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How to cook rice Al-dente ?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hey guys !, I'm doing my first post here, I'm interested in cooking, I like to make good foods.

 

I'm pretty young (17), I just moved out by myself and I've been cooking for myself for a lil while. I know the basics of cooking and that's it.

 

Anyway, My question is how do you cook your rice so it's al dente ? I'm able to cook rice so it's light and fluffy, But it's not how I like my rice. Most people like it like that, but not me. I want it to be a bit chewy, a bit hard...

 

When I asked my mother how to acheive this sort of rice, she laughed at me saying it was undercooked rice. Well I don't care, that's how I like it.

 

So Can anyone help me ?

 

Thanks guys

post #2 of 25

You can try to cook it the Italian way, like you cook pasta.  You boil a lot of salted water, much more than the volume of the rice, and then put the rice in. It will boil around in the water and the water won't boil away, so you can drain it when it's exactly how you like it.  It depends on the rice, but start checking five minutes before the time indicated on the box,  Taste it and see, and when it's the way you like it, just drain. 

I never saw italians cook rice any other way unless they're making risotto. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 25

First off welcome to cheftalk! I'm glad to see someone 17 seeking out and finding this resource. Believe me, it will be an incredible resource to you if your heart is in food, preparation of it, and even sharing that experience with others.

 

First let's address what you are calling al dente. What this really means is cooking something, whether pasta, rice, or beans such that they are fully cooked yet firm. These things should provide some resistance to the teeth, but if you cross into a "hard" or "chewy" bite, that is considered undercooked. If you go into having no resistance, that is overcooked .. which you cannot recover from.

 

The reason this is even a term is that in cooking these things the line between under and over is very thin. You can literally test al dente by biting a piece of pasta, a grain of rice, or a single bean. This is also the best measure in my opinion.

 

Therefore, you know what you like, what you prefer.. so test as you go. Follow basic directions for the rice you are cooking.. most rice will call for 2 to 1 ratio of liquid to grain.. but it can vary and honestly you could strain it when it is done and not worry about the amount of liquid. The point is, test as you go and keep keep testing frequently allowing for a little carry over cooking when you remove it from the heat.

post #4 of 25

Adjust the water to rice ratio to your taste. A ratio of 1:1 gives a pretty al-dente rice, so same volume of rice as the volume of water goes into a pan, heat slowly until there's no more water, let rest for a while (the rice continues to steam in its own moisture). 

post #5 of 25

First, choose rice that will hold up.  Uncle Ben's, arborio, or other short grained rice is particularly good for al dente.  Long grain rice turns to mush very quickly.  So stick with short grain.

 

Follow Siduri's method, it's the easiest way to cook it just like pasta. 

 

Once you've perfected how to boil rice you can then move on to risotto, the prince of al dente rice dishes.  And then paella which has a crisp, almost burned texture on the underside.  When you are able to cook these dishes and behold the joys of non-mushy rice your Mom won't be laughing then.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 25

Under no circumstances do it this way:

 

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #7 of 25
Boiled rice is devoid of flavor IMO. I would go with the lower ratio of 1:1 water to rice

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #8 of 25

I also vote against boiled rice. And take it from someone who also comes from a country where that's the #1 technique to cook rice. No flavor, but also nearly impossible to get anything al dente that way. Your rice will overcook before you have time to take the pan to the strainer. 

 

I also don't share Koukouvagia's experience with type of rice. IMO short grain rice is better reserved for dishes where the rice will be sticky or creamy like in risotto, an exception being maybe paella. I find it much easier to get al dente rice with the Thai steaming method, use long grain rice, 1:1 ratio of water:rice, in a pan, let simmer then the rice finishes by steaming once the water is all gone. As a matter of fact I just cooked rice that way this morning so I could use it tonight for a fried rice dish, and it was actually a bit undercooked, so you may want to try 1.1:1 or 1.2:1 - depending on the rice you have of course. 


Edited by French Fries - 9/6/12 at 11:37pm
post #9 of 25

I use a similar approach to french fries for my personal approach. I cook long grain basmati quite often and use a 1 to 1 ratio in a double boiler. The rice itself calls for 2:1 but the 1:1 ratio works because the steam adds any additional moisture that the rice wants to absorb. I never have issues with it. I test it and when al dente, I cut the heat. It does not over cook but stays warm. I can splash a little water and fluff it lightly with a fork and I am always happy with it. I also enjoy adding herbs and safron to it this way because I do not lose any of those flavors, they are all absorbed into the rice.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

I also vote against boiled rice. And take it from someone who also comes from a country where that's the #1 technique to cook rice. No flavor, but also nearly impossible to get anything al dente that way. Your rice will overcook before you have time to take the pan to the strainer. 

 

I also don't share Koukouvagia's experience with type of rice. IMO short grain rice is better reserved for dishes where the rice will be sticky or creamy like in risotto, an exception being maybe paella. I find it much easier to get al dente rice with the Thai steaming method, use long grain rice, 1:1 ratio of water:rice, in a pan, let simmer then the rice finishes by steaming once the water is all gone. As a matter of fact I just cooked rice that way this morning so I could use it tonight for a fried rice dish, and it was actually a bit undercooked, so you may want to try 1.1:1 or 1.2:1 - depending on the rice you have of course. 

 

But have you ever cooked Uncle Ben's rice?  It's nearly impossible to cook until mushy.  And good risotto while being creamy should be al dente, as most chefs insist.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 25

100% with FF here.

Long grain rices, like Basmati, Jasmine or the excellent Blue Bonnet 00000, have a higher content of amylosewith is insoluble in water and less amylopectin, whic causes the stickiness. That’s the reason they come more al dente than medium or short grain rice. Rice like Uncle Ben's are parboiled (precooked) and may have additives also. 

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

I also vote against boiled rice. And take it from someone who also comes from a country where that's the #1 technique to cook rice. No flavor, but also nearly impossible to get anything al dente that way. Your rice will overcook before you have time to take the pan to the strainer. 

 

I also don't share Koukouvagia's experience with type of rice. IMO short grain rice is better reserved for dishes where the rice will be sticky or creamy like in risotto, an exception being maybe paella. I find it much easier to get al dente rice with the Thai steaming method, use long grain rice, 1:1 ratio of water:rice, in a pan, let simmer then the rice finishes by steaming once the water is all gone. As a matter of fact I just cooked rice that way this morning so I could use it tonight for a fried rice dish, and it was actually a bit undercooked, so you may want to try 1.1:1 or 1.2:1 - depending on the rice you have of course. 

I agree.

 

Quote:

I find it much easier to get al dente rice with the Thai steaming method, use long grain rice, 1:1 ratio of water:rice, in a pan, let simmer then the rice finishes by steaming once the water is all gone.

 

 

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post #13 of 25
Im very agree with u mothet !! If she say u love it under-cook
then do it undercook just the way u like it :-)

*1 cup white raise (normal)
*1+half cups water
*half t spoon salt
*oil to fry the rice

In a pan heat a bit oil over madium fire
stir the rice (just move him alot while he frying)
When the rice is alittle golden add the water n bring
to boil (alot of bubbles)
Mix the rice few second , add the salt n put some spices
if u want n lower the fire to small n close the
pan for 15-18 minutes . Do not peak minwhille !!

The reson u put less water than regular is becuse
u dont want to stay with alot of water in the bottom
of the pan that dident manege to cook the rest of the rice
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

Under no circumstances do it this way:

 

that's really funny ordo..thanks for the laugh...makes me wonder though why supposedly all the great chefs are men...maybe they can cook but not do the math!  rolleyes.gif

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

that's really funny ordo..thanks for the laugh...makes me wonder though why supposedly all the great chefs are men...maybe they can cook but not do the math!  rolleyes.gif

joey

 

 

Yeah, it's fun! About rice, there're so many varieties that it's impossible to talk about rice as a generic, uniform product. I've learned a bit about rice from my wife, who's Chinese. We sometimes cook long rice, sometimes local varieties like Fortuna, Carolina, Glutinous, etc. It depends on what you search.

 

For al dente, no doubt: long rice, no boiling but steaming. I recently made Biryani, the Indian dish, with the pot sealed with dough (see Recipes forum), and again, it's steaming. Less water, higher temperatures. For Chinese dishes, no condiments or salt, garlic… no nothing. Thoroughly rinsed rice and water as mentioned by FF.

 

Methods' apart, nothing beats a rice cooker. If you're a rice person and/or family, get a rice cooker, get the right proportions of water and rice and voliá, perfect rice once and again and warm for the whole day if you need it. Problem is that I really like socarrat!

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #16 of 25

Just to add a contrary voice, i actually don't like rice that's been steamed or cooked in a limited amount of water (so that the water boils off and leaves the rice completely cooked ...supposedly.)  (I say supposedly because if the rice is drier or bigger or smaller, you need less time or more time and you can;t regulate anything that way.) 

 

If you boil the rice like pasta, you can drain it when it's exactly at the point you want itadjusting slightly for the cooking from residual heat.  If you cook it so the water all boils off, if you haven;t calculated for that particular rice, you have no control over how it comes, you can;t stop the cooking.  (That's why risotto is cooked by continually adding a small amount of liquid as it cooks, so you can stop at just the right point).  I actually don;t like risotto much - too creamy and i can't taste the rice.  I like the taste of rice, with just butter, not even parmigiano.

 

And I don't find boiled rice to be  tasteless. I buy long grain thai rice here - and it stays very tasty cooked in a big pot of water this way. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #17 of 25

I thought this post was going to be boring, but after reading everyone's opinion, I'm now very interested considering i've never made rice in the style of pasta.  I used to work at a modern Indian restaurant in NYC and we used to take extreme care in making our basmati rice.  Constant rinsing until the water is nearly clear, appropriate proportions of rice and water, tasting the water for seasoning, but its the method that blew me away when I first started.  We often bloomed out spices in oil and then dumped all of the water and rice into the rondeau stirring constantly until all the water is gone.  Cover with foil, off heat for 20 minutes, and boom, perfect rice.  Easily separated into grains, but slightly clingy.  Not a big fan of al dente rice, even with risotto...to me its a fine line. 

 

I suppose even the simplest foods often receive the most discussion and opinion.

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacioEpepe View Post

I thought this post was going to be boring, but after reading everyone's opinion, I'm now very interested considering i've never made rice in the style of pasta.  I used to work at a modern Indian restaurant in NYC and we used to take extreme care in making our basmati rice.  Constant rinsing until the water is nearly clear, appropriate proportions of rice and water, tasting the water for seasoning, but its the method that blew me away when I first started.  We often bloomed out spices in oil and then dumped all of the water and rice into the rondeau stirring constantly until all the water is gone.  Cover with foil, off heat for 20 minutes, and boom, perfect rice.  Easily separated into grains, but slightly clingy.  Not a big fan of al dente rice, even with risotto...to me its a fine line. 

 

I suppose even the simplest foods often receive the most discussion and opinion.

 

With something like rice, yes there will be lots of opinions.  Rice is eaten all over the world and its function differs everywhere.  My personal way of making rice is to sautee it in butter/oil and then add the water.  Cover and let it absorb.  My roommates in college had a rice steamer but I don't really eat fluffly pillowy steamed rice.  There are so many methods to try until you find the one that is right for you.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #19 of 25

Let's not forget oven baked rice (arroz al horno) from Valencia. I never tried it, but i bet it's fine and with a lot of variants. 

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

Let's not forget oven baked rice (arroz al horno) from Valencia. I never tried it, but i bet it's fine and with a lot of variants. 

 

Omg my husband's favorite dish that I make is rice bolognese in the oven!  I usually use left over meat sauce from the fridge.  Warm up in an oven proof casserole dish, add diced green bell pepper, long grain rice, lots and lots of parmesan cheese and some water.  Cover and bake, stirring every once in a while.  When the rice is cooked through remove the cover and let it get golden on top.  It's excellent.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #21 of 25

a ratio 1:1, it´s all that you need

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by snake666 View Post

a ratio 1:1, it´s all that you need


so, you're saying that this goes for all rice, large grain and small grain, long grain and short grain, recently packaged and packaged some time ago (drier) - you're saying they all cook exactly the same with a one to one ratio? by volume? by weight? 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #23 of 25

Al Dente means "To the Teeth""  To keep  (Uncle Bens) rice granules firm and seperate cook Pilaff style in the oven . Works every time

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #24 of 25

Ed, You'd be hard put to cook Uncle Ben's so that it WASN'T al dente!  They sell it here with a slogan like that, "always al dente".  Not suitable for risotto though.   

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #25 of 25

For risotto I agree but original question only wanted to not overcook plain rice not risotto.  Oven method works for most any long or shortgrain rice even the real cheap stuff.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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