Washing rice, as simple as it may sound, is not that simple when it comes to understanding the reasons why one needs to do so. Therefore, we will start by discussing the different parts of rice, the main component of rice, different kinds of rice, different ways people usually like to consume them, and finally, how one should wash their rice.
As a part of sharing cooking experieneses we also reviewed the best rice dispenser as rice dispenser is necessary to dispense perfect amaount of rice. We also reviewed rice storage container to store rice for long time.
Main parts of rice
There are 4 main parts of rice:
The Husk (Also known as rice hulls):
Rice husks are the first, inedible layers of the rice. They are brown and work as a protective layer for the rice.
After the husk comes the bran, which is basically the outer layer of the grain itself. To understand this component better, let’s put it this way- when you remove the Bran layer of the rice, you get white rice. And when you keep that layer and only remove the Husk, you get brown rice. While brown rice carries a number of nutritional values and is definitely a better choice than white rice, it has one dangerous downside: arsenic. Not to mention some people do not like the taste of brown rice. Know that the process of removing this bran layer is called ‘milling’. When rice goes under this grinding process, it becomes white rice. Another good reason to remove this layer is that brown rice tends to rot very quickly whereas white rice can last for approximately 2 years.
Similarly to the bran layer, the germ layer is also removed when the rice undergoes the process of milling.
The endosperm is what is left after removing all the other outer layers of the grain. To put it simply, it is what we call white rice.
Note that there is one main component of rice: Starch. And when gone under the milling process, some of the free starch is removed, thus decreasing the size of the rice. And washing your rice is simply about getting rid of some of the extra free starch and visible impurities if there are any.
Speaking of starch, they have two main components: amylose and amylopectin. To understand the types of rice better, keep in mind that the types that contain more amylose and less amylopectin tend to be less sticky. On the other hand, the types that contain more amylopectin and less amylose tend to be stickier. Then we have the ones that belong to the middle ground. They simply tend to be tender and moist when cooked.
Different Types of Rice:
To understand the techniques of washing rice better, we need to learn the main three types of rice that categorize all 40 thousand of them:
- Long-grain rice
- Medium-grain rice
- Short-grain rice
Long-grain rice: Long grain rice includes Basmati, Jasmine rice, etc. They tend to be less sticky as they have less starch and therefore less amylopectin.
Medium-grain rice: Medium-grain rice falls in between both long-grain and short-grain rice due to its size. They include Arborio, Valencia, Carmaroli, etc.
Short-grain rice: Opposed to long-grain rice, short-grain rice has more starch and therefore more amylopectin which functions to make the rice sticky.
Now that all kinds of rice are discussed, know that some people like their rice all clumped up together whereas others like it fluffy and non-sticky. And since we learned that less starch results in less stickiness and more starch does the opposite, one may want to think twice before washing their rice again and again to the point that it releases most of its free starch. But that’s completely fine if you want your rice to be fluffy and not clumped up together. On the other hand, if you want your rice to be sticky, washing it less will be a better option. So that covers the topic of how much washing one should do depending on how they want to consume the rice.
How to wash rice: Why You Should Always Rinse Rice, Plus How to Do It
After learning so much about rice, it may be quite a surprise that the process of washing rice is nothing nearly that critical. Just the amount of washing varies depending on the individual’s preferences due to the reasons mentioned above. As for how to wash rice, we can cover that topic in three easy steps.
1st step: First measure the needed amount of rice with a dry measuring cup. Grab your bowl of rice and pour a generous amount of water into it. If you are in a small family you can use 3 cup rice cooker and use it to wash rice as well. You may want to make the first wash just a quick rinse because the physical debris that comes out with the free starch may get absorbed back into the rice due to prolonged contact with the debris-mixed water. After a quick rinse, pour the starch water down the sink. A friendly reminder that the internet can help you make various uses of this rice water.
2nd step: After the quick rinse off, pour just a little amount of water and stir the rice with your fingers in a circular motion for about half a minute before rinsing it off like the first step.
3rd step: The third step is basically a repetition of the second step. The trick is to see whether the rice water is clear or not before pouring it down. Once you see that the rice water is clear, know that your rice has been cleaned enough providing that you want your rice to have less free starch.
And there you have it, all the basics about rice and the way to wash them in three easy steps only.