Rice is one of those foods that can be the simplest to make–once you've figured out how to do it—yet it also seems to be the easiest to mess up. But just because it can be daunting to cook rice, it doesn't mean you should be deterred from including it in your weekly meal plan. In fact, choosing the right type of rice will help you make strides toward achieving your health goals: Harvard School of Public Health researchers discovered that eating two or more weekly servings of brown rice can decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. Because brown rice isn't processed like white rice is, it still contains the bran and germ, which are jam-packed with nutrients as well as blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber. Now that you're ready to include the grain in your meal prep, see below for step-by-step instructions from Chef de Cuisine at Fairway Market Cafe, Vincent Olivieri, on how to cook rice.
How to cook rice
- Rinse the rice. This helps get rid of extra starchiness that makes the rice stickier than it needs to be. Use a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear.
- The rule of thumb to cooking rice is the ratio is always 2 parts water to 1 part rice. From there you can adjust based on the instructions on the package.
- Bring water to a boil. If package instructions suggest adding vegetable oil, swap it out with butter for a more homey flavor.
- Add the rice once the water is boiling, and then bring it to a steady simmer.
- Cover the saucepan and then lower the temperature. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! It's tempting, but the steam is crucial.
- After around 18 minutes, check the rice. If the rice is cooked and there's extra water, do not worry! Just simply drain that water by tilting the pan.
- Fluff the rice with a fork.
Pro tip from Chef Olivieri: My trick is to always use a non-stick saucepan or pot, this way you get the crunchy good bites that are at the bottom. They slide right out!
Do brown rice, wild rice, and white rice require different cooking times?
If you're opting for brown and wild rice on the reg and white rice only when you try your hand at homemade sushi, know that each type of rice requires varying time on the stove. "Brown rice takes longer to cook because it still has the fibrous bran and nutritious germ layers intact and only the husk (the outer layer) has been removed," Janet Souza, PR & Design Manager at Lundberg Family Farms tells us. "It typically takes 45 to 50 minutes to cook whole grain rice. Wild rice, which is actually an aquatic grass, takes about the same time to cook as brown rice because it is also a whole grain. White rice, which has the bran and germ layers removed in the milling process, typically takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook."
Now that you know how to cook rice, why not put your newfound skills to use by whipping up a batch and peppering it with some fat-burning spices, metabolism-boosting protein, and fiber-rich veggies for a flavorful meal?