How to Cook Rice
Long grain rice is the most common rice used in America. It cooks up lighter and fluffier than short grain rice, and the grains remain separate when cooked. It can be eaten plain, used as a base for stir-fries, or used as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, salads, and desserts. One cup uncooked long grain rice yields 3 cups cooked rice. You do not need to soak or rinse long grain rice before cooking -- long grain rice is often fortified with vitamins that water can remove if the rice is soaked or rinsed.
Tip: Aromatic long grain rices, such as jasmine and basmati, are known for their popcornlike aroma and flavor.
Saucepan In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a full boil. Slowly add 1 cup long grain rice and, if desired, 1 tablespoon butter or margarine; return to boiling. Reduce the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Do not remove the lid during cooking -- proper cooking relies on the development of steam inside the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
Tip: You can substitute 1-1/2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules for the salt if you like.
Tip: Once the rice returns to boiling, reduce the heat to low. If the heat is too high, the rice will burn on the bottom of the pan while the rest of the rice is still not done.
Tip: A glass lid is helpful to tell whether the water is absorbed without removing the lid and letting the steam out.
Rice Cooker This is a convenient and fail-proof way to cook rice. Because cookers vary, follow the directions that come with the cooker, including how much rice and water to add. As with the saucepan method, do not remove the lid during cooking. Many cookers also have a keep-warm setting that comes on automatically when the rice is done cooking.
Oven Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a 1-quart casserole combine 1-1/2 cups boiling water and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Stir in 3/4 cup long grain rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake, covered, in the preheated oven about 35 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.
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