So what’s so special about the way Brazilians cook rice? What makes this so different is that we fry it in oil with minced garlic and sometimes chopped onion before adding water. I dare you try this way and tell me you prefer plain tasteless rice instead. I know that you will never go back to eating boring unseasoned rice again.
This is how to cook the perfect fluffiest flavourful rice! It’s not hard at all but, like hard boiling eggs, cooking rice is one of those tasks that appear to be easy, but can go wrong very quickly if you don’t follow the right steps. Here are simple instructions that will help you make rice that turns out light, flavourful and fluffy every time. The secret is to not let it overcook because it should come out loose and not sticky.
- 1 tbsp Oil - (vegetable oils keeps the rice white; Olive oil will tint it slightly)
- 2 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1/2 Onion - small chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Rice - uncooked long grain white or jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 3/4 cup Water - boiled (1 ½ to 2 cups)
- Wash and drain rice. Rinsing rice helps get rid of any starch and impurities. Place the rice in a large Strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear and not cloudy. Drain all the water set aside to dry.
- Boil water using an Electric Kettle. While the water boils, you prepare the rest.
- Place a Saucepan (rice gains 50%-60% volume after cooked, so choose something with room) over medium heat and add the oil. Add the chopped onions (if using), garlic and salt. Sauté until translucent, soft and fragrant, stirring constantly to not let brown.
- Add the dry rice to the pan and stir (a practice known as “refogar”) until there is no more water, making sure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan (do NOT let brown). That seals the grain and also lubricates it, guaranteeing a loose rice at the end.
- Pour 1 ½ to 2 cups of boiling water to the rice, and stir. You can adjust the amount of water used depending on whether you like your rice more al dente or less. So if you like your rice a little al dente, use a little less water. If you like it soften, cook with more water. When water is finally added, it should be given generously, and the rice is then finally put to boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the lid on the pot at an angle, tilting it to allow steam to escape. Do NOT stir it any more time.
- Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Look for "craters" after the rice has been cooking for a few minutes, when you stop hearing the water boil and all bubbles on surface have disappeared and the water has all absorbed and/or evaporated, check for holes or “craters.” Check it often in case the water has dried out and is burning your rice.
- When you can see holes or craters, put the lid on tight. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit untouched for 5 more minutes.
- Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- Fluff with a fork and serve as a side dish.
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