Boil Rice For Faster Weeknight Dinners

As one of the most consumed and produced carbohydrate staples in the world, rice has undoubtedly been a part of most people's dinner menus. There are dozens of rice varieties, and each comes with its set of instructions, liquid proportions, and cooking times. However, you can simplify the process and save time by boiling rice like pasta.

If you don't own a rice cooker, you've probably experienced the disappointment of burnt or crunchy rice. Whether you're dealing with wild rice, short-grain white rice, or long-grain brown rice, boiling is a fool-proof cooking method for all varieties. It requires no measuring, works with small and large quantities alike, and will never result in burnt or crunchy rice. Furthermore, boiling will cook whole grain rice in under half the time of the standard covered cooking method.

Just as you would boil pasta, boiling rice involves filling a pot with water up to ¾ of its volume, bringing it to a boil, adding salt, and then adding your desired amount of rice. Depending on the variety of rice, cooking times take between 10 and 20 minutes. Once the rice feels tender, you can pour the contents through a strainer or colander, then return the wet rice to the stove over low heat to finish evaporating any residual water.

Tips for boiling rice

Many cooks swear by the boiling method and claim that it achieves fluffy rice with firm, separate grains every time. That said, overcooking will result in mushy rice, so it's important to set a timer and begin checking your rice's tenderness around the nine-minute mark. If your rice gets mushy, you can always try using the stale bread trick to absorb excess moisture. Letting the water steam out of the strained rice on low heat for a minute or so is also an important step to attain the desired texture.

While boiling rice leads to successful results, you won't get a cohesive, slightly moist mass like you do when you steam it. Consequently, boiled rice works best as a foundation for saucy entrees and grain bowls or when incorporated into salads, vegetable stuffings, and fritters.

Boiling rice is especially convenient for prep cooking. You can boil a massive pot of rice to portion out over multiple meals or freeze it for a later date. Reheating the rice in the microwave or throwing it into a wok to make fried rice will still result in perfectly cooked, chewy rice.