Every home cook, regardless of their budget, should know how to simmer white rice. Simmering rice is straight forward: Put a pan on the stove. Add rice to the water, with optional salt and/or fat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover. Simmer for “x” number of minutes. Let stand for “y” number of minutes. Fluff with a fork. This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon or other programs. I do earn a small commission from the sales made through these links; however your price never changes.
Rice grain size
Rice comes in different grain sizes, and different types of processing. Therefore, you should consider both factors to achieve the texture and cost you prefer.
• Long – Yields a light and fluffy grain when compared to medium and short grain.
• Medium – Yields tender and more clumpy grains than long grain.
• Short – Yields soft and more clumpy gains than long grain.
• Sweet – Yields sticky, gummy grains.
• Milled/polished rice/regular – The hull and husk are removed; then the grains are polished until white in color.
• Parboiled/Converted Rice – The grains are steam pressure processed. This process causes the starch in the rice to gelatinize. When cooked, the grains are firm and very separated. Parboiled rice is more expensive than regular white rice.
• Instant Rice – Rice that has been fully cooked and dehydrated. It is a lot more expensive than regular and parboiled rice. Also, instant white rice is not an acceptable substitute for “white rice” in recipes, unless specified.
To rinse, or not to rinse
We could probably talk all day about whether or not to rinse rice before cooking. Enriched rice should not be rinsed, because doing so strips away the added nutrients. Imported rice should be rinsed, however. Nevertheless, it all comes down to the texture you prefer. If you want separated grains, go ahead and rinse. If you don’t mind a little stickiness, then by all means, skip rinsing.
Ingredients and tools
Here are some kitchen tools and wares that I used to prepare this dish: This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon or other programs. I do earn a small commission from the sales made through these links; however your price never changes.
- ½ cup long-grain white rice
- 1 cup water
- 1½ teaspoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Rinse rice in several changes of water, if separated grains are preferred.
- Add water to a heavy bottomed small pan. Add rice, salt and butter.
- Bring rice to a boil. Stir once.
- Turn down the heat to low. Cover. Do not lift the lid during cooking.
- Simmer rice for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
- When the rice is done. Remove from heat. Allow it to stand, covered, for 5 minutes
- Fluff with a fork.