September 24, 2014

Cooking Jasmine Rice

Cooking any rice is usually quite straight forward. However, there are always things that can go wrong. There are a few 'curve balls' that can be experienced when cooking rice; this is no different for jasmine rice.

The most common mistake is not making geographical allowances when reading a recipe. Because when cooking jasmine rice, (or any rice for that matter) there are only two ingredients to be mindful of, (apart from seasoning to taste) water & rice.

Water will vary from location to location, whether it is hard or soft, and the age of the rice may have an impact on how quickly it cooks. But as a good 'middle of the road' recipe for cooking rice to a good standard, this method will work well.

Background To Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice recipes are quite straightforward, this mainly because Thai jasmine rice is of the highest quality, and therefore doesn't need to be messed with or modified, eating it in its purest form is already a pleasure.

However, in each of the following jasmine rice recipes you can add a few extra ingredients to the cooking process if you wish. Many herbs add a little something extra to the rice while it cooks. A very famous example is star anise, by just adding one star to the water in which the rice will cook, will infuse the rise with its rich aniseed flavour profile.

When cooking rice be mindful that some adjustments need to be made for your individual equipment (microwave power, fan assisted oven etc,) and how hard the water is in your area.

Preparing To Cook Jasmine Rice

Cooking rice is one of the most basic elements of food, however, if you have ever to Asia to Thailand in particular you will know that there is a fine art to doing it properly. But something to take into account is that rice can be cooked in many different ways and styles, all of which create different flavour profiles.

In the same way that mash potatoes are cooked to taste, mashed potatoes can be made by using salt, margarine, butter, milk and many other ingredients; rice is similar.

During the cooking process, you can add butter, salt, sugar or herbs such as star anise or anything else that takes your fancy. Here we will explain how to cook boiled rice, please experiment with other ingredients and let us know which combination you like most.

Step By Step

  • Step one - always rinse the rice, sometimes the rice will require rinsing 2 or 3 times, you should keep rinsing the rice and changing the water until it remains fairly clear.
  • Step two - use a ratio of 1 part rice to between 1.5 - 2 parts water, this ratio need to be adjusted for the type of rice being used. Thai fragrant rice will require closer to 1.5 parts water, the stronger heartier grains of rice such as Riceberry Organic Rice will need closer to 2 parts water.
  • Step Three – select a cooking pot that is able to accommodate the expanded rice, the rice will swell significantly during cooking as it absorbs the water. Add the water, rice and extra ingredients all together in the pot and bring quickly to the boil. Once the water is boiling turn down to a moderate simmer and cover with a fitting lid. The approximate cooking times are as follows:
    • 20-27 mins - white rice & Thai fragrant rice
    • 33-40 mins –brown & organic rice
    • 44-50 mins –riceberry rice & other hearty grains
  • Step Four – once the rice is light, fluffy and cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the lid off the pot. Leave the rice for 10 minutes of so, this will allow the rice to dry out and take on the perfect consistency.

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