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Keeping rice in refrigerator?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is it necessary - or desirable - to keep Basmati or Jasmine rice in the fridge?

Are these oiler than regular white rice?

Thanks for any info.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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post #2 of 13
I've never found a need to keep either in the fridge. Did someone suggest you should? If so, what was the reason?
post #3 of 13
are you talking about raw or cooked?
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #4 of 13
Mike, I store it in our pantry. It's a bit cooler than a cabinet on the wall but I've never found the need to refrigerate it. Actually I have a bag that's about a year and a half old and it still cooks up just the same every time. I've also found it doesn't have any oil residue unless oil has been added in the cooking process.
post #5 of 13
Refrigeration, no -- no need. But beyond that, storage is largely a question of what you're trying to do.

If you want perfect steamed rice, you need your rice to be stored airtight, in a not-too-hot place, for not very long. Rice must be fresh, or it dries out and loses its sweetness. For perfect steamed rice, buy new crop rice that is clearly dated and recent, keep it tightly sealed and out of the light, and use it up within 2 months at the outside. That kind of rice will cost about 10x more, give or take, and is worth it if you like steamed white rice.

If you're using rice in other ways, e.g. flavored with something, baked with stock and butter, and so on, it doesn't make nearly as much difference -- almost none, in fact. Just make sure you store it tightly sealed and out of bright light or heat.

Note that cooked rice will get hard and nasty if refrigerated. To store cooked white rice, seal it tight in a tupperware sort of thing and freeze it solid. To reheat, nuke it gently, then fluff with a fork.
post #6 of 13
I refrigerate my brown rice. Since the germ is not removed like with white rice, it has oils in it that will become rancid after too long.


But then again, my "cool" pantry is about 78F year round.
post #7 of 13
I should add, after seing Chris's post, that I use those FoodSaver cannisters or a mason jar with a food saver lid for things like rice, lentils, peas, and some beans........ Not that I would dispute advice given by ssomeone that has as much exposure to a society and it's use and love of rice as the Japanese.........So I'd have to agree it does help keep the quality. But I draw the line on paying 10X the normal cost for our side dishes. Can't make it (the rice) more expensive than the whole days worth of groceries.:look::rolleyes::D
post #8 of 13
Oh, I agree with you. And it can be pretty ludicrous here: everyone is so convinced that only native Japanese rice can possibly be any good that lots of people will happily pay a huge premium for it, over that nasty American stuff like Koshihikari, for example. You wouldn't believe what rice can go for!

The thing is, if you want perfect steamed rice, it does make a difference whether it's really fresh or not. Second to this is the water, which must have a bright, clean taste. If you have those things and either very good technique or a decent rice cooker, you can produce spectacular steamed rice.

As I say, for anything else, it really doesn't make any difference.
post #9 of 13
>has oils in it that will become rancid after too long.<

In my experience, that's more theory than reality.

We mostly do brown rice here, and I merely keep it in a half-gallon canning jar with a regular lid. It stays on a shelf with our other beans and grains.

I've never had rice turn rancid.

I suspect, too, it's more like, say, flax seed. So long as it remains unbroken, the oils aren't exposed to oxidation, and do not turn rancid. Or at least they don't in any reasonable amount of time.
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the advice.

I, too, keep brown rice in the fridge, just like I keep wheat germ (which we like to use atop mac & cheese instead of bread crumbs.)

Think we'll save some space in the refrigerator by taking the Jas and Bas out!

Mike
travelling gourmand
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post #11 of 13
I think there is no need to keep Basmati or Jasmine rice in the fridge?

:cool:
post #12 of 13
I don't think anyone but the Japanese make such a fetish out of fresh rice. On the contrary, in most of asia, including the "basmati areas" rice is aged in woven jute or canvas bags. Well aged rice (expensive!) has been held for at least two years. Typically, expensive aged rice is mixed with less expensive fresher rice -- usually about 50/50.

Jasmine rice, typical of parts of China and all of Southeast Asia is aged as well, but not for as long.

Getting back to basmati: We buy "Zebra" brand, imported from India. It's medium/expensive and has been aged for a year. We give it another six months at least before using; and either use it by itself or mix it with an inexpenisive basmati or basmati type like "Tex-Mati," "Faraon" (Mexico), or one of the California basmatis. Pure or mixed works well for typical pilafs. However, if you want a rough, exploded grain as for "Mexican" or "Spanish" rice, or an arroce like arroz con pollo an aged basmati won't work for you -- stay with the less expensive stuff.

You can age inexpensive bastmati type rice, by storing it in such a way as to let it breathe. Just make sure you don't allow it to mildew. After about 6 months, the rice will begin to develop some flavor. Or, you can hold it tightly covered for up to several years.

In short, you don't need to refrigerate or worry about it going rancid.

Brown rice, another story.

Hope this helps,
BDL
post #13 of 13
Well, some Chinese gourmets get into ultra-fresh rice, but it certainly is much more an issue for the Japanese, who like to fetishize stuff like this.
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