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How to Cook Rice

Q. My rice is always chewy or gummy. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

A. There are many types of rice on the market but for a basic long-grain type that will cover most of your recipe needs I would suggest white basmati rice.

Rice will swell to around three times its volume during the cooking process.

Before cooking the rice it needs to be washed. Washing is important because it removes additives and milling dust that can make the rice sticky and gummy.

Put your uncooked rice into a large bowl or pot and cover the rice with cold water. Then you must rinse it in the water with your fingers before pouring the (now milky) water off. Repeat this process four or five times until the water runs clear.

Finally, cover the washed rice with clean cold water and set aside for around half an hour. Longer is ok. The soaking process will turn the rice white and ensure it cooks very quickly.

Drain the soaking rice and put it in a pot. Remember that the rice will expand threefold during cooking so make sure your pot is big enough and that it has a close-fitting lid.

Season the rice with salt and butter, about one tsp of butter for every cup of rice. Cover it with cold water (rice volume + 1/3) then put the lid on the pot. Place the pot on the burner and bring the water to the boil.

When the water comes to a boil take the pot off the burner and turn the heating element to it's lowest setting. Place the pot back on the burner and allow the rice to simmer until all the water has cooked off.

When the water has cooked out take the pot off the burner. Your rice is now cooked.

Before serving allow it to sit in the pot for five minutes or so with the lid on so as to allow the excess steam to rise out. This will prevent any stickiness. Your rice will now be fluffy and perfect.

If you want it to be aromatic then try adding a few herbs and spices to the pot before you cook.

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Chef Jerry Cook

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