Each type of rice, having different proportions of starch and moisture content, absorbs water and swells differently during cooking, producing various degrees of softness/firmness and stickiness/separateness
 
     
 
The cooking method influences the quality of the cooked rice. For optimal results, use of an electronic rice cooker is recommended, to produce uniformly good textured rice.
 
     
  There are 4 basic cooking methods for cooking rice. These are:  
 
Absorption Method: Optimal stove top (used for most rices)
 
     
  The Absorption Method:  
 
The absorption method involves bringing 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water to the boil whilst stirring occasionally. The heat is then lowered to a medium/low level; the rice is covered (with a lid) and simmered for 15-20 minutes (white rice) or 25-30 minutes (brown rice). The rice is then removed from heat, and let to stand covered for 5-10 minutes.

As a guide, the water to rice ratio for the absorption method is:
 
     
 
Long Grain Rice: 1 1/2 cups cold water to 1 cup of rice
Medium Grain Rice: 1 1/2 cups cold water to 1 cup of rice
Short Grain Rice: 1 1/4 cups cold water to 1 cup of rice
 
     
 
Tip: For firmer rice add a little less water, for softer rice, add slightly more. If cooking large quantities the amount of water to rice ratio will be reduced.
 
     
 
The Gentle Boil Method
 
 
The gentle boil method (previously known as "rapid boil" method), involves bringing 1 cup of rice and 6-8 cups of water to the boil whilst stirring occasionally. The heat is lowered and the rice is brought to a gentle boil (as opposed to a vigorous rapid boil), and is cooked uncovered for 12-15 minutes (white rice) or 25-30 minutes (brown rice). The rice is then removed from heat and drained well.
 
 
Note: If the water is boiling too vigorously the grains tend to split and the texture of the cooked rice will not be at its best. As such, a gentle boil is recommended rather than a vigorous boil.
 
     
 
Microwave Rice Cooker
 
 
When using a microwave rice cooker to cook rice, generally the same water to rice ratio as the absorption method is used. However, as there are great variances between microwaves, it is best to refer to microwave oven manual as watts may vary.
 
 
Electric rice cooker
 
 
A rice measuring cup, that is usually supplied with the rice cooker measures 180mls. If you happen to lose your measuring cup supplied with the rice cooker, measure the equivalent amount (i.e. 180mls) in a regular measuring cup or jug and use that as the guide. You can then use the marks in the rice cooker, to fill with the correct level of water.

Refer to your electric rice cooker manual for cooker-specific directions.
 
 
To Rinse or Not to Rinse Rice?

During the milling process the rice grains are gently rubbed against each other, leaving a fine powdery coating of starch on each grain. Rinsing all rice 2 to 3 times prior to cooking is recommended to remove any loose starch.

For optimal cooking results, soaking (as opposed to rinsing) Basmati rice for 30 minutes prior to cooking is also recommended to soften the rice grains.

General Cooking Hints and Tips

Measure the water and rice accurately, as per pack instructions.
Time the cooking accurately, as per pack instructions.
Rinse all rice 2 to 3 times prior to cooking to remove any excess starch. There is no need to rinse rice after cooking.
You can test whether rice is cooked 'al dente' by pinching a grain. If there is no hard core (chalky centre), the rice is cooked.
Do not rinse rice in a rice cooker especially if the rice cooker has a non-stick surface, as it may scratch the cooker's surface.
Always let cooked rice stand for 5 to 10 minutes off heat, with the lid on, to complete the cooking process and redistribute moisture evenly.
Fluff cooked rice gently with a fork or flat plastic spoon provided with the rice cooker, for perfect fluffy rice. Slice through rice rather than stir it, to avoid the grains being mashed.
Remember, the moisture content of rice can vary with age and storage conditions, so adjustments may have to be made to the amount of water added for cooking.
 
 
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