How I Finally Learned To Make Fine Rice | Speaking of China

17 Responses

  1. Michelle
    Michelle December 12, 2011 at 2:18 am | | Reply

    Haha if I were you, I would’ve expected more as well, although I understand that “fine” may be the best you can get. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had this exchange with my boyfriend:

    Me: How’s the food?
    My bf: Hai hao.
    Me (pretend-angry): Just okay??

    In his words, he’ll eat anything as long as it’s not bean sprouts (allergic). So anything else tastes good or “fine” to him, but some Chinese guys just don’t get excited about food like we do =)

  2. caseyorourke
    caseyorourke December 12, 2011 at 4:30 am | | Reply

    When my wife first came to America, she could cook most Chinese foods, but realized my stomach was still American and that I would want American food every now and then. One day while I was at work, she decided to have a pizza ready for me when I got home. She put a slice of white bread, with some ketchup with a cut up hot dog and a slice of American cheese in the toaster oven till the cheese melted. It was horrible, but I ate it, thanked her for it, then explained to her what went into making a pizza. She started watching the Food Network, researched the internet for a pizza dough recipe, found out what toppings I liked, accepted my suggestion that spaghetti sauce was great substitute for pizza sauce, bought a pizza pan and went to town. By her third pizza she had surpassed Domino’s and Pizza Hut in taste and now her pizzas are as good as the best pizzas anywhere. Since we moved to China she buys all the necessary spices online, buys the veggies at the store and now makes sauce from scratch.
    In Texas, her Chinese were legendary in my workplace and the hit of every potluck, but here in China, her pizzas are the hit of the party whenever family or friends get together.

    But I digress…. I told her a long time ago, that “It was OK” or “It was good” was high praise from me. what’s important is that I’ll eat more than one helping of it, and afterwards I give her a kiss and say thank you and offer to do the dishes.

  3. Sveta
    Sveta December 12, 2011 at 4:52 am | | Reply

    My Korean ex loved my tea. I’d make tea for him the way I wouldn’t even make it for myself; I make sure there was no spoon in the cup, that the teabag is in tea for a number of minutes and that cold air wasn’t circling the room. He always asked me for seconds and thirds when it came to tea. (He did tell me that he enjoyed tea, but the fact he asked more for it, well that’s a sign he loved it.)

  4. Eileen
    Eileen December 12, 2011 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    When I first saw the rice cooker, I was fascinated. I asked my husband, “What is that?” My husband showed me how to use it and I was so impressed. I grew up making rice in the pain-in-the-butt way. I called all my relatives about such a miracle worker. 😀 I have been meaning to buy my family members all their own rice cooker. Love it.

    My husband keeps saying he loves my food (even though I hate my own – I am much happier with other people’s cooking). He loves my own version of recipes: East meets West spaghetti (I changed it for his liking). My mother in law even liked my own version of Spaghetti; she quickly ate it up. I was shocked but happy. 🙂

    My husband would cook me Chinese dishes, I eat it, and then I would mimic it exactly. It freaks out my husband. He would say, “But I didn’t show you how I cooked it or what ingredients I use.”

    ….and there was a time when I accidently made a Taiwanese dish, but that’s another story.

    It’s true, I cook just to make my husband smile. 🙂

  5. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian December 12, 2011 at 10:29 am | | Reply

    Ah, the art of cooking the perfect rice! Is it an art really? I don’t know. I don’t cook. But with a rice cooker, the perfect rice shouldn’t be too difficult. Just remember the ideal water level above the rice, like John said and presto! you have “fine” rice! I like my rice white and fluffy, not too dry nor soggy. If it is too soggy, it is called porridge or congee as far as I am concerned. Fluffy white rice goes nicely with curry meat or vege Yes ma’am! Yummy!

  6. Laowai in Shanghai
    Laowai in Shanghai December 12, 2011 at 11:40 am | | Reply

    I still can’t cook rice.
    My husband does’t understand why not, and he always tells me how simple it is.
    I think it is really simple. I let him do it.

  7. Stanley
    Stanley December 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm | | Reply

    how much water depends on what kind of rice used.

  8. Cvaguy
    Cvaguy December 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm | | Reply

    Don’t you just love the instruction of “finger tip over the rice”? I got the same instruction from my mom 🙂
    Here in US, you can get rice from all over the places. My favorite is the one from Tailand. However, each brand is different, some need more water, some need less. I just don’t get why there is no instruction on the ratio of rice vs water. (e.g. One cup rice, one and half cups of water)
    I guess it assumes one can cook rice without the learning process 🙂

  9. Jing's girlfriend
    Jing's girlfriend December 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    The reason that rice-water ratios don’t work is because the amount of water lost during cooking will be the same whether you cook a large amount or a small amount of rice. Using the rice to water ratio and cooking 2 cups of rice vs. cooking .5 cups of rice will leave the 2 cups of rice much wetter than the .5 cups. The type of pot you use matters as well because tighter lids will release less water while loose fitting lids will have the opposite effect. This article explains it much better than I can http://blog.essayweb.net/2011/07/31/the-math-of-cooking-perfect-rice/

    I cook my rice in a pot and what generally works for me (for a short grained calrose/sushi rice) is a ratio of 1:1 for rice and water plus a little extra water (about 1/4 cup). The “little extra” water is always the same whether I am cooking a little or a lot of rice. I rinse the rice two or three times, add the water and then let the rice soak for about 30 minutes. The soaking is important! Then cover, turn the heat on high to bring rice to a boil, boil for one minute, then turn the heat down as low as possible and cook for 15 minutes. No peeking! After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice sit for at least 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

  10. Chris
    Chris December 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm | | Reply

    Once upon a time a pizza-loving friend asked me if I know something about pizzle, I told him no and I guessed the main ingredients of pizza should be just like Chinese steamed stuffed bun (baozi), then asked him if he know how to cook pizza, he also told me “No”.
    So I am totally not strange a foreign woman does not know how to cook rice even in China a ten-year old kid can cook delicious rice. You do not do it, so of course you do not know it.
    I think the main points of cooking rice is the ration of rice vs water and what taste you want the rice to be. Some people like softer rice, such as old people, some like stiffer rice. Just try several times, then you can make nice rice.
    Indeed there is nothing more easier than making rice in kitchen. Good luck.

  11. Bruce
    Bruce December 13, 2011 at 7:45 am | | Reply

    Different types of rice require certain amount of water.place your hand flat in the rice cooker and put water close to your knuckle area

  12. Rebekah
    Rebekah December 15, 2011 at 11:52 am | | Reply

    I LOVE to cook, it is one of my favorite things to do.
    I’m not sure about anyone else but my cheap drugstore $10 rice cooker comes with a cup and lines on it to show where to fill with water.
    I honestly think if I tried to cook rice in a regular pan I would kill it…haha!
    The rice cooker is my best friend!

  13. cool
    cool December 16, 2011 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    basmati rice is the best…

  14. Jean
    Jean December 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | | Reply

    Long time since I’ve cooked white rice in a pot, not a rice electric pot.

    Actually don’t eat much white rice these days compared to lst 30 yrs. in life when I had it nearly for every dinner. White rice is high glycemic stuff and I end up tipping towards diabetes 2. But you would never guess given my light weight, etc.

    Too much of the stuff, I just don’t feel well anymore.

    But yes, I did master how to make white rice before electric cookers.

  15. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian December 17, 2011 at 9:48 am | | Reply

    I don’t like basmati rice. Thin and dry. I love fragrant white fluffy rice. You can chow it down even with few accompanying dishes. Just some curry or gravy will do.

  16. kh
    kh December 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm | | Reply

    Don’t let him make the rice anymore. You need the practice! Start by NOT adding enough water. Cook it, and when the water is all soaked up, you can ADJUST by adding more hot water. You’ll figure it out very soon. Good luck!

  17. Christense
    Christense December 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm | | Reply

    My husband told me about the finger method too, but I don’t use it because I find that it only works when you’re making a large quantity of rice. I often make one or two cups of rice at a time, because I’m the only one that eats it—I married a noodle man. A friend of mine, raised in a Japanese-American home, told me that the volume of water should be 1 to 1.5 times the volume of the rice. I’ve stared measuring my rice out with a paper cup, and I’ve never had a problem since.

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