Rice is a staple in many of our homes and a dish everyone in the family can’t get enough of. There are many types of rice along with ways to cook them. Grab a cup of coffee and your reading glasses as we go through Rice 101.
“If you give me rice, I’ll eat today; if you teach me how to grow rice, I’ll eat every day – Mahatma Gandhi”
What Is Rice?
Rice is a grain that comes from two grass plants: Oryza glaberrima or Oryza sativa. There are numerous rice varieties, each with its own unique color, weight, taste, and form. This is determined by the area, temperature, and cultural preferences for rice variety. Rice is a healthy source of vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin.
There are a variety of health benefits that come from rice including a high amount of fiber and manganese, all of which help in digestion and well-being. Eating these grass grain can provide immediate energy. Along with the energy it gives our body, it can regulate and boost bowl movements as well as controlling blood sugar levels. It also aids in the supply of vitamin B1 to the human body.
Grain size can vary in rice such as: Short grain, Medium grain & Long Grain. There are actually many different types of rice from Basmati, Jasmine, Sushi, Red, Black, Wild, Arborio and probably others we haven’t had the pleasure of trying yet. To top this all off these rice grains can come in regular white rice or brown rice which has different preparation time!
Rice Cooker vs. Stove Top
A Rice Cooker is versatile and can be used for many things! I love my Zojirushi Rice cooker as it makes many dishes on top of perfect rice each time. There is everything from a Brown rice, pressure cooker, cake or even an oatmeal setting.
Traditional Methods are still preferred due to the ease of using one pot and cooking it right on the stove. This is all without using a machine and it saves a ton of counter space. One common concern is consistency and not having perfect rice each time.
Flavor Boosters for Rice
Looking to add a kick to your rice? Add in these flavor boosters that are sure to please the family:
- Aromatics- A sure way to boost the flavor in your rice.
- Bay Leaf
- Broth or Stocks- Adding in extra depth and nutrition to your rice.
- Chicken or Veggie Stock
- Vegetables: Adding in veggies is a good way to elevate a rice dish.
Brands that we love
Yes, rice is gluten-free.
Yes, rice is a grain that comes from two grass plants: Oryza glaberrima or Oryza sativa.
Soaking rice is not necessary when making it in a rice cooker or Instant Pot. When cooking on the stove soaking rice shortens cooking time as the grains hydrate and absorb water.
Rinsing rice helps remove surface starch that can make rice gummy when cooking.
Completely optionally and not needed for fluffy rice. But the addition of oil helps rice from sticking to each other and adds a nice flavor.
Store in an airtight container and follow expiration dates on the package.
Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days for maximum freshness.
Yes, you can freeze cooked rice for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Best way to Make Rice?
- You can do this many ways but the easiest way is to make this in a rice cooker. No rice cooker, No worries! Below are two fast and easy ways we have learned how to cook rice.
Cooking Rice 101
Servings: 4 | Course: Dinner/Side Dish
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Oil
Prep: 3 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
How To Make Rice in Rice Cooker
- Wash and drain rice with warm water until water runs clear and most of the starch is rinsed.
- Repeat at least 2-3 times.Add in salt and oil.
- For added flavor add in aromatics such as bay leaves, cardamom, saffron or flavor of choice!
- Select the desired setting on the rice cooker and set it and forget it!Serve warm and enjoy!
How To Make Rice in a Pot on the Stove
- Wash and drain rice with warm water until water runs clear and most of the starch is rinsed. Follow the amount of water needed on the packet of rice. For example: Long grain rice is 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups of water.
- Place rice and water in a medium pan over medium/high heat without the lid on. (Optional: Add in any aromatics)
- Bring to a simmer then place the lid on. Turn fire to low/medium heat and cook for 12-14 minutes without opening the lid.
- Quickly open the lid and tilt the pan to see if any liquid is left. If none take off the fire and let it rest with the lid on for 5-8 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and enjoy!
Notes: The type of rice you use will determine the cooking time. Quantity, pot size & size of your burner all play an effect on how your rice will cook.