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.

Water/rice ratios


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Until we moved 8 years ago, it was always 2:1 water:american long grain rice, on the stove, 20 min, and it was perfect, for 30 years, at several addresses.

Basmati needed less ~ 1.67:1.

Here, its more humid, basmati is running about 1.3:1, jasmine rice is ~ 1.5:1, and the last time I tried american long grain it was a bit soupy at 2:1 so will try 1.75:1 when I cook it again.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've mostly given up measuring water accurately. I let the fuzzy-logic work its magic. I almost always make brown rice and find that a bit more than 2:1 works best to balance the tooth of the bran. Particularly for short grain, that I like a bit softer.

Bear in mind that a rice cooker will stay on cook temperature until all the water is gone and there is only steam. It measures the temperature and as long as liquid water is present the temp will not excede 212 deg. F. When all the water is gone, the temperature of the steam will begin to excede 212 and the a thermostat switch will be triggered switching over to the keep-warm mode. Thus, you would theoretically never have soupy rice in a rice cooker as the excess water would be boiled away before the cooker changed to keep-warm mode. That said, it could be ones taste prefers an al dente feel to the rice. I tend to use about a 1:1.5 or thereabouts ratio myself.

True, the rice won't end up soupy but the cooking time affects how much of the water is absorbed vs. boiled away. My Sanyo cooker has a bunch of white rice settings and only one brown rice so I add more water to get softer rice. But the cooker tries to compensate so its pretty inexact.

... and I still want to know why "fuzzy logic" sounds attractive for a rice cooker but unsettling for a nuclear power plant. :shock:

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always done 2:1 and I don't rinse. Always worked for me.

Same here. Doesn't turn out mushy at all.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MJX, the parboiled rice I have is South Indian, and that's the usual way of cooking that rice. Specifically, it is rosematta rice. I sometimes get other kinds but that is my most common because I love its beautiful pink-ish hue. In South India and several other parts as well actually, parboiled rice is very traditional, please don't think of Uncle Bens! Actually parboiling the rice drives vitamins (especially vitamin B1, deficiency of which causes beriberi - a disease not uncommon in those who subsist mostly on rice) into the core of the rice, making it more nutritious than white rice.

What happens if you cook the rosematta rice like normal rice? It's just that it never occurred to me to cook parboiled rice differently to regular rice (the first time I did this, and noticed 'parboiled' on the bag, I did wondered how that was going to affect things, but I've noticed no difference).

I don't think you can get Uncle Ben's in Denmark :)

Er, I've never cooked it any other way so I can't tell you! But several Keralites have assured me that it was the best way to cook this kind of rice, and I trust them. Have never had bad results. Also this rice takes longer (30-40 minutes total boiling time) to cook than raw rice.

I've never actually bought or eaten Uncle Bens, but several times when I have innocently been talking about parboiled rice, people have jumped on me and mentioned this and what a horrible processed food it is and why-are-we-eating-rice-like-this and I got rather annoyed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen numerous sensible analysis that says the ratio isn't a fixed ratio; as you increase the amount of rice, the ratio of water steadily goes down. So a discussion of how much water is used needs to include the type of rice, the cooking method, the rice age and the amount of rice. Of these, you'll likely find that the type of rice and, especially, the amount of rice are the predominant factors.

A rice cooker will always cook the rice such that it isn't soupy because it judges 'done' by the lack of 'free' water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen numerous sensible analysis that says the ratio isn't a fixed ratio; as you increase the amount of rice, the ratio of water steadily goes down. . . .

I've heard this, too. However, like many people, I almost always cook roughly the same amount of rice, so I haven't had the opportunity to observe this effect.

On the other hand, my personal experience has been that in terms of the rice: water ratio, the only factor that makes a difference is whether the rice is white or brown. This may not be consistent with prevailing wisdom, but there it is.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For perfect Basmati or Jasmine Rice try the ratio of 1:1 . Because most Basmati & Jasmine Rice is polished with talc powder these days I like to rinse mine 2 or 3 times until the water runs clear. Then I give it a pre-cook soak for 30m in clean water, drain again and then cook in water in the ratio of 1:1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For well-rinsed basmati without the soak stage, we use just under 1.5:1 and it works well, but as said above, it very much depends on just how much rice you're cooking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about wild rice? It seems to absorb even less water - I hadn't cooked it in forever, followed the directions on the package, and had a LOT of water sitting on the bottom of the pan.

Cooking the equivalent of 3 portions or thereabouts.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that the local Chinese rice needs a bit more - with that I use the one knuckle rule.

Two-to-one would be for making rice porridge.

You use 2:1 for porridge? How could that possibly work? I use at least 6:1, and often more like 10:1 or more (depending on whether I'm making xi fan or zhou, and whether I'm starting with already cooked rice or not).

For Asian rice, I use a combination of the first-knuckle method and the markings on the rice cooker (haven't measured what ratio that works out to). For medium grain rice (say making "Spanish" rice), I use about 2:1, and never had a problem with it being too sticky or too watery. But I agree with everyone who has said that it depends quite a bit on the exact rice.

What about wild rice? It seems to absorb even less water

Wild "rice" isn't actually rice.

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

Made a some huge batches of rice at work this week using the ratio of 5# rice to 6.5 qt water. Cooked it in a hot oven. Rice was a touch softer then I would liked, but acceptable. They used a dang ice cream style portion scoop, and it just messed up the grains

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about wild rice? It seems to absorb even less water

Wild "rice" isn't actually rice.

yes, I realize it is a seed, but it is "rice-like" in its preparation, so I thought I could get some insight

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I measured the 1 cup white rice line in my Zoji rice cooker (without anything else in it) and it seems to be just about exactly two Japanese cups of water -- if anything, it was a bit short of the 1 cup line. That ratio (2:1) works pretty well for me (for well-rinsed Asian style rice).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no sure "rule of thumb" way of cooking rice. Too many variables. The same cup of rice if you shake it a little, the volume decreases. The "knuckle" method, whose knuckle? What is the diameter of the vessel?

This is a more or less sure way of making rice, any rice, if you don't have other "sure ways" that consistently work.

1. Put rice in a small pot that fits in your pressure cooker.

2. Add water to rice; use less water than you think it needs.

3. Pressure steam the rice for about 20 minutes and take a taste of the rice.

4. It the rice comes out good, you are done. If the rice is too tough, add a little more water and pressure steam again.

5. Keep doing it until the rice is cooked to the exact consistency you like.

This works with any rice, except this method will not give you any crispy browned bottom crust.

dcarch

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

  • 2 weeks later...

Instructions on my rice cooker called for 1.5:1 water/rice ratio for Jasmine rice, and it turns out perfect every time. I have never soaked or rinse my rice, is there a reason why this would be good to do? Every time I try to cook brown rice, it comes out quite hard, and when I try to add more water (even in the rice cooker) it comes out mushy with extra water in the bottom. Wood soaking the brown rice 1st help this problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole thread puzzles me. I cook rice in a regular pot on the stove, in a large excess of water. I never measure the ratio but I would say it's easily 4 or 5 parts water to 1 part rice. I start with the rice in cold water, then boil until starchy bubbles start to form, which usually means that the rice is ready. I do this with Jasmine or Basmati rice and it works every time, no soggy rice. Obviously I drain the rice once it's cooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole thread puzzles me. I cook rice in a regular pot on the stove, in a large excess of water. . . .

I have a some recollection of using this technique a long time ago (and know plenty of people who use it), but I prefer both the texture and convenience (just the pot to clean, no strainer) of rice that is cooked in just as much water as it will absorb. It's down to personal preference, obviously.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cook rice all the time, typically jasmine rice. 1.5 to 1 for 15 minutes, comes out perfect every time. bring to a boil, stir once, covered on the lowest heat possible. I did it this way in California and now in Kentucky, a no brainer. It truly comes out perfect all the time.

Occasionally I'll make basmati rice in a way I learned from a friend of mine from India. Basically cooking the rice in copious amounts of water and when it is done, draining it. If it needs a little less moisture then put it on the stove for a bit. This way too works out fine.

I must admit that if trying different rices one has to play it by ear a bit but once you get it right it should be a cinch from there on out.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never soaked or rinse my rice, is there a reason why this would be good to do?

It certainly makes sense to wash/rinse your rice.

For one thing you don't know what conditions it was packed in. Hygiene conditions in many rice producing areas might not be up to your standards and rice is often dusty at best. Chinese people, the world's biggest rice eaters, rinse and wash rice within a proverbial inch of its life for this very reason.

Secondly, it removes excess starch which can make your rice sticky - something you don't always want..

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made some good short/medium grain brown rice using 1.5 water to 1 rice on the brown rice setting of my cooker.

I also agree with washing white rice. Cleanliness issues aside, the texture of the unwashed rice is unpleasant to me.

Anybody wash their rice if they are going to fry it for a pilaf? I usually don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no sure "rule of thumb" way of cooking rice. Too many variables. The same cup of rice if you shake it a little, the volume decreases. The "knuckle" method, whose knuckle? What is the diameter of the vessel?

This is a more or less sure way of making rice, any rice, if you don't have other "sure ways" that consistently work.

1. Put rice in a small pot that fits in your pressure cooker.

2. Add water to rice; use less water than you think it needs.

3. Pressure steam the rice for about 20 minutes and take a taste of the rice.

4. It the rice comes out good, you are done. If the rice is too tough, add a little more water and pressure steam again.

5. Keep doing it until the rice is cooked to the exact consistency you like.

This works with any rice, except this method will not give you any crispy browned bottom crust.

dcarch

To elaborate on dcharch's instructions for the pressure cooker bain marie method for cooking rice...

I wouldl ike to add

2.1 Most pressure steamed rice using the bain marie method needs only a 1:1 rice to water ratio.

2.5 Add one cup of water in the pressure cooker, then a trivet or steamer basket, and then the heat-proof container with the rice and water.

because there is plenty.

Pressure steam 3-5 minutes depending on the rice variety. Brown rice needs about 1 1/3 cup of liquid per grain and should be pressure steamed 15-20 minutes. Open with natrual release.

Ciao,

L

hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

The food question that sends me to the interwebs more than any other is ... how much water?

It's a bit different for every kind of rice, and varies a bit with cooking techniques.

And then theres quinoa, couscous, and all the other rice analogues that cook in similar ways.

Does anyone have a one-stop source for all this info? Prefereably an accurate one?

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're first going to have to decide how you're cooking the rice - rice cooker, stove top pot, pressure cooker etc., each of which requires different ratios.

On the other hand, I humbly remember my mother's (and every other family members') instruction to thoroughly wash the rice then add water to the pot up to the first digit. To me this seemed so inaccurate, given variances in pot width and finger sizes, but those folks cooked the same rice, in the same quantity, using their same finger, in the same pot everyday, so it worked for them. In the end, it's trial and error, not rocket science, like all good cooking.

Monterey Bay area

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...