Rice in a restaurant tastes much better than rice at home and it has everything to do with water

restaurant
This is how you prepare rice as if it came straight from a restaurant!

Cooking rice seems like the easiest job in the world: boil some water, add the rice, and boil again. Yet this seemingly simple process often results in a dry, hard, mushy, or sloppy mess. How can it be that rice always tastes so much better in a restaurant?

This is how you prepare restaurant-worthy rice.

Rinsing and soaking

First, you need to rinse the rice grains to remove the excess starch. That’s because this starch can make your grains too sticky when you cook them. Rinse the grains for as long as it takes before the water is clear. If you use brown rice, basmati, jasmine or texmati rice, you need to soak the grains for an additional 30 minutes up to an hour.

Amount of water

This is where a lot of people go wrong when they’re cooking rice. For white rice, you need 360 to 420 ml of water per 175 grams of rice. It’s different for brown rice, though: for brown rice your need 480 ml of water per 175 grams of rice.

Cooking

After making the right preparations, it’s finally time to start the actual cooking of the rice. Add the rice and the moisture (water or broth) to a medium-sized pan with a lid. Add one tablespoon of either butter or olive oil and one teaspoon of salt. Bring the water up to a boil on medium heat without having the lid on the pan. For white rice: leave the rice in a pan with a lid on medium to low heat until all of the water has been absorbed (this takes about 15 to 20 minutes). Brown rice that hasn’t been soaked needs to simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. If you have soaked your brown rice, you’ll need to boil it (with a lid) for 20 minutes.

Last few tips

It doesn’t matter what type of rice you’re using when it comes to the following rule: don’t take a peek! When you regularly lift the lid to check whether the rice is done yet, steam will escape, which has an influence on the rice. Besides that, you’re obviously free to spice up your rice with, for example, broth or saffron. If you add a flavour, do this at the same time as adding the butter or olive oil to the water.

Read more: Cooked too much rice? Don’t throw it out, but make THIS delicious dish instead!

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Source: Tiphero | Image: Charles Haynes, Flickr