Rice is the staple food of the Southern provinces of China, and of course is eaten widely across the Asian and Far Eastern regions. But how can you cook perfect rice?
The easiest method is to use a rice cooker or steamer, which should produce perfect rice every time if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. But a rice cooker is an expensive luxury so we will concentrate on the stove top method.
Ideally, you should find a largish non-stick saucepan with a glass lid. An eight inch / 20cm diameter pan is ideal for cooking 4 portions of rice.
Some people prefer to wash rice before cooking; this will rinse away some of the starch and result in cooked rice grains that cling less to each other. Rice that is intended to be sticky, such as sushi or glutinous rice, need not be washed. You may find it easier to eat rice with chopsticks if you don’t rinse it before cooking.
To serve 4 people, you will need 3 cups of rice. A standard cup measure is 250ml.
The most popular variety of rice we sell is Thai jasmine rice; jasmine flower extract is added to the milled rice. If you choose to wash this rice, put it into a bowl, cover with water, stir briefly with your fingers and drain.
For Thai rice measure out equal quantities by volume of rice and water; e.g. one cup of water, one cup of rice.
For sushi rice, measure out 1.5 cups of water to each cup of rice.
Place water and rice in your saucepan, cover with the lid, and bring to the boil; immediately turn down the heat to a slow simmer, ensuring that you do not remove the lid from the saucepan during cooking.
The water will “steam” the rice until all is absorbed; when blow-holes appear in the top of the rice immediately take the pan from the heat, and carefully remove the lid. Fork through and serve.