Rice is such a staple meal for many cultures. The reason it is so ubiquitous is the fact that it pairs well with a variety of cuisines and dishes. It goes extremely well with Indian curry and Thai food, among many others.
Cooking rice is not as simple as it looks. It requires just the right amount of water and cooking time for that perfectly silky food. If you are aiming for fluffy steamed rice, rinsing it before cooking helps. What ruins rice for many of us, however, is undercooked rice. Fortunately, there are ways to fix it so you can still enjoy rice in all its delicious goodness.
- How to fix undercooked rice
- How to fix overcooked rice
How to fix undercooked rice
A simple way to fix undercooked rice is to stick a few holes in it and put in some water in them. Simmer for roughly 5 minutes or until rice is cooked through. The general rule of thumb is to add just enough water to create a little steam effect enough to cook rice.
How to fix undercooked rice in the rice cooker
There are ways to fix undercooked rice when steamed through a rice cooker. When the switch flips from “cook” to “warm” and you can see that rice isn’t well-cooked just yet, allow the rice to sit for an additional 10 minutes in the same warm function.
If after doing that rice is still undercooked, you can add half a cup of boiling water and switch to the cook function. Allow up to 15 minutes of cooking and then check the rice. If the problem persists, keep repeating the addition of water and the cooking for another 15 minutes until your desired consistency is achieved.
The next time you cook rice, make sure to incorporate more water so undercooking is avoided.
How to fix undercooked rice in the microwave oven
Over the years, the microwave has been used for a variety of functions. Aside from reheating food, you can now use the microwave to cook, thaw, and even fix undercooked rice.
To do this, simply place your undercooked rice in a microwaveable bowl. Soak 2 paper towels in water and gently squeeze roughly a fifth of the absorbed water into the bowl with rice. Cover the bowl with the squeezed paper towels, note that they should still be very wet. Then, microwave the rice for around 2 minutes, or until it is no longer undercooked. The steam from the added water and paper towels should help fix the issue of undercooked rice.
How to identify undercooked or overcooked rice
If this is your first time cooking rice, chances are you didn’t get it right. It may either be undercooked or overcooked. Trust me, cooking rice is not as simple as it looks.
Undercooked rice means all the water has evaporated, yet the grains are still quite hard at the core. This hard portion can easily be felt when you press a grain with your thumb. While the outer parts can easily be pressed, you will find that the middle portion will be difficult to mash. This is how you know your rice is undercooked.
Far from the soft and fluffy texture we associate with perfectly-cooked rice, undercooked rice is a little hard and crusty. On the other hand, overcooked rice feels mushy and watery, with consistency approaching that of mashed potato.
How to fix overcooked rice
As mentioned, overcooked rice is mushy, which makes for an undesirable eating experience. This mushy consistency is caused by too much liquid being absorbed by the grains causing them to split. The starch in the rice gives it a soft and gooey texture.
Unfortunately, overcooked rice is irreversible. What you can do instead is create an entirely different dish out of it. Add in some milk, vanilla, and sugar, and voila! Your mushy rice is instantly transformed into a rich rice pudding.
How to cook the perfect rice
The first step in cooking the perfect rice is knowing how much rice you want to cook. This amount determines the amount of water that you will need to add as well as the cooking time. Generally, you add 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. However, note that the amount of water to add is largely dependent on the kind of rice. Long-grain rice typically requires more water than short-grain ones.
In your pot containing rice, add water. Bring the pot to a boil while uncovered. When most of the water has evaporated and it is no longer visible over the rice, cover it and lower the heat. Leave it that way for 15 minutes after which you can lift the lid and stir the rice. Finally, place the lid back on and allow it to cook for 5-10 more minutes until done. It is best to cook rice with a heavy-bottomed saucepan as this helps prevent the rice from burning at the bottom. A nice tight lid will help trap steam for efficient cooking.
When cooking rice through a rice cooker, first check the device for instructions. Most of them recommend the use of one cup of rice to one cup of water. You might need to do some experimenting and adjusting to get the proper ratio. The benefit of using rice cookers is the fact that they literally do all the work for you. You won’t even need to think about the cooking time and temperature. To get the perfect rice with a rice cooker, tinker around and adjust the ratio based on experience.
How to reheat rice
If reheating rice through a stovetop, simply put it in a saucepan. Cover and put in medium heat for 5 minutes until rice is heated through. If reheating in a microwave, simply put it in a microwave-safe dish and cover. For every cup of rice, cook for a minute on high. However, if it is frozen, cook on high for about 2 minutes per cup.
Is eating undercooked rice safe?
Although eating undercooked rice is not particularly unsafe, it will not be an enjoyable experience at all. Aside from being hard to chew, undercooked rice might be harder to digest than thoroughly cooked rice.
How do you keep a pot of rice from overflowing?
When you cook rice in a pot, you might notice that it bubbles and overflows. This is the starch of the rice causing the bubbling effect. To minimize this, rinse your rice before cooking.
The excessive bubbling could also be due to your rice being cooked at a high temperature. In this case, try lowering the temperature. Another reason for the overflowing could be due to your pot being too small. Since rice expands as it absorbs water, it is better to use a bigger pot when cooking.