The way to perfect rice

I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t eat rice because they have no idea how to cook it properly.  And let me tell you, folks, if Uncle Ben’s or Minute Rice is your idea of what rice tastes like, you have no idea what you’re missing.

The way to perfect rice is simple and doesn’t require much effort.  You can have it cooking while you work on the rest of the meal.  The method I use is flexible enough you can have rice ranging from quite plain to surprisingly flavorful.

First, you need to start with either plain white rice or jasmine rice.  I prefer jasmine rice, a product of Thailand.  It’s slightly aromatic and has a very light taste that won’t overpower the rest of your meal.  Try some, you won’t be disappointed.  If you can’t find jasmine rice, don’t worry about it.

Use twice as much water as rice.  1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water will give you 3 cups of cooked rice, which is enough for four people; you’ll probably have some left over.  Don’t go overboard.  The 2:1 ratio of water to rice works for any quantity.

Boil the water.  We like to toss in some boullion cubes, 2 per cup of water.  Use chicken boullion for fish or chicken dishes; beef boullion for beef dishes.  It’s optional, but you’d be amazed at how good it tastes.  Once the water is boiling, add the rice.  Stir it enough to distribute the rice evenly.  Return the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  You want it just short of boiling, but not boiling.

Now comes the fun part.  Put a lid on the pan, set a timer for 20 minutes, and leave it alone.  No stirring, and do not take the lid off the pan to check it.  After 20 minutes you should have peferct rice.  If it’s still a little watery on the bottom, you set the burner a little too low – kick it up just a little, put the lid back on and give it a few minutes.  Once you figure out the right setting to simmer it on your stove, it will come out perfectly every time.