the simple secret to perfect fluffy rice

fried rice-4 frozen rice

OK. Those of you with a fancy rice cooker, or a rice cooking method that you’re completely satisfied with, skip down to today’s recipe – egg fried rice.

For everyone else who struggles with cooking rice, or avoids it completely – gather round.

A few months ago I wrote about time savers in the kitchen and it generated some lively discussion. One comment from the lovely Claire sparked some debate as to the best and quickest way to cook rice. Claire was an avid fan of the quick boil method, something I hadn’t used in ages.

I decided to give it a test, a little rice experiment, alongside what I thought was my current preferred technique – the good old absorption method. So the other evening I cooked up two batches of fragrant basmati rice.

the methods

For the absorption method I weighed out 250g basmati rice, rinsed it thoroughly under cold water until all the excess starch was gone. Popped it in a medium saucepan and added 500mL water. This was brought to the boil uncovered. The heat was then reduced to the lowest setting and covered tightly with a layer of foil and then the lid. It was left for 15minutes and then removed from the heat and allowed to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

For the quick boil method I filled a medium saucepan with water and brought it to the boil. Then added 250g unwashed basmati rice and simmered for 10 minutes until it was only just tender and still with the faintest bight. It was then drained and the colander placed back in the saucepan to keep warm while we waited for the slow poke absorption rice.

the results

Our quick boil rice was the hands down winner in terms of fluffiness and texture. And it certainly lived up to its name in being the fastest of the two methods. We did notice that the flavour of the absorption rice was slightly stronger but this was probably a temperature related thing as the quick boil was not as hot when we tasted the two together.

the conclusion

I now have a new favourite rice cooking method – it’s quick boil for me from now on.

And I also tried out freezing rice for the first time at the suggestion of some readers. And I have to say it works like a charm and is so much cheaper than buying par cooked supermarket rice. So I’ll also be making extra rice next time I cook it and freezing for future dinners, like my current obsession – egg fried rice.

fried rice-2

[5 ingredients or less | 10 minutes]
egg fried rice

serves 2

I can’t believe how deliciously moreish this egg fried rice is. Even on its own it tastes far more complex than just egg, rice and soy sauce.

And the best thing is that it’s the perfect blank canvas to build a meal around. Need some greens? Throw in a handful of frozen peas, or some chopped spring onion and you’re in business. Pretty much any veg will work, of course some will need to be cooked first. It would also be lovely as an accompaniment to a stir fry or even just some wilted greens tosses in oyster sauce.

If you’re using frozen rice, best to defrost either in the microwave or just let it defrost naturally on the sink – it only takes half an hour or so until it can be broken up and added to the pan.

I love basmati rice for this dish but feel free to use whatever rice you have on hand. Even brown rice would be lovely.

If you are cooking rice freshly to make fried rice, be sure and spread it out on a tray and allow to cool for half an hour or so to give the starch a chance to be in the right frame of mind for some frying.

2 cups cooked long grain rice (approx 250g / 9oz)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2T soy sauce, + extra to serve

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a medium high heat.

Add about 2T peanut or other neutral oil and allow to heat.

Add egg and toss for about 30 seconds so it starts to cook then add the rice and continue to stir fry until the rice is heated through and the egg is cooked.

Stir through soy and taste. Add a little more if needed. Serve hot with the soy bottle at the ready.


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Still going stong with my vego journey over at my vegetarian month page.

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