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Cooking rice

Rice cooking for a lot of people can be a real hit and miss affair, with a stodgy mess being a common result. There are many types of rice and all have their own different properties and uses. Here are a few tips to help solve that:

  • Use the correct rice for the dish.
  • Always thoroughly wash and rinse any rice and repeat until the water runs clear before cooking with it, this washes away the excess starch that causes it to stick together.
  • Only just cover with water and bring it to the boil, remove from the heat and let it finish cooking off the heat with a lid on, this is called cooking by the absorption method.
  • Use a stock instead of plain water to increase flavour.
  • Long grain rice must be used for stir fries to get that crisp, nuttiness. Cook and drain the rice and spread it out on a tray and leave in the refrigerator overnight to dry out.

Rice varieties

There are many thousands of different rice varieties throughout the World although only a few are produced commercially or found on the supermarket shelves. The main differences between the rices is the way in which they cook. There is little difference from one rice to another as to the nutritional value.

Long Grain Rices

Long grain rices can be used for all styles of cooking. It is a slim grain which is 4 - 5 times as long as it is wide. After harvesting it undergoes different milling techniques to produce different types of rice.

  • Regular Long Grain White Rice
    Milled to remove the husk and bran layer. When cooked the grains separate giving a light fluffy rice which is used for savoury dishes.

  • Easy-Cook Long Grain White Rice
    Unlike regular white rice which is milled direct from the field , it is steamed under pressure before milling. This makes it easier to cook. Can be used in the same way as Regular Long grain rice.

  • Brown Long Grain Rice (Wholegrain Rice)
    Brown Rice undergoes only minimal milling, which removes the husk but retains the bran layer. Like long grain white rice the grains of brown rice remain separate when cooked but they take longer to soften and the cooked grains have a chewy texture.

Speciality Rices

These rices include the aromatics, risotto, glutinous and pudding rice.

Aromatics Rices

These contain an ingredient which gives them a fragrant taste and aroma.

  • Basmati Rice
    Basmati rice has a fragrant flavour and aroma and is the rice used in Indian dishes. The grains are separate and fluffy when cooked.

  • Jasmine Rice
    Also know as Thai Fragrant Rice it differs from other long grain rices in that it has a soft and slightly sticky texture when cooked.

  • Japonica Rice
    This rice comes in a variety of colours including red, brown and black and is used in Japanese and Caribbean cuisines. It has a clingy moist and firm nature when cooked.

Risotto Rices

  • Arborio rice
    An Italian short grain rice with high starch content, traditionally used to make Risotto.

  • Carnaroli Rice
    Has a larger grain than Arborio rice.

Glutinous rice

  • Is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is sticky when cooked, with a glue-like, sticky consistency.

Pudding rice

  • This is a short grain rice has a plump, almost round kernel and when cooked the rice is soft and clings together.


Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand


Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site (link in main menu)

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