Monday, 29 June 2009

the art of rice

I have a confession... I cannot, despite my best efforts and hours of research, make a proper pot of rice.  I feel that this confession may strain my relationship with my asian elders, however it's sadly true and at this point, I need to reach out to you, dear reader.  

How do you cook rice?  And I mean, in a pot with boiling water, not a rice cooker... 

My mother makes a perfect pot of rice with each and every dinner, it's never burnt, mushy, watery or hard.  And the crazy thing is that she eyeballs the amount of water needed to go in!  No measuring cups, no fancy instruments, just a natural sense of the water to rice ratio. 

The other day, after being frustrated with my watery and mushy rice, I turned to my trusty friend - Google - for answers. 

Other than numerous suggestions to buy a rice cooker, I came across one post that outlined the "Index Finger Rule to Cooking Rice" 

Here's how it works, wash the rice as usual and drain out the murky water without dumping the whole pot of rice into the sink (I've done that before...) 

Next, rest the tip of your index finger on the surface of the rice, and fill up the pot with water until it reaches the first joint of that finger.  

That's it!  I have yet to try out this technique, but it seems relatively simple and idiot-proof.  


  1. Hi Irene,
    I find it hard to believe you got drunk on english beer! I thought it was supposed to be need to eat carbs girl!!!!!

    As for the perfect way to make rice. After 25 years with my chinese husband, I have finally mastered the finger technique. In summary, after I have cooked the rice and discovered it is yet mushy again, I promptly give the pot of spoiled rice my middle finger while yelling profanities.....Terry on the other hand just makes congee out of it.

    We hope you are having fun in England and hope to see you as soon as you get back.

    Kelly, Terry and Mocha

  2. ok, let me give you some advice. change your expectations....when the rice doesn't turn out as planned, label it! Italians have mastered this technique. for example, when pasta is overcooked, we call it lasagna. when it's undercooked its called al dente. see its all very simple....just manage expectations!!

  3. I think I inherited the cooking gene of the family ^_^
    I do test the water level after I've washed the rice, but I don't really think about where the water is; at this point I just have a feeling about whether it'll work or not. But the index finger thing is probably okay. Amateur :-)
    I crank up the electric range initially to get the water to a rolling boil, and then turn it back down to simmer. Then I turn it off after a while. Dunno how long that is exactly ^_^ ho ho ho