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Thread: Rinsing Rice - Long Grain and Basmati

  1. #1
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    Rinsing Rice - Long Grain and Basmati

    In most recipes I make, there are not instructions to rinse long grain rice. Also, most recipes calling for basmati rice specify the need to rinse. As a result, this is what I've done for years.

    Recently, I've made several recipes that call for the rinsing of long grain rice. I've also made several more recipes that specify basmati that is NOT rinsed. Interestingly, I've liked the results better than my old traditional ways of not rinsing long grain and rinsing basmati.

    Does anyone have insight into to why we rinse rice? Have you had comparable experiences to my recent rice "discoveries"?

  2. #2
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    For the white rices, mostly you rinse to remove as much starch as possible thus ensuring fluffy grains that don't stick.

    For brown rice, it is less important. I rinse because I want to make sure it's clean . I am not fussy about gloppy rice or not
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
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    This is interesting. I haven't rinsed long grain rice in years and when I did, it was (I was told) to get rid of the extra starch. Don't know if that was true. I'll be looking to see what others have to say.

  4. #4
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    I make extra long grain rice (Goya canilla) all the time. I never rinse rice.

  5. #5
    According to authors Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann in their book THE ULTIMATE RICE COOKER COOKBOOK (2002) the rinsing of rice is optional but there are good reasons to do so. Cooking directions in the US say not to rinse the rice because by law, rice produced for the American consumer has been fortified with powdered vitamins which are removed during rinsing. So if you want the vitamins, do not wash or rinse. But they say most Americans get enough vitamins in their diet. They say if you want the best quality cooked rice, then washing helps remove the surface starch, which will reduce excess stickiness. They say the difference is subtle, but according to Beth and Julie the flavor is cleaner, the whiteness is improved, the rice is less sticky and the flavors of the vitamins are removed. They note that the exception is Arborio and other risotto-style rices. These rices should never be rinsed because the starch is what makes the risotto creamy.
    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    I have never rinsed rice. Maybe I will try it just to see if there is a difference.

  7. #7
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    They say if you want the best quality cooked rice, then washing helps remove the surface starch, which will reduce excess stickiness.
    Chesapeake - Thanks so much. The long grain rice that I've rinsed has clearly been better than that make the old way of not rinsing.

    Do you have any basmati information? My recent recipes with basmati, the ones that I've not rinsed, have all been far better than rinsed basmati.

  8. #8
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    The white basmati that I buy is the kind in the burlap bags, from India. I find that if I don't rinse it, it tastes a little burlapy (even though there is an interior plastic bag). When I have other rices, I don't rinse them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meganator
    The white basmati that I buy is the kind in the burlap bags, from India. I find that if I don't rinse it, it tastes a little burlapy (even though there is an interior plastic bag). When I have other rices, I don't rinse them.
    This is how I buy my basmati also. I have been told to rinse the rice 7 times and to let the rice sit in water for 1/2 hr or so to cut the cooking time down. I find that 5 min opposed to 6 or 7 min. isn't that big of a difference, but I still do it. We love it.

  10. #10
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    CI's New Best Recipes cookbook also talks about rinsing the rice to remove the starch if you are making a pilaf style rice to remove the starch. If you want more of a sticky rice, then you shouldn't rinse it.

    After reading CI's explanation, I rinsed our long grain rice 5 or 6 times, and we noticed a difference - and that is the only way I make rice right now.
    Sherri

    Never look down on a person unless you are offering them a hand up.

  11. #11
    Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann's book is a wonderful resource on rice-especially if you use a rice cooker.

    A summary of their recommedations are:

    Washing rice is a personal preference, but the general rule is to wash or rinse imported rices and do not wash domestic rices, which are well cleaned and dried before packaging. Imported rices have starch left over from processing and the result could be very sticky if not rinsed off.

    Guidelines from their book:
    Arborio and other Italian-style risotto rices-do not rinse because the starch makes the risotto creamy
    Asian rices are traditionally washed
    Domestically produced Japanese-style rice- it's coated with powdered glucose or rice powder, which is safe to eat, but washing off improves flavor.
    New to the US Market is Japanese-style rice labeled "Musenmai" and "Rinse free rice" which does not have to be rinsed. This rice takes more water to cook, though, because the rinsed rice usually absorbed some of the water during washing.
    Indian basmati -must be rinsed. Recipes call for 9-10 rinsings.
    Boxed and packaged rices- usually do not need washings or maybe just one rinse.
    Converted rice does not need rinsing.
    "Some recipes call for soaking rice in cold water after washing and before cooking to soften the outer cell walls. This is a traditional technique in Turkish, Persian and Indian cuisines."

    THE ULTIMATE RICE COOKER COOKBOOK (2002)

  12. #12
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    The rice cooker I use says to rinse the rice... should I add extra water if I don't?
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  13. #13
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    I have a friend who is Japanese and she always rinses her rice. I don't, though. She says that when she was little her mom would save the "rice milk" and use it to wash her face!

    Kim

  14. #14
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    I very rarely use anything other than basmati, but I only rinse it because that is how I saw my mother make it for years. I always thought I was washing off dirt or bacteria, my mother rinsed everything for that reason so I just assumed the same for rice. Is there really any dirt or bacteria on basmati (in the burlap bag)?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meganator
    The white basmati that I buy is the kind in the burlap bags, from India. I find that if I don't rinse it, it tastes a little burlapy (even though there is an interior plastic bag). When I have other rices, I don't rinse them.

    I buy this on occasion (but these days I don't get to Sam's very often...my only source) and I rinse it because the rice wasn't produced in the US (for the reasons Chesapeake posted) because the rice is dirty...stones, dirt, debris...I prefer to buy Texmati brand rices and love the smell of basmati and jasmine as it's cooking!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal
    The rice cooker I use says to rinse the rice... should I add extra water if I don't?
    No, I don't ever rinse unless it's foreign grown and then I add less water but then my rice cooker is a Black and Decker so maybe they think I'm using US grown rice?
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

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