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The Rice Salting Debate Without an Answer

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Reddit, the internet’s favorite sounding board, is playing host to a salty culinary debate: Should one salt or not salt their rice while it’s cooking?

Reddit user MicaMtnGirl posed the grainy query that set the message board alight: “From expert sources I've heard that you should not put salt in the pot when cooking rice. From other expert sources, I've heard that you must salt the rice in the cookpot. What do you all think?” And thus a debate was born.

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MicaMtnGirl, our curious questioner, might be onto something. We’ve settled on the fact that pasta water should be as salty as the sea, but there exists no definitive rule regarding the salinity of the water in which we cook our rice.

Responses were varied. Many called upon their East Asian heritages, cultures where rice occupies a sizable and important role on the plate, to throw weight behind cooking rice in unsalted water. Some users mentioned alternatives to salt as an additive, throwing out suggestions like bouillon cubes, chicken broth, dried sausage, or a splash of olive oil.

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Currently, the most popular answer in the digital debate field, was submitted by realmacarooni: “Speaking as a Chinese person who's seen both my grandmas, aunts, uncles, mom, dad, my Japanese gf's aunt, mom, dad, grandma and my Korean friends' families make rice, I've never seen them add salt. But if it tastes good to you, do what you do, that's the only thing that matters anyway.”

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Because at the end of the day it all boils down to preference anyway. I, for one, am no rice pro and am always looking for ways to improve my grain game. Do you salt your rice or hold off? Share your sprinkling tips below.

Tags: rice, salt, hack, tips, salt, debate