Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
jsmith

Rice - to fluff or not to fluff?

Recommended Posts

Is there a general rule of thumb on fluffing rice?

Always/never fluff? Fluff the long grained, leave the short grained unfluffed?

I generally never fluff rice, I find the texture goes mealy and the rice loses it's moisture earlier and becomes crunchy. My wife always fluffs her rice, she thinks I'm crazy for not fluffing mine.

Am I missing out on what could be better rice? A quick search on google seems to indicate most people are like my wife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by "fluff" the rice? I've heard this term before, but I'm not clear exactly on what it means - do you mean take a fork to the rice and stir it around after it's cooked, but right before serving? If so, no. What's the purported advantage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're talking about plain steamed/boiled long-grain or jasmine rice then we always fluff, I know not of any Chinese family that wouldn't. Just a few minutes before eating, use the rice spatula (not a fork) to loosen the rice in the cooker. It makes it, well, fluffier. I suppose it matters what kind of rice is cooking, doesn't everyone do this with plain white rice? Probably don't need to with Basmati thinking about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on the rice and also the way you have cooked it

I found through eating and cooking rice all over Asia,that it all depends on the way the rice is cooked especially the long grain variety

If cooked by absorbtion like a rice cooker you do fluff the rice so as to literally unclump it

If you cook by draining like pasta, you drain out a lot of starch and you can also refresh it a little with cold water and the rice will naturally fluff,

this is perfect for basmati and thai long grain ,as this was the way i cooked it at home

for italian and japanese rice which is predominantly short grain and cooked by absorbtion the chances of fluffing are remote


Edited by evilchef (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting responses. Nakji, that is what I meant by fluffing. When I watch people make rice, at least half seem to fluff it, half don't.

Prawncrackers, I'm talking about mostly white jasmine, basmati rice, and short grain asian (sorry not sure the type) rice cooked in a rice cooker. I've never fluffed it as it seems to form smaller clumps when I do that, but I'll try in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know a single Japanese person that would leave their short grain rice (the only kind eaten in Japan) unfluffed. The fluffing is necessary for short grain rice to help some of the unwanted moisture to evaporate. Most people I know fluff it once, close the rice cooker and let it sit for a couple minutes then fluff it again before surving.

To fluff Japanese rice you need the rice spoon called a shamoji and working from the side of the rice cooker bowl (or pan) you scoop all the way to the bottom and then gently fold it. It is more like cutting into it than actually mixing.

This link will show you the proper way to mix Japanese rice, the mixing starts at 4:15.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always fluffed my rice, whether white or brown, whether steamed in a pot on the stove or steamed in a rice cooker. As others have observed, it releases excess steam moisture, so the grains are more separate. In fact, I've found that fluffing brown rice, especially pot-steamed brown rice, really cuts down on the gloppy texture it can otherwise have (the mediocre hippy-brown-rice syndrome). I actually have a batch of brown rice cooling off after having been cooked (and fluffed) in the rice cooker just now, which I need to package up for the rest of the week's lunches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't always fluff, and I don't think our rice was always fluffed when I was growing up, either. I think it was more out of laziness than anything else. When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of leftover rice, so fluffing wasn't as important. It's more important to fluff (in my opinion) when you're going to have leftover rice, otherwise it cools into a hard mass. Not so good for making fried rice. But if you're just eating it right away, you can always just fluff your own serving when it gets to your dish.

(Growing up we didn't use small bowls for rice like Japanese and Chinese people do. We usually ate off a regular dinner plate or a largish bowl. Were I to use a small bowl, I'd be more likely to fluff. It's easier to get the rice into a small bowl of the grains are sort of separated already).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Torakris,

Do you know what is in that square container that the guy in your YouTube link adds to the rice? It looks interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always fluffed because it looks nicer when served. I don't care for the look of a big cakey clump of rice on my plate. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost always fluff rice (I don't have a rice cooker) as it makes it - well - fluffy :-)

I also sometimes put a knob of butter on the rice once it's done, so I have to mix that in. Sometimes I add the butter at the beginning, if I don't forget.

Sometimes I scoop rice with a ladle or a cup to make a half ball on the plate, then I don't fluff.

But I've never really give this any thought, just something I've been doing automatically.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually fluff because it helps to even distribute the moisture, especially when making a large quantity of rice. If you don't then the rice near the bottom will tend to get really mushy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...