3 simple rice variations

3 simple ways to liven up rice! Left: toast the rice prior to cooking + sesame oil & soy sauce. Middle: add herbs & lime juice. Right: cook in aromatics such as garlic and ginger! All 3 recipes in one post. Plus method for perfect, fluffy rice! #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #vegan #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe

Before this week, I rarely ate rice. I had an unfounded and misguided perception that it is a makeweight, a carby vehicle, for the actual food to come. Not only did I not eat a lot of rice, I was also completely inept at cooking it.

However, I've been having stomach aches recently to the point that I couldn’t eat anything more exotic than bland and beige food. You can probably imagine how frustrating this is for a food blogger. To my surprise, though, I rather enjoyed eating bowl after bowl of rice. I developed a romantic image of myself: a mysterious character from a Murakami novel, or a master Japanese chef, who has sequestered himself away for nourishment from simple food in contrast to the dishes on which he'd been slaving away. Rest assured, my daft illusions were quickly shattered by anyone who saw or spoke to me, but I developed an attachment to the elegant simplicity of rice nonetheless.

Herb & Lime Rice from 3 simple ways to liven up rice! Also included: recipe for toasted rice (plus sesame oil & soy sauce), and for rice cooked in aromatics such as garlic and ginger! All 3 recipes in one post, including method for perfect, fluffy rice! #vegan #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe

During my recipe research, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a number of superb comments, tales and proverbs about rice. For instance, there is the frequently referenced Indian saying, "grains of rice should be like two brothers – close but not stuck together". One commenter shudders at the sight of rice being cooked improperly, elaborates on how he/she does it, and signs off with the remark "simmer until all the water is absorbed and as my Indian dad so poetically puts it, you see small dimples appear in the surface "like pissholes in the snow"." Meanwhile, another commenter grows frustrated and gives alternative instructions: "- get rice out of cupboard; - look at instructions; - follow them; - look at ensuing mess in pan; - go and buy a bag of chips". I suppose the more ancient a foodstuff, the more stories and adages amass; I’m already looking forward to researching next time I have a recipe centred on a different ancient grain.

Toasted from 3 simple ways to liven up rice! Also included: recipes for Herb & Lime Rice and Aromatic rice cooked with garlic, ginger and celery! All 3 recipes in one post, including method for perfect, fluffy rice! #vegan #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe

Anyway, given rice was, and still is, my main diet this week, I wanted to cook it perfectly and infuse as much flavour as possible into each little grain. Many recipes fail to address the fact that the water in which you cook rice is absorbed by that rice. Therefore, salting or flavouring the water can really elevate the final product. Cooking in coconut milk is a good and traditional example of this, see nasi lemak, but I've developed three recipes that use water as the cooking liquid.

Herb & Lime Rice from 3 simple ways to liven up rice! Also included: recipe for toasted rice (plus sesame oil & soy sauce), and for rice cooked in aromatics such as garlic and ginger! All 3 recipes in one post, including method for perfect, fluffy rice! #vegan #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe

Firstly, I salted the water and added aromatics such as garlic, carrot, ginger and celery, so essentially the rice cooks in an on-the-fly vegetable stock. It tastes earthy and well rounded. Tick. Secondly, I added lime juice and some finely chopped herbs, which add a nice exotic twist. And finally, I toasted the raw rice grains prior to cooking, which brings out a nutty flavour in the end product. Add toasted sesame oil and soy sauce to this and it's a winner.

When my stomach recovers, I might just take a break from eating rice. But not for long.

Aromatic Rice from 3 simple ways to liven up rice! Also included: recipe for toasted rice (plus sesame oil & soy sauce), and for Herb & Lime Rice! All 3 recipes in one post, including method for perfect, fluffy rice! #vegan #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe
3 simple rice variations
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3 simple rice variations

Yield:
Serves 2
Prep time:
5 mins
Cook time:
12 mins

Ingredients:

  for the toasted rice
190g/1 cupbasmati rice (or regular white long-grain)
¼ tspfine salt
340ml/1½ cupswater
2 tbsptoasted sesame oil
1 tbspsoy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
  for the aromatic rice
190g/1 cupbasmati rice (or regular white long-grain)
⅓ tspfine salt
2 mediumcloves garlic, lightly smashed with the back of a large wide knife or spoon
½ mediumcarrot, chopped into large chunks
¼rib celery
2large slices ginger
340ml/1½ cupswater
  for the herb and lime rice
190g/1 cupbasmati rice (or regular white long-grain)
⅓ tspfine salt
340ml/1½ cupswater
1-2limes, juice of (depending on how citrussy you like it)
4 tbspfinely chopped fresh herbs such as coriander (cilantro), mint or parsley
2 tbspextra virgin olive oil

Process:

    For the toasted rice:

  1. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and dry-toast for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon for more even browning. It should be golden brown and aromatic after 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the toasted rice to a medium saucepan which has a tight-fitting lid* with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, stir, and lower the heat to very low. Cover with the lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Without removing the lid, remove the pot from the heat and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Fluff up with a fork, gently stir in the toasted sesame oil and soy sauce, and serve.

For the aromatic rice:

  1. Put the rice into a bowl with roughly double the volume of water. Swish it around for 20-30 seconds until the water is very cloudy. Use a fine-mesh sieve (strainer) to drain the rice.
  2. Rinse the rice again under the tap, then transfer rice to a medium saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid*. Add the water, salt, garlic, carrot, celery and ginger, bring to a boil, give it a stir, and reduce te heat to very low. Cover with a the lid and leave to cook for 12 minutes.
  3. Without removing the lid, remove the pot from the heat and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Pick out and discard the vegetables, fluff the rice up with a fork, and serve.

For the herb and lime rice:

  1. Put the rice into a bowl with roughly double the volume of water. Swish it around for 20-30 seconds until the water is very cloudy. Use a fine-mesh sieve (strainer) to drain the rice.
  2. Rinse the rice again under the tap, then transfer rice to a medium saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid*. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil, give it a stir, and reduce the heat to very low. Leave to cook for 12 minutes.
  3. Without removing the lid, remove the pot from the heat and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Fluff up the rice with a fork, add the herbs, lime juice and olive oil, gently stir, and serve.

*If you don't have a tight-fitting lid, cover the saucepan with aluminium foil and crimp the edges around the edge of the pot before putting the lid on.

3 simple ways to liven up rice: Toasted rice + sesame oil & soy sauce, also Herbs & Lime juice, and lastly Aromatic Rice cooked in aromatics such as garlic and ginger! All 3 recipes in one post. Plus method for perfect, fluffy rice! #rice #recipes #easy #herbs #lime #basmati  #simple #ways #how #to #cook #make #cilantro #lime #bowl #flavoured #vegetarian #vegan #savoury #vegetable #white #recipe