Food - Drink
Why Rinsing Rice Is More Crucial Than You Might Think
Some kitchen shortcuts are not only easy, but lead to better final results, such as grating frozen butter for baked goods or using a microplane to mince garlic instead of preparing everything by hand. However, when cooking rice, shortcuts are a no-go; it may be tempting to skip that pre-cooking rinse, but this is why it's a bad idea.
Cookbook author Nik Sharma explains that rice tends to travel quite far from the paddy to the grocery store, and during that lengthy trip, the grains rub against each other until starchy dust coats each one. Removing that starch is key to ensuring the rice grains do not clump together when cooking, which results in a sticky texture.
Also, packaged grains may contain dirt, chemicals, and bugs, and washing rice well may also reduce any dangerous heavy metals that are present, like arsenic or lead. Use a strainer, bowl, or sieve and rinse the grains under cold water until it runs clear; whole-grain rice takes about 30 seconds, and white rice generally takes one to two minutes.
For dishes like risotto or rice pudding, in which the rice is meant to be sticky and starchy, a quick rinse is still needed to clean the rice. For brown rice that has its exterior bran layer intact, which drastically cuts down on any powdery starch on the outside, a quick rinse will help save on cooking time, since brown rice takes longer than white rice.