Perfect Steamed Rice
PERFECT STEAMED RICE MAKES 4 CUPS, SERVES 6
A recipe for steamed rice seems unnecessary: add rice and water to rice cooker, turn on. But while that is a reliable way to make consistently good rice, I also like to cook rice the way our ancestors did. Making perfect steamed rice is a badge of honor that many chefs toil at for years—no, decades—before humbly mastering. There are, of course, hundreds of varieties of rice, each of which will call for its own cooking method. Here is a traditional recipe for steaming short-grain rice with a creamy, almost sticky texture. To add air to dinner parties, try serving rice in a bamboo steamer lined with napa cabbage leaves to keep the grains from falling through.
14 ounces (1 ¾ cups) uncooked short-grain rice
Place the rice in a heavy pot and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cover the pot with a tight- fitting lid and steam the rice, without stirring, at a steady boil, until most of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Keeping the cover on, reduce the heat to low and let the rice sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Tip: Rinsing rice before cooking removes surface starch, which prevents stickiness, but doing so will wash away vitamins and nutrients. With short-grain rice, where a bit of toothy starchiness is a good thing, there is no need to pre-rinse.