Saturday, February 20, 2010

For Rice Lovers: How to Cook Jasmine Rice

When I go dining I avoid eating anything close to "asian-inspired" cuisine that includes rice on the side. There have been too many stories and excuses from family and friends who do not feel confident cooking rice.  I hurt for them because I know what really great rice feels like when it hits the bottom of my belly.  So for all you Rice Lovers out there I hope this article helps.  Warning: This tip may cost you a couple of dollars but it will be worth it when you are praised for making such delicious rice.

First of all, let's talk rice.  Rice comes in different textures and flavors.  For instance, Indian cuisine is best with the aromatic and delicate basmati rice. I have great memories at my friend Priyanka's house when her mother would be simmering chicken curry and the blending aroma of rice, curry and naan bread would fill the living room. Okay, so where was I...yes, rice.  The best rice for Southeast asian food would be jasmine rice.  Like the basmati it too is aromatic but a little fatter in grain.  When I make a Thai market run, I always stock up on a 25 lb bag of "Thai Hom Mali Rice" (literal translation: Thai Aromatic Jasmine Rice).

Now, if you can spare some money in your budget for a rice cooker I'd like to recommend this brand:  Zojirushi.  Researching online and reading reviews was well worth the effort when I signed up for one on our wedding registry.  We use it all the time and it's so simple to cook great rice now.  Before that we used to make rice with a sauce pot and a ceramic plate.  It was always a hit or miss.

Here's how we do this thing!

Using a 1 cup measuring cup for dry ingredients, scoop 2 cups of rice (1 cup if you want less).  With each scoop you want to add the same amount of cold water into the cooker.  Here's a little tip, if the rice is "new crop" then the ratio is 1:1.  If the rice is older and in time your 25 lb bag will get older (but still good) you want to add an extra cup of water in order to keep the rice soft and moist.  So if I'm working with older rice and I've placed 2 cups of rice, I would then add 3 cups of water.  Have I confused you yet?

And the final touch, just press down on the button and your rice cooker's button that says "cook" should be the one lit.

Give it 10-15 minutes.  The button will change from "cook" to "warm" and that's when you give it about 7 more minutes for the rice to absorb all the moisture.  Then, open the cooker and fluff the rice and, voila! Rice you can be proud of.

Happy times ahead.

1 comment:

  1. So, FTW, how much do the ratios change if you use your basic non-aromatic long grain? Does the type of rice cooker make a difference? It seems like I'm using close to 2 c. water to every cup of rice in my rice cooker (which is not the nice one you have), and I usually add about a half- stick of butter or margarine to give the boring kind of rice a little better flavor. Sometimes I add a drop or two of jasmine flavor to sort of mock up using jasmine rice, but the texture isn't quite as wonderful.. Other than dousing it in chili sauce, any tips for the boring people??