If there is one thing we all know for certain is that there is nothing more rewarding than having a pleasant and delicious meal after a hard and long day. However, we also know for certain that cooking after a hard and long day is not for everyone.
For lazy cooks but food lovers, there is something spectacular in those ingredients which we can make in advance and store in our fridge or freezer. Moreover, those ingredients that are easy to make and extremely versatile are like angels sent from food paradise.
Rice is a staple ingredient in almost every culture, and it is something we all have in our pantries. It is not only affordable but also fool-proof, and it pairs to perfection with meats, chicken, seafood, other vegetables, and even other grains. And don’t forget about dessert! Rice can also become rice pudding in no time, and it will satisfy your sweet cravings any time of the day.
There are, still to this day, different techniques on how to make the perfect rice. Today, we want to show you what we consider to be the easiest and simplest way of making and storing it. You will save plenty of time (and money) and you’ll see how you will stop depending on deliveries on those lazy meal nights!
How to Make It
In order to make the best rice possible, it is paramount you keep in mind the water-to-rice ratio which is one part of rice to two parts of any liquid.
- You are going to rinse the rice thoroughly. This is also key. It is important you remove the excess starch so it does not become sticky and you get fluffy and delicious rice. We recommend you place it in a colander and then simply open the faucet and let the water wash all the grains.
- After rinsing the rice, it is time to cook it in a pot. Cover your rice with your liquids (remember, one part of rice per two parts of liquid) and turn the heat up.
- After the liquid and rice are boiling, place a lid on your pot and lower the heat. Let it all simmer for about thirteen to fifteen minutes.
- Once this time has passed, or once you have run out of any liquids, turn off the heat and let the rice rest for another ten minutes. Do not remove the lid.
- Now that these minutes have passed by, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Storing Cooked Rice
To make your rice last for longer periods of time in your fridge, allow it to cool down. Once it has reached room temperature, you can store it in bags with seals or in containers with lids. Rice will last up to five days in the fridge.
However, if you plan to keep it longer, you should put it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer. Frozen rice can last up to three months.
When you decide to eat it or use it for another preparation, it is best to let it thaw slowly in the lower part of the refrigerator. This can take 8 to 12 hours, so it is best to leave it overnight.
Unless you are short on time, try not to force a quick thaw in the microwave, as the rice will heat up unevenly and this could change its texture.
Some Ideas to Make With Rice
If you love rice but are tired of making the same chicken and white rice recipe over and over again, we bring you some ideas to level your rice game up.
If you follow a plant-based diet, tofu can be your best ally.
- Marinate tofu with a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, and some cayenne pepper, and leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Over a hot pan, drizzle some olive oil and stir-fry the marinated tofu. Once all sides are golden brown, remove it from the heat and add some vegetables (we recommend using onions, peppers, broccoli, finely chopped carrots, and mushrooms).
- Once the vegetables are cooked, add the white rice you had previously made. After the rice has absorbed the flavor from the sealed tofu and the cooked vegetables, it is time to serve.
- On a plate add a generous amount of rice and vegetables and serve it with the marinated tofu. Garnish with some chopped parsley and enjoy!
If you eat meat, try making white coconut rice with shrimp.
- Instead of making rice with water, replace the liquids with one and a half parts of coconut milk and 1/2 part of water. Follow the same procedure as the one mentioned before.
- In a hot pan drizzle some olive oil, add minced garlic and cook the shrimp evenly on each side. Once the shrimp are cooked, add the juice of a lemon and the zest of that lemon as well.
- Serve the coconut rice with some lemon zest, and serve each portion with your garlic and lemon shrimp. Enjoy!
And finally, if you love sweet dishes, you can try this delicious arroz con leche, a traditional Spanish rice pudding.
- Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a large saucepan, bring the rice and water to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
- Add the milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the rice, and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the pudding simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until it thickens and becomes creamy.
- Stir the pudding occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the pudding is thick and creamy, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Serve the rice pudding warm, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon on each serving.