I am often asked how to cook rice so that it is soft and fluffy. The secrets are in the type of rice and washing out the starch before cooking. The skill is in using your judgement to stop the rice becoming soggy or dry. Don’t be upset if it isn’t quite perfect the first time – it will become automatic as you learn to trust your senses. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line.
Serves 2-3 as an accompaniment
- 150g long grain basmati rice
- Soak the rice in a microwaveable bowl for 20 minutes. The bowl should be at least four times the depth of the rice to give the rice room to expand and cook.
- You will notice that the water has turned a cloudy white colour. This is the starch from the rice. Drain away the water. Cover the rice with water again. Stir the rice and watch as the water turns white again. Drain immediately and then repeat this step a further two times. The water will still be turning cloudy as there is still starch in the rice but you will have removed a large amount of it. You do need some starch in the rice to stop it disintegrating.
- Now add enough water in the bowl to cover the rice by approximately 1 cm. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on the highest setting for 10 minutes.
- Now remove the bowl from the microwave. Most of the water should have boiled off and the rice should have started to expand. At this point the texture of the rice should be slightly damp and have a slight crunch when you taste it. Stir the rice gently and note how much water is in the bowl. If you push the rice to one side of the bowl, there should be a reservoir of 1-2 tablespoons of water at the bottom. If there is more than this, drain it away. If there is less, add a little water.
- Now partially cover the bowl and put in the microwave for a further five minutes on a medium heat.
- At this point the rice should be fluffy and perfectly cooked. If it is still wet, drain away any excess water. If it is too dry (it will be looking overcooked), add a little more water. In both cases partially cover the bowl and return to the microwave on a low heat for another minute and then repeat this step until perfect.