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.

Fragrant Jasmine rice


petite tête de chou
 Share

Recommended Posts

I seem to able to cook Calrose rice (boring but useful stuff) but I'm stumped on how to properly cook either Jasmine, Basmati or long grain brown rice... the rices I love best, of course. :hmmm: Many websites recommend steaming Jasmine rice. Is this absolutely necessary? Should I toast it first to maximize it's flavor? Less or more water? How about using chicken stock? How long on and off the burner?

My intention is to use the Jasmine rice in a Thai stir fry. Calrose doesn't even come close to reaching the heights of true Thai flavor in any dish...ever, IMHO.

Any and all opinions on cooking rice are welcomed. This should be a basic skill for me but it's not...yet!! :rolleyes:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jasmine and Basmati are different. Jasmine, like regular medium and long grain rice, wants to be rinsed in several changes of water. Once it is thoroughly rinsed, it should come out wonderfully using either a rice cooker or pot on stove method.

Basmati, on the other hand, does not lend itself to the rice cooker - I think it needs a harder boil. Most important, with Basmati, is that it needs to be soaked, not just rinsed, for at least 15 minutes.

Most of these rices have directions imprinted on the bags, or on a tag sewn into the bag. Older rice wants more water because it is drier.

Can't help with brown rice - I never use the stuff!

Good luck!

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boyfriend makes jasmine rice using the following recipe, and it is absolutely delicious:

1 c jasmine rice

1 c chicken broth

3/4 c water

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 scallions thinly sliced

Put broth, water, soy sauce, and oil in saucepan and bring to boil... add rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover for 20-25 minutes. You can stir in the scallions when it's done and you fluff with a fork... that's what I would do. He adds the scallions at the beginning and lets them cook with the rice.

Very tasty rice... and really very easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Calrose has directions on the bag which includes rinsing and that has had very good results.

I purchase my Jasmine, Basmati, long grain brown rice and wild rice in bulk. Needless to say I don't completely trust the itsy bitsy tags with directions stuck to the bins.

The turn-over with beans and rice is very good at this store so I don't think I'll have much of a problem with old stuff. Thank god, I seem to have enough problems. :raz:

As I mentioned, I intend to use the Jasmine in a stir fry- an overnight sleep for the rice in the 'fridge.

For the brown and wild rice I was thinking of serving it with either a winey venison stew or wild turkey with roasted root vegetables.

Autumn is nearly here in Oregon and noodles just-won't-cut-it.

In addition, I'm not much for boiling rice in ample amounts of water then draining it. Tho' this seems to be the only way I know how to cook wild rice. -sigh-

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an adorable pup, beccaboo!

I have been under the impression that brown rice actually requires MORE liquid than 'regular' rice. Gads, I have quite a bit to learn.

As far as salt is concerned I have usually sprinkled a bit of sea salt in most of my rice. Is this not recommended? Adding that I don't salt my stocks. So I didn't figure that a bit of salt would hurt.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As it happens I have Basmati rice on the stove as I post-lunch is nigh.

I rarely rinse rice unless I've bought a grubby bag-which I have seen from some producers.

I always buy Basmati from Indian or Pakistani sources-never from the USA.

Anyway all I ever do is add twice the amount of water to rice, bring to a hard boil, simmer for about 5 minutes and shut the burner off.

Never stir the rice or even lift the lid-just let it cook.

Depending on the amount of rice 15-25 minutes it's done perfectly every time.

My recipe for Thai Jasmine rice is exactly the same except I pay a little more attention-I find it a tad more delicate and it can end up a gelatinous mess with heavy handling.

Again I only buy Thai grown rice.

Edited by Sam Salmon (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an adorable pup, beccaboo!

I have been under the impression that brown rice actually requires MORE liquid than 'regular' rice. Gads, I have quite a bit to learn.

As far as salt is concerned I have usually sprinkled a bit of sea salt in most of my rice. Is this not recommended?  Adding that I don't salt my stocks. So I didn't figure that a bit of salt would hurt.

That's Margaret!

Recipes always say to use more water with brown rice, but I think it's better with less. I never used to like brown rice till I discovered this.

I don't ever add salt to my plain rice--like plain jasmine served along with Thai food--but I do add it to pilaus and things. It's a matter of taste. Plain brown rice seems too plain to me, though, so I like to add a little salt, or maybe a blob of nice, salty Marmite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of good tips for jasmine rice here -- I especially want to second the rinsing advice, which makes a huge difference. We buy only Thai rice here, and have a steady supply thanks to the large number of southeast asian folks in our town. Which brings me to my tip:

Fresh rice makes a huge difference. I know a couple of people alluded to this, but I think it's important enough to stress, and it's something that a cook might not anticipate, rice being dried and all.

Getting in with your local rice purveyor (in my case, having good relationships with the southeast asian grocers in town) will help too, as they can let you know when they have a fresh, good crop.

One last note on jasmine rice. David Thompson, whose excellent Thai Food makes for amazing reading, has a 200-page introduction to the cuisine that prefaces the recipes. In that book, he stresses that, in a genuine Thai meal, rice does not accompany main dishes: rice is the main dish, and other things accompany it.

Being the most important food in the world, it kinda makes sense, y'know?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Jasmine rice a lot and I second the rinsing as well as using a little less water than most recipes call for. I do salt my water. Can't imagine unsalted rice and trying to stir salt into the dish after would break up the grains and cause it to get mushy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with the "no salt, less water, no rinsing, don't peek, fluff with a fork" school of thought on the jasmine rice. It comes out perfectly every time...not sticky, so fragrant. I've had only one failure with it, and that was because I got sidetracked and only added half the water needed! Even then it tasted pretty good, just not soft enough. lkm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been wondering about Jasmine rice, myself. I cook rice as a side dish probably 5 days a week; I have Basmati, Jasmine, and Uncle Ben's. I usually do the same thing each time: bring 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock to a boil with a little butter and salt, add rice, stir, cover, turn heat to low, ignore for 20 minutes, turn off heat, ignore for at least another 5 minutes. My rice generally turns out just fine. But I have been thinking that I might switch to water for the Jasmine rice, because the stock I use is too strong or something and I can't taste the special rice. I wondered if maybe I was committing a faux pas and using stock with Jasmine rice isn't recommended.

Oh, and I never rinse the Uncle Ben's or the Jasmine, because they look so clean. The Basmati rice I bought in a burlap bag, and it smells strongly of burlap and doesn't look very clean, so I rinse it for quite awhile and let it sit wet while I am bringing the broth to a boil.

Edited by RSincere (log)
Rachel Sincere
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boyfriend makes jasmine rice using the following recipe, and it is absolutely delicious:

1 c jasmine rice

1 c chicken broth

3/4 c water

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 scallions thinly sliced

Put broth, water, soy sauce, and oil in saucepan and bring to boil... add rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover for 20-25 minutes. You can stir in the scallions when it's done and you fluff with a fork... that's what I would do. He adds the scallions at the beginning and lets them cook with the rice.

Very tasty rice... and really very easy.

I just finished making your recipe above for supper tonight. Very tasty. I used green onions and added them after the rice was done. Thanks for posting it. lkm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of good tips for jasmine rice here -- I especially want to second the rinsing advice, which makes a huge difference.

Ummm...don't want to appear too naive here, but until I began making Indian food seriously, I never used Basmati at all. Then, as a rank beginner in that cuisine, I made it exactly the same way I have always made my short-grain rice: per Sam's formula--two-to-one, water to rice, no salt, no stir, no peek. And it has always come out perfect. So, now that it's clear that I am among the great unwashed (as is my rice :laugh: ), I'm curious: is it possible to explain what the "huge difference" is?

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ummm...don't want to appear too naive here, but until I began making Indian food seriously, I never used Basmati at all.  Then, as a rank beginner in that cuisine, I made it exactly the same way I have always made my short-grain rice:  per Sam's formula--two-to-one, water to rice, no salt, no stir, no peek.  And it has always come out perfect.  So, now that it's clear that I am among the great unwashed (as is my rice :laugh: ), I'm curious:  is it possible to explain what the "huge difference" is?

The main thing you do different with basmati is soak it for at least 15 minutes, and I think that's to help the grains get longer. When it's cooked, each grain should be long and slender, "like ladies' fingers." After it's soaked, you can either do the no-stir, no-peek thing (but with 1.5:1, not 2:1), or fry the rice with some spices and things before adding the water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When it's cooked, each grain should be long and slender, "like ladies'  fingers."  After it's soaked, you can either do the no-stir, no-peek thing (but with 1.5:1, not 2:1)....

Thanks. The grains do turn out "long and slender" my way; maybe the soaking would make them longer and slenderer (?) It seems, though, that perhaps my way, the rice ends up a tiny bit "stickier" than it should. I'm so used to short grain rice (and, frankly, like the sticky, clumpy quality of it), that I may have erred on the side of making the basmati end up that way unintentionally. But aside from the relative stickiness (or "un-") of the rice, does the soaking make a difference to the flavor? I wouldn't think so, but then....

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks.  The grains do turn out "long and slender" my way; maybe the soaking would make them longer and slenderer (?)  It seems, though, that perhaps my way, the rice ends up a tiny bit "stickier" than it should.  I'm so used to short grain rice (and, frankly, like the sticky, clumpy quality of it), that I may have erred on the side of making the basmati end up that way unintentionally.  But aside from the relative stickiness (or "un-") of the rice, does the soaking make a difference to the flavor?  I wouldn't think so, but then....

I think soaking does make the grains even longer. The excessive stickiness is probably from using too much water, not from lack of soaking: the rice doesn't absorb much water while soaking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful ideas and methods! Thank you so much, everyone!

I'm still curious about the toasting idea.

I always toast my spices before either grinding or immediately using them and have had great results. Really great results.

If I toast my basmati, for example, should I add the liquid directly then bring to a boil or remove the rice, boil the liquid and add the rice? Dry toast or toast in butter, ghee or oil?

I REALLY don't like mushy rice. I could still eat it with enough sriracha but the husband will not! :raz:

Also, wild rice. Yum. I live in gorgeous Oregon and would love to serve wild rice with the wild turkey I intend to "bag" on Sauvies Island this year.

Is the only tried n- true to boil and drain?! Help. :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I toast my basmati, for example, should I add the liquid directly then bring to a boil or remove the rice, boil the liquid and add the rice? Dry toast or toast in butter, ghee or oil?

Also, wild rice. Yum. I live in gorgeous Oregon and would love to serve wild rice with the wild turkey I intend to "bag" on Sauvies Island this year.

Is the only tried n- true to boil and drain?!  Help.  :smile:

What I do with basmati is:

1) Soak it anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours

2) Fry it along with some spices in a little oil (ghee would also be good, but not butter,

I think)

3) Add cold water, bring to a boil, turn heat down to low, cover pan, cook 15 minutes

4) Take off heat, let rest 5 minutes

5) Fluff-n-serve

I do wild rice in a pressure cooker, and haven't yet figured out the right amount of water to use--it always comes out too wet, and I have to drain it. I think wild rice varies a lot in how much water it requires. In my pressure cooker I do about 2.5:1 for 22 minutes at high pressure, and there's only a little bit of excess water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always use jasmine rice, never salt, and always use a rice cooker, which makes a difference, because it will always stop cooking right when all the water has been completely absorbed. I always rinse the rice 3 or 4 times. And don’t stir the rice while it cooks, because that will ruin all the little steam chimneys that form naturally and steam the rice. When I cook rice, it is always rinsed rice, with cold water added, and the whole thing put in the cooker or on the stove to cook. I never boil water then add the rice to the boiling water.

As far as I know the only variable left is the water-to-rice ratio, which I judge by comparing the thickness of the layer of submerged raw rice on the bottom with the layer of water above it. This works for any amount of rice and is not complicated. Moreover, you are comparing the actual amount of rice and water in the pot, rather than the amounts you thought you measured, so there is less chance for error.

With rice and cold water in the pot, you level the rice in the pot, jam your finger in and dig to the bottom, then use the index finger and thumb of your other hand to touch (a) where the top of the rice is, and (b) where the top of the water is. Keeping your hands together in this position, you lift from the pot and look at the two distances. The first time you do this you probably want them to be equal, i.e. the layer of submerged rice is the same thickness as the layer of water above it. Cook up this batch and see if you like this ratio. If not, you can adjust the ratio next time you make rice, and this tweaking will compensate for any inherent dryness in the rice grains because it wasn’t fresh or whatever.

When you think it’s done, it’s important to let it ‘rest’ with the heat off for 5 or 10 minutes—this works the same way as letting meat rest after you’ve roasted it—if you don’t do it, the steamy moisture won’t have a chance to be reabsorbed by the rice. Then you can fluff it if you want.

When I do it this way I get rice that is slightly sticky. When pushed together with chopsticks, grains will clump, but they will not be mushy. This will NOT produce rice where every grain is separate from the rest., which would be fiendishly difficult to pick up with chopsticks.

And yes, freshly-cooked rice is too moist for fried rice. It needs to sit in the fridge for at least a day before it makes good fried rice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

never made jasmine rice, but for basmati rice, 2 water to 1 rice ratio plus some for good luck. bring up to rolling boil, then cover and reduce to lowest setting for about 20 minutes. then take the lid off to dry it out a bit then add some butter.

i also like to add cardamon to the rice, either whole or ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's unclear about whether you are asking about 'rice recipes' or 'cooking rice'.

A rice recipe would have a bunch of stuff added, like chicken stock, or scallions, or bits of onion.

Cooking basmati rice is simple.

I was confounded for quite some time by being invited by my friend Ansu from Bhopal (by way of Manchester) who always cooked basmati with no trouble nor fuss. One day I watched carefully and noted everything he did. Since then, no worries!

Basmati should ALWAYS be rinsed -- especially that bought in Indian or Pakistani grocers. Just put a cup (or however much) in the pot, fill it with water, stir, and pour it out. Then do the same again. That's all.

In proportions of two-to-one (minus a tablespoon), put the rice and water in the pot on HIGH. Put on a COVER. In some minutes time you will see STEAM pouring out all over the place. REMOVE the rice from the burner and set it aside.

Note: the BOIL should be achieved with the LID ON.

Go about and cook your main dish. When it is done, your rice will be done!

By the way, NEVER lift the lid. If you do, you deserve whatever befalls you.

Edited by Ocean_islands (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might like to take a look at the hints and instructions for cooking jasmine rice that I gave in my eG cooking class here. In general, for Asian tastes, the ratio of 1 part rice to two parts water doesn't work at all, you're going to get a much wetter and softer grain then would be the prototypical texture.

Also, the bulk "jasmine" rice sold in most grocery stores tastes nothing like jasmine rice grown in Thailand. I don't think it's even the same rice, but some sort of hybrid. The good stuff usually only come in 25 lb and up bags, but some decent stuff will come in 15 lbs and it's very affordable in your local asian grocery store. Here in Portland, OR we pay around $25 for a 50 lb bag of the highest costing/premium brand. Honestly, that bulk rice is dreadful and doesn't have the beautiful fragrance a decent jasmine rice will have (and you should still be able to taste and smell the "special" rice even if you cook it with chicken stock).

As for "new" rice, new isn't better, it's just different. Some of the most expensive rice is actually aged for a quite a while! Rice conissuers believe it depends on what you're going to eat the jasmine rice with... for curries and other things with lots of wet gravy, an aged rice is preferred, while drier dishes like stir-fries work better with a newer rice.

I've noticed that how basmati rice gets cooked by a South Asian depends not only on the dish it's intended for, but also where the person is actually from. The most common method I've seen is to boil the rice like pasta (where you drain off the excess water) but then I've hung out in the kitchen mostly with people from Madras or Bombay.

regards,

trillium

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...