Have you ever cook rice or wonder how to cook perfect fluffy rice?

In the early days before rice cooker was invented, rice is cook using a simple pot over a flame of fire. I used to watch my mum scooped a few cups of fragrant jasmine rice from a big urn sitting on our kitchen floor. She will wash the rice in cold water a few times until the water is almost clear. She told me never to wash all the good nutrients away. She recycles her washed rice water by feeding the few potted plants outside our pre-war period terraced house in Georgetown, Penang. She will fill the pot of rice with clean fresh cold water and using her years of experience and eyes, she knows when there is enough water to cook that perfect fluffy rice. Her rice is never too wet or too dry. It is just right.

Until today even though I have a rice cooker at home, I will never use it unless I cook for several people and the only reason is that I do not have a bigger pot to cook for all the guests. The other reason is that it is tuck away inside a cupboard. A rice cooker is not something that I am proud to display and show off on the kitchen bench. It has the horrible long power cord (why can’t an inventor create a cordless cooker), a giant casing and nothing interesting in its look.

I still cook perfect fluffy rice just like mum, without the rice cooker. If you are not sure, use your second finger to measure the water level in the pot of rice. The water level is just right if it reaches the first section line of your second finger. After you have done it a few times, you will know how much water to use in your rice for that perfect fluffy rice.

Now the other trick is the flame. Start cooking your rice with a medium flame and the lid open. When the water starts bubbling away, turn down the flame and let the water reduce slightly, turn down the flame to low and cover the pot with the lid. Simmer the rice until it is cook. Turn off the flame and let the rice simmer for another 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy a nice bowl of fluffy fragrant jasmine rice.

8 responses to “Have you ever cook rice or wonder how to cook perfect fluffy rice?

  1. Mate, since we bought that rice cooker the house has never smelt better, burning rice has a fragrance all,of it’s own, I used to wack on the rice, wander off and have a beer then rush outside to see if the sheds were on fire. My wife ,Asian, won’t use it, however I have no shame..and I don’t get the “look” so often, well fairly often but not as often, You blokes would know..
    Here is a sauce ;( I make it once a year,in a large amount, the older it is the better it gets),
    2 cup of tomato sauce
    4 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
    6tbs white wine
    1 cup minced onion
    1/2 cup honey
    2 tsp hot mustard
    2 tsp paprika
    6 cloves crushed garlic (GOOD Garlic)
    level tsp ,or more , of chili powder’
    Throw the lot in a pot and bring to boil, simmer for about say twenty minutes that’s it. It’s bloody beautiful.

  2. lusciouslawns

    I failed miserably at cooking rice when I was growing up, so when I got my rice cooker it was like a light turning on! I am sorry to say that I couldn’t live without it, even though I pride myself on doing things ‘the old fashioned way’ for other foods. But maybe one day I will be brave enough to try your method?

  3. The other good thing about rice is that it does not have to be just plain rice. Chinese like to use the leftover rice to make fried rice or congee. Malaysian used rice with fresh coconut and screwpine leaves (also known as pandan leaves) to make lovely fragrant coconut rice to go with curry dishes. Indians make lovely briyani with turmeric or saffron mixed with lamb or other meat.

  4. Cooking rice is something that I can do, and by pure accident (as it was something that was never taught at Canterbury Girls’ Victoria), I make it about the same way that you do Victor.

    One thing that took me eons to work out is when it calls for rice left to dry out for frying that they-really-did-mean-it. Many a soggy brew preceded this revelation.

    • Min – you can leave your cooked rice (maybe 1 or 2 cups) in the fridge overnight. The next day, break the cooked rice with the back of a fork before stir fry with the other ingredients. Give this a go if you have not tried it yet.

  5. Thank you Victor. When I learnt cooking it was 2 lessons on making cinnamon toast, 3 lessons on dishwashing and how to embroider one’s name onto your apron.

    However, I did learn a bit when I was working at The York on Lilydale resort (I was advertising and corporate, weddings events). And the most important thing was..stay out of the chef’s way when he/she is in full flight.

    • Yes, the perception of a Chef in a busy kitchen. I should have a posting on that and generate some comments. That would be interesting.

  6. I make a point (not rudely!) of asking new friends I meet who originally come from Asian countries the best way to cook rice. Invariably the answer is: a rice cooker!

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