Whenever I cook rice it is never as tasty as others make. Any suggestions!

  • Posted by: Sarah
  • May 21, 2016


BerryBaby May 23, 2016
I made Jasmine white rice today and used nothing in it this time except the water. One and one-half cups water bring it to boil, add one cup of rice. Stir, turn down to lowest setting, cover and DO NOT peek for 15 minutes. Remove from heat keep covered for five minutes then uncover and fluff it with a fork. Used a bit of soy sauce on my serving and it was perfect.
702551 May 22, 2016
The answer depends on the type of rice you're cooking and how you're cooking it.

Basically, it mostly comes down to two major factors: the quality of the rice and the cooking liquid.

For Asian rice, there are different crops, rice varieties, and rice processing methods that change the outcome of the final product. If you go to a well-appointed Asian market, typically you may find a wide variety of rices. Many of them will be white rice, but some will be brown rice with a certain percentage of polishing (i.e., bran removed). It is the bran (outer brown coating) that provides much of the flavor. Really white (highly polished) rice is the white bread of Asia. Almost all of the nutrient and flavor have been removed.

Moreover, the quality of your cooking liquid will make a big difference. I'm fortunate enough to have SFPUC water flowing from my kitchen tap. This is one of the finest municipal water sources in the USA.

A third point is how you prep the rice. Asians rinse their rice grains several times to wash off excess starch until the water is clear, then let the rice grains soak for 6-12 hours before cooking. This makes a big difference.

Westerners often do not rinse their rice and proceed with various techniques to introduce savoriness during the cooking process. Sauteing in oil is one method, so is cooking in stock (veal, chicken, veggie) Typical Western adjuncts include bay leaf, something from the onion family, and occasionally a very flavorful fat (like butter).

Ideally, you should be able to cook your rice in water and have a tasty result but since you did not bother to describe how you are currently cooking whatever rice you are preparing, it is hard to give specific corrections to your M.O.

Remember, the Japanese cook their rice in plain water and they are considered the foremost rice cookers in the world. In fact, many cooks working in high end sushi restaurant in Japan spend 10-20 years just cooking rice before they are allowed to even touch fish. They take rice that seriously.
702551 May 22, 2016
I'd just like to clarify that the two major determining factors: rice type/quality and liquid type exert the same influence on final product output for Western rice, as well as handling procedure.

Since the original poster provides zero description of what she is doing to whatever she is buying, it is nearly impossible to make a specific suggestion on how to improve what she is doing.

Ultimately, this comes down to handling this particular ingredient in a manner that you like. Rice is a really, really old ingredient. if you don't like what your end results are, chances are you aren't handling in a certain manner that has been practice for centuries (since others seem do be successfully doing so based on the OP's inquiry).
BerryBaby May 22, 2016
Instead of water, I use chicken broth to cook the rice. Gives it a great flavor and you can add peas to it after it is done cooking. I use frozen peas and microwave them for two minutes. You want them to finish cooking in the rice and stay nice and firm. A wonderful side dish to any meal.
scruz May 22, 2016
i wash my rice first, then fry it in quite a bit of oil (drain off oil) before adding water and enough salt to water to be able to taste light salt flavor. the biggest thing i have found recently is the type of rice as mentioned above. i've always used basmati or jasmine as i love the taste and smell but one of the videos i watched on youtube mentioned buy thai rice. i did so recently and got rave compliments for sig other who did not know about the change in rice. i got a bag at safeway so i didn't need to go out of my way to purchase it.
Susan W. May 21, 2016
I think a combo of all of the other suggestions. Try basmati or Jasmine, toast the rice first in butter, make sure you season it well and try using stock instead of water. All or some of those will add flavor.
Smaug May 21, 2016
Hard to answer this question without knowing what you or these mysterious and terrifying "others" are doing, but there are a lot of possibilities . Of course you start with the rice: Basmati or, to a lesser extent, Jasmine rice are more flavorful than others- there are also some more exotic types "forbidden" rice (blackish), or pink rice etc., mostly from the Orient, but those are unlikely. Rice is a great absorber of flavors; you could add almost anything; salt will make it taste saltier, cumin ginger gingerier etc. A lot of people cook rice in some sort of stock- presumably appropriate to the meal being prepared. An old trick is to pan-toast the rice before cooking- this is common practice for Mexican rice as well as for Rice a Roni (do they still have that?) and various dishes from around the world. A personal favorite is to pan toast some cumin seeds and cook them whole with the rice, but you others probably aren't doing that- I'd guess they're using stock.

Voted the Best Reply!

pierino May 21, 2016
Butter. Real butter and salt.
Uncle J. May 21, 2016
Do you add salt to your water? Salt brings out many subtle flavors. If you rice is bland, try adding a bit of salt to a sample of the rice.
You might try a more flavorful type of rice - jasmine, basmati, arborio, etc.
You can also add flavor with butter or herbs, maybe substitute stock for some or all of the water.
Sarah May 22, 2016
Yeah I do add salt
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