To rinse, or not to rinse? People have been asking this very question about rice for years! And I hope to provide a definite answer to it in today’s post! :-)
By the end of this post, you’ll not only know whether you should rinse your rice before cooking, but why. What you learn today will give you the tools you need make your best rice ever!
Should I Rinse Rice Before Cooking It?
This common query has a relatively simple answer: yes! Taking an extra minute or two to rinse your rice can make a big difference in the final product, especially with long-grain varieties.
During processing, packaging, and shipping, grains of rice constantly rub up against each other. That friction produces a fine, starchy powder that coats the surface of the rice, and it’s the reason why rinsing is so important!
The Problem With Cooking Rice That Hasn’t Been Rinsed
The most common way we cook rice is by adding just enough water so that it all gets absorbed during cooking. If the rice is still coated in that starchy powder, those loose starches have nowhere to go but back into the rice.
This can cause your rice to turn out extremely sticky, clumpy, or even gooey. Rinsing your rice before cooking it will eliminate that troublesome starchy coating, so you can enjoy fluffier and more delicious rice!
How To Rinse Rice
Pour your rice into a bowl, then cover it with a few inches of water. Use your hands to stir it around a bit to help remove any debris from the rice. The water will look quite cloudy.
Use a sieve to strain the water away from the rice, then put the rice back in the bowl. Cover the rice in clean water and stir again.
If the water is mostly clear after the second rinse, you can strain it and begin cooking. If it’s still quite cloudy, repeat the process as many times as needed before straining and cooking.
You can save yourself a step by using a bowl that has a strainer built right in! These rice and grain washer bowls are designed for soaking and rinsing foods, featuring an elevated strainer on one side for draining out water.
A Note About Arsenic
Arsenic, a well-known carcinogen, can be found in many of our favorite foods today, including rice. In a 2012 article from Consumer Reports, an analysis of arsenic research data from Johns Hopkins University showed that people who reported eating one rice food item had 44% greater arsenic levels in their urine than those who hadn’t.
According to the Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products Risk Assessment Report published by the FDA in 2016, rinsing rice thoroughly (with 4-6 changes of water) may reduce overall arsenic levels by 28-60%. (However, the report also states that aggressive rinsing can also reduce the amount of beneficial nutrients in the rice, so that’s worth considering too!)
Tell me about your favorite rice dish!
CategoriesFood & Recipes