© Denzil Green
Rice is a grain that, just like wheat, is a member of the grass family. The stalks grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall (60 to 180 cm), and bloom with flowers that produce the grain as its seed. In Europe, it is grown in Northern Italy, and in some parts of Spain. It is, of course, also grown throughout Asia.
Contrary to popular belief, Rice doesn't grow only in Rice paddies -- fields flooded with water. Some varieties of Rice also grow on hills.
For the most part, Rice is described based on the size of its grain, and the degree of processing it has had.
Whenever a recipe or someone refers to "Rice", unless they specify a type, what is meant is white Rice.
The first cooking tip for Rice is to get a Rice steamer, preferably a multipurpose one such as that made by Black & Decker which you can use for other foods as well. Having a Rice steamer takes all the stress out of cooking Rice.
Failing that, here are the two other methods to try.
Method 1) Per cup (11 oz / 300g) of Rice, bring to a boil in a large saucepan 2 cups (16 oz / 475 ml) of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Slowly pour in (don't stir) the Rice; don't dump it all in at once. Now give it the most desultory of stirs, then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Method 2) Heat 1 tablespoon oil or butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour in 1 cup (11 oz / 300g) of Rice, stir around to coat, and cook until Rice turns a bit transparent, about 5 minutes. (optional: you can even cook a bit longer, until the kernels just start to brown, if you want a nuttier tasting Rice.) Slowly pour in 2 cups (16 oz / 475 ml) of already boiling water from the kettle, stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, cover, and then cook for 15 minutes.
Now, here's where it all goes to hell in a handbasket for most people: for either method, if all the water has gone but the Rice is not tender, add a few tablespoons of boiling water, cover and cook a bit more. If water has remained but the Rice is cooked, remove cover and cook a minute or two until the water is gone.
Unless you are making Risotto, don't stir Rice while it is cooking, as stirring it will make it sticky. The wider the mouth on your pot, the better your Rice will cook.
To make a thicker soup, throw in a few handfuls of leftover cooked Rice towards the end.
When reheating leftover rice in a microwave, add 1 teaspoon of water per cup of cooked, leftover rice.
Rice has absolutely no gluten.
1 kilo Rice = 2.2 pounds = 4 1/2 cups uncooked
300g rice uncooked = 1 cup / 11 oz uncooked = 425g (3 1/4 cups / 14 1/2 oz ) cooked
1 cup (11 oz / 300g) Rice uncooked = 3 1/4 cups (14 1/2 oz / 425g ) cooked
1 cup rice, cooked, lightly packed = (4 1/2 oz / 130g) in weight
2 cups (9 oz / 260g) rice, cooked = 3/4 cup (8 1/4 oz / 235g), uncooked
Store any Rice in a sealed container in a dry, cool place. With the exception of Brown Rice, Rice will keep indefinitely.
Literature & Lore
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-- Fran Lebowitz (American writer, 27 October 1950 - )