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Around the world in a bowl: Different ways to cook rice

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How to cook rice (Photo: Mundo Archive)
  • How to cook rice.
  • This staple is incredibly versatile.
  • We take you from sushi to arroz con pollo.

Rice is a versatile grain that stars in culinary traditions around the globe.

This humble ingredient can be transformed into a variety of mouthwatering dishes.

Whether you’re new to cooking or a culinary expert, exploring rice recipes from different cultures will elevate your kitchen game.

Let’s journey across continents to discover how rice is cooked in various parts of the world.

Rice: The foundation of countless dishes

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Photo: Mundo Archive

White or brown rice is the foundation for numerous recipes, and each has its unique qualities.

For white rice, the general ratio is one part rice to two parts water, while brown rice typically requires a 1:2.5 ratio of rice to water.

Start by rinsing the rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.

Place your rice and water in a pot, adding a pinch of salt for flavor.

How to cook rice: The basics

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Photo: Mundo Archive

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.

For white rice, simmer for 18 minutes and for brown rice, around 45 minutes.

Once done, remove the pot from the heat but keep it covered for another 5 minutes to allow the remaining steam to continue cooking the rice.

Fluff it with a fork, and it’s ready to serve as a base for countless meals or as a simple side dish.

Sushi rice: A Japanese classic

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Photo: Mundo Archive

In Japan, sushi rice is a cornerstone of their culinary heritage.

This isn’t just regular white rice; it’s seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt for a unique flavor and sticky texture.

To make sushi rice, it’s crucial to use short-grain or medium-grain rice and wash it thoroughly before cooking.

Once cooked, the rice is gently folded into a seasoning mix, serving as a base for dishes like sushi rolls, Onigiri, and Chirashi.

Risotto: Italy’s creamy indulgence

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Photo: Mundo Archive

If comfort food is what you’re after, Italian risotto fits the bill.

The dish owes its creaminess to Arborio rice, a type of short-grain rice that’s high in starch.

A key technique in risotto preparation is constant stirring; this releases the starch from the rice, resulting in a creamy texture.

The dish is usually started by sautéing onions, after which rice is added and toasted before a gradual addition of hot stock.

How to cook rice for Biryani

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Foto: Shutterstock

Biryani is a hallmark of Indian cuisine, combining aromatic Basmati rice with a variety of spices and meat.

The meat is first marinated in a spiced yogurt mixture.

Then the rice and meat are partially cooked separately before being layered and sealed for a final slow cook.

The result is a deeply flavorful and aromatic dish, often garnished with boiled eggs, fried onions and raisins.

Ways to cook rice: Indian rice pudding

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Photo: Mundo Archive

Another Indian favorite is rice pudding.

This dish is called kheer, often made during festivals or special occasions.

Basmati rice is simmered in milk and flavored with cardamom, raisins and nuts.

This dessert showcases the softer, sweeter side of rice, proving its versatility in Indian cuisine.

Arroz con Pollo: Latin America’s one-pot wonder

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Photo: Mundo Archive

Arroz con pollo is a cherished dish in many Latin American households.

The dish features long-grain rice cooked with chicken, vegetables and spices.

Initially, the chicken is browned, followed by sautéing vegetables like bell peppers and onions.

Rice is added to the sautéed mix, and chicken stock completes the dish.

Latin American rice beverages

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Photo: Mundo Archive

In Latin America, rice even makes its way into beverages like horchata.

This refreshing drink is made from rice soaked in water, then blended and strained.

Cinnamon and sugar are added for flavor.

It’s a unique way to appreciate rice, offering a chilled alternative to hot dishes.

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