HOW TO COOK JASMINE RICE (CƠM TRẮNG)

 Mastering the rice-cooking techniques can be challenging even with us Vietnamese. Here are some of the locals’ two-cents to cook jasmine rice.

RICE IN OUR LIVES

Vietnam is regularly visualized as a country in which there are villages with endless ripen, golden-like rice fields. Over the course of thousands of years, rice has become the most important ingredient in Vietnamese traditional cuisine. Not just another type of staple, rice is both an influential factor in our culture and a food loved by everyone.Never absent in any meal, its spreads fragrance across the kitchens of many homes as an old saying goes: Cơm lành, canh ngọt (Good rice makes for a good meal). It should be served in family meals with everyone gathering around in a cozy atmosphere.

Rice is favored for many reasons, one of which is its painstaking production. Since making rice is no simple task, every grain of rice is valued. Here, the harvest begins in the summery months as the leaves of the rice stalks start turning yellow. Groups of farmers reap the rice stalks along vast paddy fields before threshing them to separate the grains from the plant. It takes these diligent workers another day to dry the crops on communal yards under the scorching sun, all to make a small bowl of rice.

CREDIT: kienxuong.thaibinh.gov.vn

WHITE RICE IN VIETNAM

In our daily meals, we prefer white rice over other varieties. White rice is given the name thanks to its shiny and bright appearance after having its husk, bran and germ removed.

Because white rice has a mild taste and a light texture, it pairs well with most dishes and helps other flavors to pop up.

CREDIT: charmlux.vn


WHAT IS PERFECT RICE?

While there is no strict standard, in general, delicious rice should feel fluffy and soft (not mushy, though). Each grain should be distinct, yet not dry, and have a slightly grass-like sweetness.

HOME-MADE CƠM TRẮNG – VIETNAMESE WHITE RICE: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Mastering the rice-cooking techniques can be challenging even with us Vietnamese. Here are some of the locals’ two-cents to guide you through the process.

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1. Rinse the rice:

Before cooking, add the rice into a pot and cover it with fresh, cold water. Because soaking the rice helps with removing dirt and starch, do this for approximately 20-30 minutes. After soaking, your rice will become less sticky and brittle. Transfer the rice to a sieve to strain out excess water. Wash it under running water for another minute.

2. The golden ratio

The rice to water ratio should be as following: with a cup of white rice, 3 cups of water is needed. By the time the rice is cooked, it should absorb all the water. The more water you add in, the softer the rice you cook. If you prefer firm and a tad dry rice, reduce the amount of water. Allow the rice 40 minutes to be fully cooked.

It is recommended that you use a rice cooker instead of a pot.

3. The right temperature

Lower the heat for the rice grains to swell while taking in water. If the temperature is too high, the bottom of the cooker can scorch although other parts of the rice remain undercooked.

4. After the rice is cooked, don’t serve immediately because its top layer would be moist and fragile. Let it rest for 20 minutes for the redistribution of the rice’s moisture, which shall result in tender rice with more uniform texture.

5. Fluff the rice with a fork! Doing this lets remaining moisture escape and make the rice plumper.