Anyone with a Filipino mother undoubtedly knows how to cook rice. You’re taught because it’s something you have to know. That should be obvious to anyone. <grin>
You start with a heavy iron lidded pot. Fill with as much rice as you wish. "Wash" the rice by pouring water into it, swishing it around a bit, and then tip the pot and slowly drain the water (not the rice!) from the pot. Then pour in more water, swish, and pour the water out. (This second rinsing is sometimes referred to as the "rice washing" and can be used in other dishes to thicken the sauce.)
Then you add water to the pot … we were carefully taught to measure the amount of water by sticking our fingers in the pot until they met the top of the rice — when it had reached half-way up the second section of the longest finger (which is about 1 1/2 inches on me), that was enough water.
Then you cover the pot, put on the stove and boil. This is the part where you have to keep an eye out: when the steam starts escaping from the lid, uncover and turn the heat to medium. When the water has mostly boiled down, bubbles will escape through holes in the top of the rice — and, when there are but few bubbles left, that’s the time to turn down the heat very, very low and cover the pot. Then you wait. And, of course, keep an eye out. Because it could burn.
This gives a delicious, non-sticky rice. The pot’s a little difficult to clean, but there you have it — the traditional way to cook rice.
Now that I’ve walked you through all that, I must say that nowadays most of us use electric rice steamers. Yes, of the variety that you can buy anywhere. No watching the water boil down or worry that it might burn. But, just maybe, it’s not quite the same thing.
Here’s a most interesting article about cooking various types of rice (couldn’t resist the comments about roasted chicken drippings) — but don’t forget to return for the Organic Chicken Adobo recipe — that one’s a keeper.
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