Sometimes a pot of rice doesn’t turn out as perfect as you’d like, and you end up with gummy, porridge-like rice.
It’s seemingly the most basic kitchen task, but cooking rice to perfection can be a little tricky. It’s not impossible, though, if you know a few secrets, so Starts at 60 chatted with Adelaide-based chef and SunRice ambassador Poh Ling Yeow to find out how to make the perfect pot of fluffy rice.
So here’s how to do it. The trick to a perfect pot of fluffy rice is ratio, Yeow says. “The rice will stick together if too much water has been used”, she explains.
Generally, the sweet spot for cooking white rice is one cup of rice to one-and-a-half cups of water. For rice varieties, such as brown or black, the rice to water ratio is one cup of rice to two cups of water.
To cook, Yeow advises to simply combine the rice and water in the saucepan, stirring to make sure no grains are clumped together. Once boiled, immediately reduce the heat, and cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
“Then let the rice rest for 15 minutes, still covered before fluffing up with a spatula or fork,” she says — that way, your rice won’t be clumpy.
Rice is tasty enough on its own, but with a few simple tricks you can punch up the flavour. Before adding water, Yeow says to toast the rice in the pot with a little bit of oil or butter. Once the grains are coated and start to toast, take it a step further by adding some aromatics, like garlic or ginger into the pan.
Yeow explains this trick not only makes your rice taste great, but also stops it from clumping together.
You know you’ve stitched up when the bottom of the pot is covered with burnt grains. To stop the rice from sticking, always use a non-stick surface, Yeow advises. She recommends using a medium to large non-stick saucepan.
If you cook a lot of rice with your meals, or if you’re time poor, then a rice cooker is a must-have, just make sure to dig out your manual and double check the instructions before you begin. “My favourite way to cook rice is using a rice cooker,” Yeow explains. “I love the convenience of being able to walk away and focus on preparing the rest of the meal.”