Cooking rice is so simple that anyone can do it, but there are certain steps that should not be overlooked. Rice must be washed, or rather, rinsed, before being cooked. Here's why you shouldn't skip this essential step!
Why should rice be rinsed?
There are many ways to cook rice in different countries and cultures. But if you look at Africa or Asia, the tradition is to rinse rice thoroughly. One of the most obvious reasons for this is that it can contain dust, sand, or small insects that you obviously do not want on your plate when you eat it. The rice, once harvested, is stored in bags before being exported and packaged. It is thus advisable to rinse it with clean water to ensure that the product is clean and free of any residue that cannot be eaten.
The second reason for washing rice is that it contains a lot of starch. Starch makes rice sticky or even gluey. It can make it less digestible depending on the variety. If you are making a recipe that involves sticky rice, such as risotto, you do not need to wash the rice. However, if you are making a rice salad, stir-fried rice, or any other recipe that requires the rice to separate from each other, you will need to rinse it.
How should rice be washed?
As you can see, most of the time, it is highly recommended to wash the rice before cooking it and eating it. However, if you are not familiar with this practice, this step can seem complicated. Here are some tips on how to rinse rice properly.
Rice should not be ‘washed’ as such, but it should be rinsed. There is no need to use any cleaning products for this. The rice should be rinsed several times under cold water, stirring it, so that the starch and dust can be removed from the grains.
You can also soak the rice for several minutes in a large volume of water and then rinse it. The water will be cloudy. The more you rinse the rice, the clearer the water will be.
Then cook the rice in clean water in a pan or in a rice cooker.