February 16, 2010

Rice on the Cheap

THIS is the way to buy rice for cheap. Head to your local asian grocery store and buy a 25 lb bag for $20.  Spending $20 might seem like a lot, but it works out to only 80 cents per pound. Compare that to smaller bags of plain old long grain rice which has no flavor for more money. [Sidenote: I will be posting soon about my backup pantry to show you how we store this large amount of rice, flour and sugar.] We love jasmine rice which has a sweet smell and flavor, sushi rice which is shorter grain, firm yet tender. Thai sticky rice which is...wait for it....sticky. Basmati is perfect for Indian dishes since it has a nutty fluffy texture. We don't eat brown rice mainly because it does not keep as well as white rice. It will spoil too quickly to purchase in bulk.
We eat rice lots of ways, but here are some of our favorites:
jasmine: for anything that you would use long grain for, stroganoff, pad thai, pesto chicken, Cuban black beans and rice, paella, coconut curry, with smoked sausages, peppers and onions or as a base for Parmesan Fish
sushi rice: as stand alone side dish, especially sprinkled with sushi seasoning, as a base for any stir fry, fried rice, bee bim bop
sticky rice: perfect for rice pudding, the kids also love it with a seasoning over the top made off salt, sugar and sesame seeds, this is rice you can make into rice balls or other crazy shapes to make it fun
basmati rice: with mango chicken, tandoori chicken, palak paneer, masaman curry or any other indian dish (can also be used like jasmine)
We have a super duper rice cooker that I LOVE. It's a Zorirushi and in our house it serves no other purpose than cooking rice. You can use your rice cooker for oatmeal or actual rice dishes like black beans and rice, but I've heard it will affect the flavor of any other rice you cook afterwards. We (really MacGyver) are rice purists. This means the rice cooker is an expensive piece of equipment used only for cooking rice, but it does a perfect job every time and we eat rice often, so for us, it is worth it. Before using the rice cooker I had to pay more attention when cooking rice and would often make it too soggy or too crispy or even burn the bottom. Now it doesn't matter what kind of rice I'm cooking because the Zojirushi cooks it perfectly each time.

I do recommend performing the ritual washing of the rice to rinse away the starchy residue that is leftover after milling (no matter if you use a rice cooker or a pot on the stove). This will give your rice a fluffiness and make the grains separate well. Tradition says you do it three times and rinse completely each time. I'm not so good about really rinsing each time, but I give the rice a good swish with my hands and then pour off most of the water three times. After rinsing you add the appropriate amount of cold water (according to the marks on the side of the cooker) and push "cook". It's that easy. You can start the cooker at a pre-set time with the time cooking or cook it whenever and the cooker will keep it warm until you are ready. This is one appliance that won't sit around like that waffle maker you never use!

Jasmine Rice


  1. What a wonderful post about rice!I came across your site from the Foodieblogroll and if you won't mind, I'd love to guide foodista readers to your site.Just add your choice of Foodista widget at the end of this blog post and you're all set. Thanks!

  2. Thank you Alisa, I will link it.


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