Growing up as an Asian, I have been eating rice my whole life and encountered a lot of different kinds of rice. Rice is also the first dish I learnt to cook when I was seven years old. In Asian countries like Vietnam, Japan, and China, rice is the main dish of the meal while all other dishes just side dishes to complement and enhance the flavour of rice.

The first type of rice I want to talk about is Jasmine white rice. This is the most popular type of rice and is cooked in regular daily meals. The method I use to cook regular white rice is called the “Finger knuckle rule”. The first step is always washing the rice a couple of times (the water does not have to be clear as you wash the rice). Next is filling in water to cook rice using your index finger. Notice that the water must fill up to the first knuckle of the index finger from the rice surface. Then we can put the pot of rice into the rice cooker. It usually takes 20 to 45 minutes to cook rice with a rice cooker.

The next type of rice is Glutinous or Sweet rice. We can cook sticky rice with this type of rice. However, Glutinous rice must be soaked in water for 3 to 10 hours before being cooked or steamed. I usually leave the rice soaked overnight so I would have it ready to cook the next day. Because the rice has absorbed water from soaking already, the water level should be equal to the rice level when using a rice cooker to cook it. With the steaming method, however, we can use two to three cups of water and steam for 30 to 40 minutes until rice is tender.

The last type of rice that is popular in my home country is brown rice. There are two ways to eat this. In the Northern area, we eat dried whole grain brown rice. In the Southern area, brown rice is cooked regularly like white rice.

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March 2021
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