Cooking Rice

Rice, in addition to other cooked whole grains, is a great addition to any diet and is easy to digest. A pinch of salt in the water enhances the flavor of the rice without adding a salty taste.

Here, we discuss cooking brown rice, Chinese style white rice, and Japanese style sushi rice.

Brown Rice

We like to cook brown rice using almost twice the amount of water as uncooked rice. Once measured, you should wash brown rice very well before cooking it. Optionally, you can "score" the wet rice for a minute or two by rubbing it tightly between your fingers while it is wet.

Add the washed rice and water to a heavy pan and cover tightly. Turn up the heat until you hear the water start to boil and then immediately turn down the heat to very low and cook for about 45 minutes. Resist the temptation to "peak" at the rice while it is cooking.

Chinese Style White Rice

You should wash white rice very well to remove any dirt and excess starch. You can use either a colander or wash it in a bowl or pan.

In a cooking pan mix one and one half cups of water for every one cup of washed rice. You will want to start cooking the rice uncovered until the water starts to boil. Turn down the heat to medium and let the rice cook for a another minute or two uncovered at a slow boil. Then cover the cooking pan tightly and reduce the heat to a very low setting for about 15 minutes.

Stir the rice briskly with a fork before serving.

Japanese Style Sushi Rice

Sushi is an easy to make, fun, and healthy food to make and eat at home. There is only one main problem making sushi: getting the rice "right".

When you buy sushi rice, look for either "Sushi" or "Japanese" style rice. We like to buy it in bulk, along with other kinds of rice and grains.

Start by making 'plain' Japanese rice

Wash sushi rice lightly - it is important to wash away any dirt but we want to leave some of the starch. Add the rice to a heavy pot and add a little more water than rice by volume (roughly 10% to 20% more). Cover the water and rice and let it stand for at least 20 minute before turning on the heat. Then bring the covered pot to a boil under high heat - immediately turn down the heat to very low and cook covered for about 15 minutes. It is very important to not overcook sushi rice - it must be sticky, moist, and must not have a "crunch" to it.

Extra steps if you are going to make sushi

While the rice is cooking, you can mix up the rice vinegar and white sugar that are crucial ingredients. For every 2 cups of (uncooked) Japanese rice that I am cooking, I use a little less than a quarter of a cup of rice vinegar and about two or three tablespoons of white sugar. If you are not on a low salt diet, also add about 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt.

When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and immediately mix in the rice vinegar, white sugar, and (optionally) a little salt. Stir very well, and set aside for the mixture to cool down before making sushi. Note: some cooks heat the rice vinegar, white sugar, and salt to a low boil before adding the mixture to the cooked rice - we find that if the rice if very hot that this step is not absolutely required.