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Tips for preparing rice
- Before cooking, rinse rice in cool water until it runs clear to remove excess starch. If rice is obtained from bulk bins, rinsing also helps to remove dust or any unwanted material. It may then be soaked to reduce cooking time and stickiness. Keep in mind that excess washing and rinsing may remove some water-soluble B vitamins, especially for polished enriched white rice, in which the vitamins have been sprayed onto the surface of the grain.
- Rice is typically boiled in water or steamed, as it absorbs water and softens during the cooking process. Long-grain varieties tend to produce fluffy separated grains after cooking, while short or medium grains become sticky.
- Follow package directions as different varieties of rice require differing amounts of water and cook times. In general, use a 2:1 ratio for cooking rice, or 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice and stir into water. Place a lid on the pot and reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes for white rice, and 40-45 minutes for brown rice and other minimally processed varieties. Remove from heat and allow to steam in the covered pot for 5-10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork to separate the grains.
- For extra flavor, use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water while cooking, or add spices to the cooking water. If using fresh chopped herbs, such as chopped parsley, dill, or chives, gently stir them into cooked rice after it is removed from the heat but still steaming in the pot.
- Easy ways to use cooked rice or leftover rice:
- Sauté chopped vegetables and cooked meat or tofu in a pan, then add cooked rice and stir the mixture well.
- Add bulk to soup by throwing in a cup of cooked rice.
- Add a handful of cooked rice to a salad.
- For an easy vegan rice bowl, mix together one cup of cooked rice, ½ cup cooked beans, ½ cup of salsa, and a handful of greens.
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