Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sticky rice

Little time for blogging today. I'm off to a Christmas lunch given by Much Ado Books, which has invited me, Nick Hornby and Geraldine McCaughrean as speakers. The audience will have heard of two of us.

I cooked rice for my daughters last night. I rinsed it, covered it in just over 1.5 times its volume of water, brought it to the boil, covered it, put a heat disperser under the pan, lowered the heat, and left it for 20 minutes. That produced a sticky, starchy clump. Washing the rice was probably one of my mistakes; I wish I knew what the others were.


The Phantom said...

Nicholas. Glad you are persisting with the rice. You have me feeling guilty about your sticky clump, as you have followed my advice. I too use Tilda basmati.Did you leave it under running water for 20 minutes or so before hand? I'm a little worried about the 20 minutes cooking time too. I put the rice on the heat, wait until small bubbles are just breaking around the sides of the liquid, then 10 minutes simmer with the lid on. Check, giving another minute if needed. I can't see how you can cook it for 20 minutes without it burning.

Nicholas Clee said...

Why running water, Phantom? Why not simply soak the rice? According to Sri Owen, soaking rice "increases the moisture content of the grains, so that the cooking water can penetrate more easily. This means that the grains don't break up in the pan, and therefore don't stick to each other."

I find, though, that rice is much stickier when I wash and/or soak it first.

You may have seen on here that Richard Ehrlich, who knows a thing or two, recommends a 20-minute cooking time. But I am going to experiment with turning off the heat earlier, while continuing to allow the rice to steam in the pan.

a.c.t. said...

I always have problems when I cook rice with measured water. As you say it ends up a sticky clump. I always find the best way is to simply boil for 10-15 mins in plenty of water and then drain. I'd love to know how to make perfect Thai sticky rice and how they manage to keep it, reheat and serve it perfectly in restaurants. Rice is the one thing that always defeats me in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Buy an electric rice cooker. Totally flop-proof. No Asian housewife worth her salt would be without one.

Nicholas Clee said...

Or: give up this absorption-process malarkey, and simply boil the rice in plenty of water for 10 minutes. Would that make me a bad person?