The most common mistakes when cooking rice

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Rice is a simple dish, but a lot can go wrong when preparing it. There are a few rules to follow to make rice a success.

Can anyone cook rice? As easy as it may be to prepare rice, there are a few mistakes that are often made when cooking rice. If you don’t have a rice stove at home and prefer to cook it the traditional way in a saucepan, there are a few things you should bear in mind.

Mistake 1: Not measuring rice and water correctly
One of the biggest mistakes when cooking rice is to simply put rice and any amount of water in a pot. The correct amount of rice can be measured in one cup. The rule of thumb is: one cup of rice to two cups of water. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you should take a look at the packet, as the right amount can vary depending on the type of rice. Brown rice often needs a little more water than parboiled rice. If too much water is added to the pot, the rice loses its flavor and becomes too soft.

Mistake 2: Treat all rice varieties the same
Not all rice is the same. Preparation also differs depending on the variety. Parboiled rice, for example, has a different cooking time to basmati or risotto rice. The latter, for example, should never be washed in a sieve beforehand, as otherwise the starch required for binding will be lost. Basmati and jasmine rice, on the other hand, should be soaked a little before cooking, as this brings out the flavors better. Soaking the rice beforehand shortens the cooking time.

Mistake 3: Adding cold water
If you measure the ratio of rice and water correctly at the beginning, you will avoid the mistake of adding cold water. The cold water interrupts the swelling process. In addition, additional energy is consumed by reheating the water. If you do add some water, it should at least be as hot as possible.
Mistake 4: Stirring the rice
It is better not to stir the rice, as steam escapes every time the lid is lifted. This lowers the temperature in the pot. Stirring can break up the rice grains and the rice becomes mushy. The best result is achieved if the rice is not disturbed during cooking.

Mistake 5: Cooking rice at the wrong temperature
Rice should not be cooked at too high a temperature, as this causes the rice grains to cook unevenly. If the rice is cooked on a gas hob, it is advisable to cook it on the lowest flame.

Mistake 6: Do not use a lid
A lid is essential when cooking rice in a pot. If you cook the rice without a lid, the water will evaporate too quickly. This can cause the rice to dry out or you have to add water unnecessarily, which in turn affects the cooking time. It is better to put the lid on and leave it ajar. This allows the steam to circulate and escape a little at the same time.

Mistake 7: Rice boils over
To avoid overcooking the rice, it is advisable to use a large pot so that the water does not rise above the rim during cooking. Washing the rice can also prevent overcooking, as the starch content is reduced. Starch stabilizes the rising air bubbles during cooking, which form a foam on the surface of the water and only burst later. The foam takes up a lot of space in the pot so that the water can boil over. It is also important to ensure the right temperature. If the heat is too high, the water will boil over.

Mistake 8: Not leaving the rice to rest
When the rice is cooked, fluff it up with a fork. This prevents the rice grains from sticking together. You should then immediately cover the pan again and leave the rice to rest for a while. A few minutes are enough before the perfectly cooked rice is ready to eat.

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