Re: Is rice easy?

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Rice is easy, and having a rice cooker is great because then it doesn't even take a burner on the stove.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:46 PM
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Making it come out like Minute Rice if you don't start with Minute Rice is probably hard. (Rinse it a lot?) Other than that, I agree with you.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:46 PM
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Of course you're right, heebie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:49 PM
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Also, `the instructions'. First knuckle rice, second knuckle water?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:51 PM
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I have had trouble making it on the stove (I always need to look up the method), but my cheapo cooker never fails - 1.5x as much water as rice.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:53 PM
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Even I can make rice with my rice cooker.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:53 PM
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I've never really got the hang of what you do to make it stick together for chopstick-eating as opposed to be separate grains (rinse it, don't rinse it, buy different rice?) but that's mostly because I don't like rice that much, so I rarely make it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:54 PM
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Rice is easy if you follow directions. Following directions is hard.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:57 PM
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rinse it, don't rinse it, buy different rice, repeat.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 2:59 PM
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Rinse it multiple times until the water is clear, is what I heard. Also you don't need as much water for it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:00 PM
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7. Short grain rice sticks together, long grain rice doesn't.

I had literally never made rice on a stove top until a few years ago, because I had never cooked a meal in a kitchen without a rice cooker. I thought it was some tricky procedure where a minute or a drop of water too many or few would result in a gluey or burnt finished product. It turns out it's only slightly less simple than the rice cooker version.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:01 PM
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@7

Extensive rinsing is recommended to get non-sticky rice, so I assume not rinsing will get sticky rice.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:01 PM
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My Japanese and Chinese friends are horrified by not rinsing rice, so I think short- and long-grain might be the stronger factor.

*Really* horrified, like not-washing-the-salad horrified.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:04 PM
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I always buy the rice that comes with a flavor packet. It cooks just fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:05 PM
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You need a rice with a shorter grain that is designed to stick together if you want sticky rice.

And yes, rice is easy. 1 part rice, more or less 2 parts water.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:07 PM
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I've screwed up cooking rice a surprising amount, now that you mention it. We don't have a rice cooker any more because I broke one of the handles of it somehow. Also, it's easier to forget a pot of rice and leave cooking on the burner too long because it stays there longer and you don't have to stir it as much as other dishes (or at all? I guess I'll check next time I make rice.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:08 PM
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13.2: Much of the lettuce sold is already washed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:11 PM
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It's easy like a disease-ridden whore.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:12 PM
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Yikes. I suppose these people also have difficulty making milk and cereal? How could it get any easier than rice?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:14 PM
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I thought Madhur Jaffrey's instructions to a) rinse and b) soak rice were ridiculous, until I followed them and got exquisite results (I've only tried the methodology with basmati rice - for brown I just follow the package directions, with reasonable success - I think a little sticky/gumminess is part of brown rice's appeal.)


Posted by: julia f | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:14 PM
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If you snort rice instead of eating it the mucus from your nasal passage gives it a nice sleekness even when it's raw.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:15 PM
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Much of the lettuce sold is already washed.

More's the pity, as vital caterpillars may be lost in the processing.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:19 PM
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Microwaving rice is also nearly foolproof. (Then again, there's the saying that foolproof designs underestimate the ingenuity of fools.)


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:22 PM
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Even as a person who must have a recipe near at hand, I say rice is easy - although Cyrus is right that attention must be paid and once in a while that's difficult.

But your companions at the Soup Swap aren't alone - my sister, a vegetarian since middle school, and my mother were at one time desperate to get a rice cooker.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:45 PM
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It's the "even with my rice cooker" part that gets me. WTF, people? That's why the rice cooker is so awesome, because even someone like me can't fuck it up.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 3:56 PM
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Are they talking about how sometimes the rice around the edges of the rice cooker gets a little crusty? Because if they're complaining about that, they're insane; that crusty rice is yummy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 4:02 PM
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If you want sticky rice you can buy the kind of rice called sticky rice.
Our pediatrician told us that rice has now been declare Bad for Kids. Since it's grown in so much water it has a higher concentration of arsenic than other grains if there's any contamination in the water. You don't want your kid to get cancer, do you? Oh, the other 3 kids you fed on powdered baby rice cereal for the first months they ate solids? Sorry, my bad, we'll see you in the oncology department soon.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 4:58 PM
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powdered baby rice cereal

Gross.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:08 PM
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Unpowdered babies have a rash, which is not so nice to have in your cereal.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:10 PM
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It's better than the chunky kind.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:13 PM
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Arsenic in rice. Worse from Texas-Lousiana, possibly because of pesticide residue, but California has its own arsenic and Lundberg Farms finds arsenic in its rice.

'One serving a week' is... not enough rice.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:24 PM
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Nor do we have the really bad news: for Unfoggeders specifically, let me remind you that horny palms are a serious warning sign. (Very depressing article, actually.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:27 PM
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If you're picky about your rice, then yes, it can be tricky, although rinsing seems to solve the problem. For me, rice is rice. Whatever, it's fine. For my kid, rice is a delicately tuned, precious work of art. Five out of six bags will be unacceptable (please, JASMINE rice is the only edible form, forget that sushi/brown/short-grain/long-grain/minute/uncle ben's crap) and even the sixth bag will be intolerable unless it hits the precise level of firmness, separation, and texture.

The nice thing about this is that I made him start making the rice at about age 9 -- the picky person should do the cooking -- so now if I'm not in the mood to make dinner, I can suggest some rice-based meal and leave it to him to deal with the effort.


Posted by: Sarah Wynde | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:38 PM
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Just boiling rice is fine. Either absorption, or 'boil in a pan full of water'. The only things you need to do are stir as little as possible, and not overcook. You get great results with basmati with a method no more complicated than, 'boil water, pour a cup of rice into it, stir once, add salt, wait 10 or 12 minutes, drain, eat'.

I love rice, so we usually have half a dozen varieties in the house. Basmati (white and brown), short grain, one or more types of risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano), bomba rice (which I really like), etc. The only one we never have is plain 'long grain'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 5:59 PM
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And if you don't have time to watch it, do a pilau/pilaf/whatever, where you fry it with aromatic stuff, pour in stock/water, and just occasionally top up until it's nice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 6:00 PM
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Madhur Jaffrey's instructions are great, but it works even better if you put the pot into the over @350 or so. OTOH, cut her portions in half unless you are feeding the neighborhood.


Posted by: Eli Rabett | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 6:40 PM
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Man, I want some arancini right now. Once, after asking if some arancini had meat in them, the lady answered, "No! Just a little bit of salami!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 6:47 PM
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For some reason, every time I see this post title in the sidebar, I think "Is groundsel nice, Mother?"

I may have read Watership Down a few too many times to be truly healthy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 7:04 PM
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You know what's a super easy and delicious meal? Smoked salmon (the kind that comes as a big chunk of salmon, not lox) flaked into wild rice (the kind that's actually a grass or something like that) and dressed with sesame oil and seasoned rice vinegar.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 7:25 PM
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I noticed when back in the states (usually in Japan) that the rice wasn't very sticky-together even though my mom uses a Zojirushi, so maybe it's the rice, or maybe my mom doesn't wash the rice properly? Did not ask because was grateful not to be cooking. Rice tasted fine anyway.

According to Japanese boyfriend, the proper way to prepare rice is to put freezing cold water on it and then stick your hand into the freezing cold water and slosh it around until it (your hand) goes numb, then drain, then repeat at least 2 or 3 times. Then add water as per rice maker's instructions. When rice is cooked, open rice maker and allow steam to escape, then mix around the rice a bit with plastic paddle thingy.


Posted by: under_scored | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 7:48 PM
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I do love the Iranian-style rice where you parboil it for five minutes, drain, then throw the drained rice back in an empty pot and pour a melted butter & water mixture over it and cook it on ultra low for like half an hour. It's a pain in the ass but very very yummy.

Generally I just do the one part rice two parts water, bring to a boil, turn to low, cook for 20 minutes or so thing and it comes out fine.


Posted by: Tom the Scud | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 8:36 PM
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For even more deliciousness in (easy-to-make) rice, put a couple of tablespoons of butter in the pot and turn on the heat. Add the rice and toss and stir a bit as the butter melts and the rice begins to toast. Then pour in the water and cook as usual. Gives the rice a nice toasty, nutty flavor.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 8:36 PM
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rice is easy! electric rice cookers are good, but stovetop rice cookers like carolina plantation (? forget exact name) cookers are better. also, real carolina gold rice from south carolina is unbelievably delicious, though expensive because not so much chattel slavery. 42 is good, but better to fry the rice in...um, sorry guys, bacon drippings (don't laugh, children: if it was good enough for Annie Washington it's good enough for you all).

LB, your asian rice that you eat at home is not meant to be sticking together at all (unless you're making nigiri or something). that is a problem from getting takeout chinese or what have you. like the people above say: asian people rinse the rice three times, and cloudy stuff comes off (later one always finds out that was the nutritious bit, but...) then cook. let it sit with the lid on 5 minutes after being done. fluff with a fork (same applies above for the carolina rice cooker.) if you're thinking, how the hell will I eat it if it's all fluffily falling apart, the answer is that you just switch to spoons or you hold the bowl up to your mouth and shovel it it. white house manners have to be balanced against being invited to eat at some gala in the forbidden palace.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 9:49 PM
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Oh no...seriously? That's the nutritious bit?
Any recommendations for extra stuff to put in rice to add fiber or nutrients and whatnot? The brown rice bags are tiny and expensive around here.


Posted by: under_scored | Link to this comment | 01-30-13 10:22 PM
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I'm not certain it's the nutritious bit, it just sounds classic, like "let's introduce monitor lizards onto the island to keep down the duck population. there's no way this can go wrong!" then, solemn voice-over from the documentary: "up to 14% of children under 3 are eaten by monitor lizards every year...etc." or more properly, to continue violating the ban, it sounds like the rationale for wonder bread. and in the bread department, that's what asians like. whiiiiite bread.

brown rice is fed to prisoners in jail, and maybe valuable animals in tough times, so no one wants to eat it. like how americans had to come back around to eating whole wheat bread that wasn't "roman meal!" "do you wish your wholemeal bread was white bread? have we got a bread for you! just like a...roman centurion would have...? where are we going with this bread, exactly?"

rinsing the rice is meant to take off gross dirt, like how one must pick over dried beans to make sure there's no rocks in there (sometimes there are!) or clumps of dirt (ditto) or a damn harrow-tooth (I found one in a bag of black beans one time!). then, knowing you can find dirt and rocks, one must rinse the beans, or just rely on the soaking water's being discarded. so the same goes for rice. you can find bugs in rice. but you don't have to rinse till the water is clear.

on getting cheaper brown rice I recommend trying different hippie coƶps? I'm not sure where you live, under_scored. also you can mix the rice, like 2/3 white 1/3 brown, and put a lot more nutrition in there without spending too much money, or upsetting the white rice contingent, if there be such in your family. brown rice is supposed to cook longer, but I've usually found it suffices to cook the mix like normal, at the end take the pot top off, get a thin dishcloth all along the edge of it, and put the top back on the pot and let it sit 15 or 20 minutes. (now some steam can escape, but not much, through the slight elevation of the lid and the barrier of the thin dishcloth.) brown rice (or a mix of brown and white) particularly benefits from the being toasted in oil or fat sir kraab recommends. it only adds 5 minutes max to the prep time and is really so worth it for flavor improvement.

ack do you know how privileged I am you guys? I not care about the price of brown rice, which anyway I wouldn't look at because I direct my maid to order food each week and we have it delivered, and then I pay the bill monthly (they give me thousands of dollars of credit--it's like being a russian noblewoman!) I'm so privileged that then I don't even cook the rice either. but then that's a thing in my life that makes me deeply sad; I've been so sick for so long now--quasi-bedridden for 14 months, anything over a year is infinity to a child under 10--that my children don't remember me cooking at all. I'm so good at it and they don't even know. they don't remember me making them dinner since it hasn't happened on a regular basis for such a long time (building my business also diverted energy away from that.) they know I can cook anything in a stunt way ("let's make her cook x") but day-in and day-out they feel as if they have only barely see me scramble an egg. I cried about it just two days ago.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:36 AM
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I'm not sure where you live, under_scored.

Per 40, apparently Japan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:40 AM
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Anyway, I'm not sure there are actually any nutritious parts of white rice, unless it's enriched, in which case the package instructions tell you not to rinse it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:42 AM
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Gah! Arsenic!? That's got me a little freaked out here given how much rice I like to eat. And I've never bothered with rinsing my rice since I always figured that the heat will kill anything in there. It never occurred to me to worry about arsenic. Does a couple of rinses suffice to measurably reduce the amount of arsenic in rice??

(We get our rice from the bulk bins in the supermarket. So who knows what brand it is or where it's coming from. I'm mean, obviously, the supermarket knows. But *I* don't!)


Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:58 AM
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Much of the lettuce sold is already washed.

One of those friend-of-a-friend things, I don't remember the original source anymore, allegedly "buys her salad pre-washed for the convenience. And then washes it for safety."


Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 2:02 AM
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I am otherwise a quite good cook, but when attempting to make plain rice (ie, not rice as part of something else - pilaf, etc) it often does not turn out well, in the sense that it takes tinkering to get rid of the sudden excess water, or the bottom overcooks and the top stays too hard, or what have you. With the same rice, equipment, instructions, etc, my husband's rice turns out perfect every time. I think it's one of those areas I allow superstition to rule; I'm clearly cursed at making rice.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 4:01 AM
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43-45: If you are rinsing enriched white rice, then you are rinsing off the nutrients that were sprayed on.

If you are rinsing brown rice, then all you're rinsing off is a little dust, plus if the rice was packaged in that old-fashioned way.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 6:14 AM
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the nutrients that were sprayed on

WTF is that all about then?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 6:17 AM
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Maybe they should try to inject the vitamins into the rice with little needles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 6:32 AM
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I know polishing removes vitamin B1, but that's a pre-consumer process.

I always liked musenmai (no-wash rice), but haven't been able to find it here (didn't look very hard; it's probably in Japanese markets). Apparently people think it tastes worse, but I never noticed that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 7:26 AM
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I burn it without a rice cooker. And right now I don't have a rice cooker. I envy Almeida's life of privilege but not her terrible illness!


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 7:42 AM
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52: I think the idea is that people don't rinse enriched rice, because instead of dust or talc it has extra vitamins on it.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 7:49 AM
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The added vitamins are why you can't rinse Special K.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:20 AM
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Or enriched flour.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:23 AM
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57: you mean the cereal, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:24 AM
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I think so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:30 AM
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rinsing the rice is meant to take off gross dirt

And excess starch, which is why it results in fluffier rice.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:42 AM
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I didn't know you were supposed to rinse rice. Also, I have also found making rice extremely easy. That's all I have to say, but this perspective has not so far been offered in this thread so I thought I'd say it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:48 AM
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I did know people wash rice but I refuse to follow such superstitions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:54 AM
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but this perspective has not so far been offered in this thread

It was offered several times in the first 15-20 comments, but it can't be said too often. You should wash it thoroughly though. Apart from ensuring that the grains aren't stuck together with excess starch, it shows that you're not the sort of effete wazzock who buys rice with vitamins sprayed on it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:02 AM
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You should not wash rice thoroughly, or at all, if you are making risotto.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:24 AM
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Nor if you are making Pop-Tarts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:35 AM
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Any recommendations for extra stuff to put in rice to add fiber or nutrients and whatnot?

Meat. Vegetables.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:37 AM
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Gummy vitamins would probably stick well to rice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:38 AM
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Apart from ensuring that the grains aren't stuck together with excess starch, it shows that you're not the sort of effete wazzock who buys rice with vitamins sprayed on it.

Yeah, you're the kind of salt-of-the-earth tough guy who enjoys the occasional touch of beri beri.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:45 AM
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I ward off beriberi by sprinkling yeast over it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:52 AM
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No I'm the sort of effete wazzock who eats a sufficiently varied diet that I don't worry about my Thiamine intake, and who prefers to buy rice from local stores who source it from small scale suppliers who probably couldn't spell vitamin.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:54 AM
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Thiamine be beriberi good for me.


Posted by: Christiaan Eijkman | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:56 AM
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I only feel confident about making Persian rice, which is unfortunate because that takes forever.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:00 AM
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Great, now I'm going to spend the rest of the day looking for an opportunity to say "effete wazzock."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:16 AM
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74: Schedule an emergency meeting with your boss.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:28 AM
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Only I call a meeting!


Posted by: Malory Archer | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:03 PM
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I just made rice the sir way, but you reprobates didn't remind me to make enough to have leftovers for rice pudding. (You also didn't remind me that once Nia was finally willing to eat rice not cooked with sugar she'd eat the equivalent of 1/3 cup of uncooked rice, but maybe you didn't know that either.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 4:59 PM
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Sir kraab way, that is. Butter rice ftw!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 5:00 PM
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