When I lived at my mom’s house, where there is a glorious gas stove that I miss daily, I could never make rice without burning the bottom. No matter what kind of rice I was making, whether it was a box of Uncle Ben’s mix or Rice-A-Roni, or something more adventurous like coconut or saffron rice, I would always, always, always burn at least a small layer of rice in the pan. My mom thought it was hilarious, and it’s still a running family joke.
However, when I moved in with Ian — and into a kitchen with an electric stove — I learned a quick trick for foolproof rice that comes out perfect every time. Fluffy, tender and just the right moistness — no liquid left, but the grains aren’t dry, either. This is a tip that only works for electric ranges, I’m sorry to say, but if you have your own trick for gas stoves, I want to hear them! I much prefer a gas stove for just about everything else, and I’m gonna have one of my own someday.
When I tell you, you’re going to roll your eyes and say, “Really?” And then you’re going to doubt me, and then you’re going to try it, and then… well, you’re going to thank me. Are you ready? Here goes:
1. Place your rice and cooking liquid (and any other seasonings) in a saucepan, accordingly sized, that has a well-fitting lid (the lid is important!) and cover. Remember, the desired ratio is 2 parts water to 1 part rice, but you can substitute in any number of other liquids for all or part of the water. I like to use chicken or beef broth/bouillon, but depending on the dish, I’ll do half broth and half coconut milk sometimes, too.
2. Place the saucepan on a large burner, and turn the burner to ‘HIGH.’
3. Wait for the liquid to come to a boil.
4. Turn the burner OFF and walk away.
5. Read a book, check your email and putz around on Facebook, play games on your phone while sitting on the toilet and hiding in the bathroom from your significant other/kids/pets/etc., or whatever else you would like to do for 30 or so minutes. Half an hour to an hour later, your perfect rice will be sitting there in your saucepan, ready for you to fluff it and serve it.
I promise you, I have not burned a single grain of rice since I learned this trick! Except maybe one or two that have fallen into the burner drip pans…