Rice: Part I

Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.  ~Chinese Proverb

Rice is an ancient grain. Its ancestor has been identified as Oryza Sativa, a semiaquatic marsh grass native to India and Southeast Asia. Cultivated rice, also known as aquatic rice, is grown in marshy areas or flooded lands; the type of terrain found in the southern orient and southeastern United States. 

Nutrition data per 1/2 cup serving of white rice: 84 calories, 18g carbohydrate, 0g fat, 147mg sodium, 0g dietary fiber, 2g protein. Very low in saturated fat & cholesterol, very good source Manganese. Estimated glycemic load 14.

Ingredients: To Cook Rice, You'll Need:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water (2 cups for brown rice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 sturdy 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, essential for even cooking


  1. Rinse the rice in a colander until the rinse water is clear
  2. Drain completely and place in the pot with the water and salt
  3. Note: If using brown rice, rinse & set aside to soak for 1 - 4 hours, then cook in the soaking water
  4. Cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil
  5. Turn burner to very low or simmer and cook for 1- 15 minutes
  6. For brown rice: turn burner to very low or simmer and cook for 40 - 45 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes with lid on
  8. Fluff gently with a fork and serve

Helpful Hints For Perfect Rice:

1. We use long grain basmati rice, and these proportions work for that. Different types of rice will need more or less water. Shorter grains usually need a bit less, longer grains more.
2. For brown rice, rinse, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes, and increase the water by to 2 full cups per cup of rice. Soaking it first for 1 - 4 hours will make the rice softer, and cook a little faster, but it's not a necessary step. If you do soak the rice, cook it in the soaking water.
3. Short grain rice is sweeter and stickier. Use slightly less water. If your rice is too sticky and soft, use less water next time, or switch to a long grain variety
4. If your rice is undercooked, but all the water is gone, add a few Tbsp more water, cover, and simmer for 5 - 10 more minutes.

Variations to add to plain rice.

  • Cook with a cup of thinly sliced carrots, celery or green beans
  • Add frozen peas and minced parsley or mint at the end
  • Add 1 tsp olive oil and herbs or spices
  • For lacto veggies, add some butter & parmesan cheese
  • Incorporate veg sausage pieces, fried tofu pieces, seitan or tempeh
  • Serve with soups or stews
  • Sprinkle with soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • Add a handful of toasted nuts or sesame seeds

Please check back for more stories about rice, and recipes from all over the world.


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