, to add aroma and depth of flavor.

But you add salt to the broth or stock if it needs it, right?

If rice is a sticking point in the kitchen, you can always buy it. If I am making a meal, I often pick up some take out rice from a local Chinese place, and concentrate on what I do best.