My rice always comes out sticky -- how can i make it fluffy?
The Amanda Hesser tried-and-true method. It's referenced in this recipe: http://www.food52.com/recipes...
I like amanda's oven method, but you could also try this on the stovetop:
-use a little less water? don't know your proportions, but different varieties sometimes require different amounts of water
-when rice is beginning to cook, leave the lid askew (in other words, set the lid so there is a one-inch gap.) Cover the pot completely after the rice has simmered for about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat after 18 minutes and let steam for another 5 minutes off the heat and then fluff. Hope that helps.
Know your rice brand. some Asian rice can be sticky, it's supposed to be sticky, like a sushi rice. (Or rice intended to be eaten with chopsticks).
Long grain American rice shouldn't be sticky. Some Thai Rice should be sticky. Basmati Rice can either be sticky or fluffy depending the application and cooking method.
You also might need to think about oil or butter in the cooking liquid. "RICE" isn't specific enough...there are many types and textures of rice.
I rarely have trouble with this method: use long grain basmati or Texmati rice, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in a thing bottomed saucepan, over medium-high heat, stir the rice in the oil until it starts to turn opaque (whiter) and gives off a nice toasty aroma, pour in the water (scant 2:1 ratio water to rice). It should come very quickly to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and check in 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Hint if it seems 'almost' done, just turn off the heat, leave covered for another 5 minutes and check again.
That is actually a technique called "Rice Pilaf." Not many understand that pilaf is not a recipe, it's a technique and what you are describing is that technique. It is generally finished with a stock and in the oven but the finish or ingredients are not the point of the technique.
That is called rice pilaf. Most people believe that pilaf is a recipe and it's not, it's a technique and is done just how you describe it. However, it's generally done with a stock of some sort and some herbs and often finished in the oven rather then on the stove top.
Cook's Illustrated published a method about a year ago that finally has made me a rice cook. It works for all long-grain rice. Rinse the rice in a strainer. Even if the recipe doesn't cal for it, rinse it anyway. Some rices, basmati and jasmine come to mind, will need several rinses. American long-grain usually just need one. Use a 1 part rice, 1.5 parts water ratio (that's 1C rice to 1&1/2C water). Bring the water to a boil, salt if you choose, add the rice. Cover tightly and reduce heat to the lowest simmer for 20 minutes. Take the pot off the heat, place a tea towel over the pot, and replace the lid. Taking care, obviously to make sure the edges of the towel are clear of any live flames. Leave the towel and lid on the pot for another 10 minutes. This allows the rice to continue to steam, but the towel will absorb any condensation that would normally drip back down into the rice and contribute to stickiness. Since I've started doing this, my rice has turned out perfectly.
step by step method how to cook rice http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesecookingbasics/ss/cook_rice_photo.htm
To make Basmati (or another long grain rice), I learned this foolproof recipe from an Indian cooking class a few years ago... Wash the rice in cold water until clear. Soak it for 30 minutes in warm water and strain. Heat some ghee (I use vegetable oil) and add the strained rice and salt. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add the water. It should be a 1:2 ratio. When it starts to boil turn down the heat to simmer (low-medium) and cover. DO NOT OPEN! simmer for 10 minutes and then turn off heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. This is the only time you may open the pot. Fluff and serve!
I know everyone likes the method where you cook rice with just enough water to absorb it, but an old-fashioned way to make rice does result in more separate grains. Boil a large quantity of water and cook the rice, at a boil, uncovered. I know this throws away some of the nutrients in the rice, but it will be less sticky for sure.
This is a really old school answer but if you cook the rice in lots of boiling water, instead of covered where it absorbs water, it will come out fluffier. That's how my Mom used to do it - cook it like pasta.
The oft-given ratio of 2 liquid to 1 rice is much too high for steaming long grain white rice- 1 to 1 up to 1 1/3 to 1 is a more realistic ratio.