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Perfect Fluffy Rice

Want to know the foolproof secret to making perfect rice on the hob?

There’s a phrase in Chinese, “fan toong“, that loosely translates to “rice bucket”. Despite it sounding rather functional, it’s actually used to affectionately describe someone who loves eating rice.

Out of us three kids, I was the “fan toong” in the family. I’d happily have it with nothing but a drizzle of soy sauce, the grains latching onto the burnt amber liquid. To me, those gleaming cream coloured jewels always came out of a rice cooker. I was vaguely aware that rice could be made in a sauce pan too, as my Aunty Jane did (I also remember a large amount sticking to the bottom of the pan!). But every night in our house, the rice cooker faithfully churned out beautiful rice to have alongside the communal dishes.

I’m sure this was the case for many other Chinese families. Not least because once when I was making dinner with a friend, my less-than-confident attempt to cook the rice was met with the comment, “it’s always amazing how Chinese people have no idea how to cook rice”.

That comment was fair. I really didn’t have a clue about cooking rice on the hob. Even when I moved over to the UK, I brought with me a small rice cooker that my parents had bought in Hong Kong. However, having recently moved into a smaller flat, I found that the only room I had for my most beloved piece of kitchen machinery was in a storage cupboard that has hardly within easy reach.

Luckily, I had moved in with someone who knew how to cook rice, and not in the boil-the-death-out-of-it way that the supermarket rice packets instruct you to do. And for the life of me, I couldn’t believe how foolproof it was. So much so that now, you can’t stop me from proudly teaching anyone who shows the slightest interest.

Serves
2 hearty portions
Ingredients

No measurement method
A mug, jasmine rice and water

With measurements
230g jasmine rice (not the easy cook kind)
230g water

There’s a phrase in Chinese, “fan toong“, that loosely translates to “rice bucket”. Despite it sounding rather functional, it’s actually used to affectionately describe someone who loves eating rice.

Out of us three kids, I was the “fan toong” in the family. I’d happily have it with nothing but a drizzle of soy sauce, the grains latching onto the burnt amber liquid. To me, those gleaming cream coloured jewels always came out of a rice cooker. I was vaguely aware that rice could be made in a sauce pan too, as my Aunty Jane did (I also remember a large amount sticking to the bottom of the pan!). But every night in our house, the rice cooker faithfully churned out beautiful rice to have alongside the communal dishes.

I’m sure this was the case for many other Chinese families. Not least because once when I was making dinner with a friend, my less-than-confident attempt to cook the rice was met with the comment, “it’s always amazing how Chinese people have no idea how to cook rice”.

That comment was fair. I really didn’t have a clue about cooking rice on the hob. Even when I moved over to the UK, I brought with me a small rice cooker that my parents had bought in Hong Kong. However, having recently moved into a smaller flat, I found that the only room I had for my most beloved piece of kitchen machinery was in a storage cupboard that has hardly within easy reach.

Luckily, I had moved in with someone who knew how to cook rice, and not in the boil-the-death-out-of-it way that the supermarket rice packets instruct you to do. And for the life of me, I couldn’t believe how foolproof it was. So much so that now, you can’t stop me from proudly teaching anyone who shows the slightest interest.

GET THE METHOD →

Fill a regular mug with rice grains (or weigh out 230g), and tip into a saucepan that also has a close fitting lid.
Wash the rice by filling the saucepan with water and using your hands to swish the grains around. The water will turn cloudy. Drain away as much of the water as you can, using a cupped hand to catch any escapees (see video).
Repeat the wash 1 or 2 times until the water is running considerably clearer.
Fill the mug with water, leaving about 0.5ml of space from the rim (or measure out 230ml). Tip into the saucepan.
Put the saucepan, with the lid on, over a high heat. Bring the rice to the boil.
As soon as the rice has boiled, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat off completely and leave the rice to steam for another 10 minutes. Fluff up the rice before serving.
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