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Learn to make perfect White Rice and freeze some to serve any weekday.

How to Cook White Rice | Freeze Rice

Sharing today, an ultimate guide to cooking White Rice using boiling, steaming or Instant Pot method. Freezing tips to serve rice any day without perching on stove.

Time and again, a frequent question pops up - How to Cook Rice, How to Freeze Rice. I noticed, I have been answering questions related to making and freezing of rice every other week on blog or on some social channel. So, today I decided to compile my experience of rice: cooking rice, freezing rice, where to find rice etc.. all in one post. I hope you will find it useful.

Alright then, let's get ready for some Rice Love!

HOW TO COOK RICE

Even though today's recipe shows how to cook white rice. You can also use boiling and instant pot cooking methods for brown rice. 

I often cook rice following ways:

1) Boil Or Steam - Boiling or Steaming Rice is one of THE most common way to cooked rice in my home. Any variety of rice: brown rice, long grain or short grain white rice. All can adjust well to this cooking method.

Steaming rice is not really steaming dry rice on top of boiling water like we steam vegetables. Dry rice grains swell on cooking and absorb double the amount of water to own size. If steamed like veggies, it will need a lot of time and lot of steam. So steaming rice is actually boiling rice submerged in water, with pre-measured amount of water. Most white rice variety need ratio 2:1 i.e. 2 Cups Liquid for 1 Cup Rice. Always check direction on rice package to learn the exact amount of water.

a) Boiling i.e. Immersed in Extra Water: To boil rice, use a bigger, deep pot and add extra water. Boil rice on high eat until rice grains are tender to your liking. Drain the extra water. This method is very helpful and my preferred method of cooking rice for two reasons;

1) I can eye-ball the amount of water. Even when cooking short grain, thick rice... the quantity of water can be adjusted at any time and resulting rice are perfect al-dente.

2) By draining excess water, I get chance to remove extra starch from rice. Resulting rice are lite, fluffy and less starchy. Perfect for every day use.

b) Steaming i.e. Just Right Proportion Water: Steaming method works when I'm making seasoned rice/rice with base flavor. I use pre-measured quantity of water and rice. By the time water boils away, rice are tender. Leave aside covered for 5 minutes so that rice get chance to absorb any moisture hanging around. This method yields perfect seasoned rice every time. You can NOT eyeball the amount of liquid because it may dilute the flavor. Both rice and water are pre-measured.

Try my Jerra (Cumin) Rice recipe and Martha's White Rice recipe which feature this method.

Tip: When we are on road for a long trip. I like to carry some packets of Instant style Pre-Cooked Rice (affiliate link). These are ready in Microwave in 90 seconds. Good time and money saver.

2) Instant Pot - Instant Pot may sound like a new kid in town but cooking rice in electric Pressure Cooker is not new at all. It is an age old way to cooking grains. Instant Pot's Pressure Cooker method is my favorite to cook rice under pressure. In minutes, perfect cooked rice are ready. No perching on stove to check water etc. Both rice and water are pre-measured.  Pressure cooking is beneficial because:

a) Rice are ready faster. (need less cooking time)
b) Pressure Cooking preserves nutrients and yields consistent good result. (Least surprises.)
c) Instant Pot booklet offers instructions to cook almost any kind of rice - long grain, short grain, brown or wild rice.

To cook rice in Instant Pot, I follow same approach as Boiling with right proportion of water.

I start by:
1) Wash the rice under running water until water runs clear.
2) Switch on  Instant Pot Saute setting and saute the flavor-base(if any). (skip this step for plain rice)
3) Add rice with required amount of water. Mix to make sure all grains of rice are immersed in water.
4) Seal the lid tight and cook on High Pressure for time mentioned in Instant Pot Booklet. Or Follow chart below.

Try my Garlic Brown Rice recipe and Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowl recipe (uses white rice) which feature this method.

3) Rice Cooker - If you own a Rice cooker. Sure, go for it. I don't own a rice cooker and have not used it. If you have any useful tips to cook rice in rice cooker, please share with all of us.

HOW TO FREEZE RICE

When time pressed, I love to make a batch of white rice, and use multiple times in a week. Freezing cooked rice is the best way to preserve freshness. This way you can eat rice as many times as needed in week without perching on stove to make some.

This post is for White Rice but same freeze method works for all kinds of rice.

To freeze rice,

1. Cook Rice: Cook rice using any method described above. Boil, steam or Instant pot. Any method of cooking works as long as rice as perfectly cooked. It means not raw and not mushy.

2. Cool Rice: Once rice are cooked. Leave aside for 10 minutes, then fluff with fork and let cool completely. I like to spread rice in wide plate to cool quickly. Leaving on kitchen counters takes good 20-30 minutes depending upon weather conditions. Don't hurry for this step. Let rice cool completely. 

3. Portion and Freeze: It is very important to portion the rice before freezing. Portioning is as important as cooking the rice perfectly. Small portions are later easier to reheat or to even carry-on in same container. If frozen in large quantity, rice make bulk mass which does not thaw quickly. Forceful thaw will make rice mushy. 

Portion rice and add to plastic ziploc bags or freezer safe containers. If using bags, stack bags flat in freezer until rice freeze fully. Once frozen, you can stash the whole stack in freezer door or push'em aside to make room for other stuff.

4. Reheat and Serve: Like I mentioned, portioned frozen rice are very easy to thaw/reheat. 

To reheat, 

a) Remove bag from freezer and place in refrigerator overnight. Next day, transfer to microwave safe container, heat and serve. 
b) Bring a pot of water to rolling boil. Drop frozen rice bag in water until rice thaw and eventually heated through.

Note: If you planning to microwave rice. It is best to let rice thaw a bit before microwaving. Too long microwave may overcook rice. Also, microwave for short intervals and covered to preserve moisture.

RECIPES USING COOKED RICE

Sure rice are best on side with everything. I have 100+ recipes on blog which are served with rice. Still sometimes, I just spice-up, #stirfry or add flavor to cooked rice for quick lunch or dinner.

Here are few of my favorite recipes on blog to cook with cooked rice:

1. Lemon Rice
2. Shrimp Fried Rice
3. Tofu Scramble Fried Rice
4. Temph Fried Rice
5. Brown Rice Salad
6. Kimchi Fried Rice
7. Yogurt Curry Rice
8. Rice Lentils Salad

These tips and cooking method are already covered as part of many posts on blog. This post is effort to bring all that information together. It makes so much sense because we have rice in menu many times a month. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing.

Wish you a wonderful day. - Savita

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How to Cook White Rice | Freeze Rice

How to Cook White Rice | Freeze Rice
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 4-5 Cups Rice Serves 4 Notes No. of servings depends on serving size. Nutrition 253 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Cup Rice  (Long-Grain White Rice)
  • 3 Cup Water  (*or low-sodium Chicken Stock)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt  

Directions

  • 1. Bring *water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add washed white rice with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • 2. Once water starts to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until rice are tender and has absorbed all of water. (about 15 to 18 minutes )
    Additional Notes
    Keep an eye towards toward the end of cooking time. If needed, stir with spoon to avoid catching rice at bottom.
  • 3. Once ready. Remove from heat, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. (Check notes on freezing fresh cooked rice in post).
Savita's Notes:

There are many variety and brand of white rice. Long grain, short grain, medium grain etc. The amount of liquid to rice ratio may vary depending upon kind of rice. Most white rice variety need ratio 2:1 i.e. 2 Cups Liquid for 1 Cup Rice but it may be different for your favorite brand of rice. So, always check direction on rice package to learn the exact amount of water and cooking time. If you are not sure, use the Boiling Method described in the post.

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