Never Ever Rinse This Kind of Rice

Forget all the things you've learned about rinsing rice.

<p>Simply Recipes / Emma Christensen</p>

Simply Recipes / Emma Christensen

As a 40-something-year-old Korean who has made rice over 10 thousand times, I would consider myself an expert at it. I have a sense of how much water to add without measuring given any amount of rice and I can smell when it's time to turn the heat off the pot of rice without having to lift the lid. Ever wonder who buys those 50-pound bags of rice at the grocery store? They were made for restaurants and people like me. Rice is a staple my family eats daily.

I mostly buy medium or short-grain white rice to accompany the Korean dishes I make. Before cooking, I rinse the rice until the water isn't as cloudy. Rinsing not only removes dirt and debris, it washes away the starch on the surface of each rice kernel. When cooked, they separate and become fluffy.

If you don't rinse rice, it'll be clumpy, gummy, and mushy because the excess starch will bloat and glue the kernels to each other. Rinsing rice is a non-negotiable.

<p>Simply Recipes / Adobe Stock</p>

Simply Recipes / Adobe Stock

So it came as a big surprise to me when I learned that there is one kind of rice you should never rinse before cooking: enriched rice.

Similar to how salt is fortified with iodine and milk with vitamin D, some rice producers enrich white rice with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin or niacinamide, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and sometimes calcium.

Rice is made up of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Brown rice is a whole grain—none of the three parts are removed, making it more nutritious, but also firmer and it takes longer to cook.

To make white rice, the bran and germ are removed. The endosperm is the starchy white rice kernel that is left behind. Most of the nutrients are found in the bran and germ, so producers fortify white rice by adding back the stripped nutrients and labeling the rice as enriched. This is a process that is strictly regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

When you rinse enriched rice, you are removing those added nutrients.

You can tell the rice is enriched because the label on its packaging will say so. The rice is typically long or medium-grain white rice that's either uncooked or parcooked. Follow the cooking instructions provided by the producer. Typically, it's two cups of water or other liquid for every cup of enriched rice.

<p>Simply Recipes / Sara Bir</p>

Simply Recipes / Sara Bir

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Read the original article on Simply Recipes.