With the cold and rainy season upon us, what better time than now for some warming winter recipe ideas. Thick stews and curries are perfectly complemented by a serving of fluffy, steamed rice.
SunRice ambassador Poh Ling Yeow offers her top tips for cooking rice perfectly, as well as yummy ways to spice up your rice when you’re after warm and comforting dishes!
Poh’s Rice hacks:
- Because they grow their rice in such pristine conditions, SunRice rice does not need to be washed before cooking.
- When making fried rice, always chill the rice first. This way, the grains stay firm and nicely separated during stir frying. When the grains are still soft, you wind up with a bit of a sludgy mess. For this reason always fridge or freeze leftover rice rather than wasting it. If you’re stuck for chilled rice, freshly cooked brown rice is perfect for the job, the bran layer protects the starches from getting mushy during stir frying .
- If you’re making a rice dessert, use medium or short grain rice because they have a creamier texture but still have a lovely bite to them.
- If you want to jazz up ordinary steamed rice, toast the raw grains with a little butter and finely chopped onion or garlic then cook it by absorption with chicken stock.
- Dry toast Sunrice Medium Grain or Sunrice Koshihikari in a frypan on a low to medium heat until golden, then crush in a mortar and pestle to sprinkle over salads for a beautiful nutty crunch. Great for those with gluten or nut intolerances. This is also excellent for helping salad dressing bind to slippery salad ingredients.
- Rice is a great medium for baby food. Cook it with double to triple the amount of water recommended, along with your meat or veg of choice, puree and freeze in ice cube trays for easy portioning.
- If you find rolling sushi too fiddly, line a square baking tin with nori, spread the rice out evenly then layer with whatever you like – raw salmon, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds. Cover with another layer of rice and nori then compress with a wooden spatula. Turn it out and slice into squares – you’ve just made sushi for the entire family in a quarter of the time!
- If you are gluten intolerant or stumped for a rice idea, think pasta sauces but substitute the pasta for rice.
- Sandwiches can get boring in lunch boxes. Try stuffing little rice balls with cold meats, cheeses or pickled vegetables and rolling them in crushed nori as a fun option.
- If you ever want to accentuate the jasmine fragrance in rice, try popping a scrunched up pandan leaf into the cooking rice, then remove before eating. You can buy this from Asian grocers fresh or in the freezer section.
- When using glutinous or sticky rice, always soak it overnight first or you will be stirring the pot forever! The best way to cook it, is to steam it in a heatproof dish for about 15 minutes with enough liquid to just skim over the surface of the rice. Don’t let the rice exceed 3cm in height or it might not cook evenly. In South East Asia, glutinous is most often cooked with coconut milk. It is a misconception that sticky rice is the outcome of a method of cooking but it fact a variety. It also contains no gluten.