Have you tried cooking rice in your microwave? I have, and until recently, it wasn’t very successful. It ended up stodgy, clumpy and deeply unsatisfactory to taste. I thought that microwaves and rice were just not made for each other and therefore went back to the standard tried and tested model of cooking it on the hob.
However I went round to a friend’s house the other day, and we had chili con carne with rice. The rice was done to perfection, and much to my surprise I heard the familiar “ting” of a microwave just before the meal was served up. “Have you just cooked this rice in a microwave?” I enquired… “Of course!” came the reply. “Can you show me how you did it?” I asked- and this is what she told me. I have tried it myself and it works. So since that day I’ve microwaved my rice as follows:
Measure out the rice and water in the correct ratio. Determine the number of cups of rice you need. I use regular long-grain rice, and use a 2:1 water to rice ratio.
Add the rice and water together in a microwave-safe bowl. Remember that the rice will expand to three times its size, so use a bowl that’s large enough to accommodate this. At this stage, if you so want, add butter, margarine or salt as you wish. I add a tiny bit of butter- but never salt! That’s the preparation done. Now cover the bowl and place it in the microwave.
Microwave the rice on high power for 5 minutes. Then reduce power to half (“medium” on my microwave) and microwave for 15 minutes more.
Remove the bowl from the microwave and let it stand for 5 minutes. And this is probably the most important bit… resist the temptation to fiddle about with the rice at this resting stage. Stirring or trying to fluff the rice at this stage will release extra starch and make the rice stick together and lose some of the taste.
Once you’ve let the rice stand for 5 minutes you can then fluff to your heart’s content, provided all the liquid has been absorbed. If the rice is still hard and not yet al dente, and the liquid is not absorbed, microwave the bowl in 2-minute intervals until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Because each microwave has its own idiosyncrasies, not to mention different power ratings and levels of efficiency, this will have to be a trial until you have the timings just right. Make a note of them, and then you will have perfect rice each time in the future.
Finally, after the fluffing, you may want to put a sprig of Parsley on the rice (for chili con carne) or coriander (if it’s to accompany a Thai meal).
Enjoy your rice!
For more information about microwaves, check http://microwave-factory.com/ .