Reader question: "What is the best way to cook rice so that it's fluffy and absorbs all of the water?"
Sara says: My answer is quite unorthodox. It has shocked and horrified some of my culinary friends. I am rice impaired. Even though I always follow the instructions for cooking rice, it never comes out right. Either it is too wet or all the liquid evaporates before the rice is cooked. So, I have taken to cooking it the way I learned at one of the restaurants I worked at many years ago – I boil it like pasta.
I just bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and then the rice. I give it a stir, turn it down to a simmer and then let the rice cook, uncovered, until it is done – usually about 17 minutes for white rice or 45 minutes for brown rice. I drain it well in a colander and then add butter or whatever else I want to flavor it with at that point. One cup of raw rice will yield roughly 3 cups of cooked. I often cook double the amount of brown rice so that I can freeze half for a future dinner. It freezes well.
If you eat a lot of rice and have a large kitchen you might want to invest in a rice cooker – they work like a dream.
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Sara Moulton is a classically trained chef and author of several cookbooks including Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners, and Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals. She is the Food Editor of ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America”, the former host of Food Network's "Cooking Live." Sara was Executive Chef of Gourmet Magazine for twenty-three years. You can read more of Sara's recipes by clicking here.
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