Jimi’s Rice Bible

LOL, What fucking rabbit hole am I getting into?

This document is currently a work in progress, there are going to be a lot of edits before it’s truly (if ever) “finished”.

Favorite types/brands

  • Japonica – Koshihikari, (Tamaki Gold brand) new harvest recommended
  • Indica – Super Basmati (Dawaat brand), Jasmine (several companies do a good job, but I do prefer Thai)
    • Broken Rice: Three Rings

Shelf Life

  • Store dark cool, dry, airtight: several years
  • Store dark freezing, dry, airtight: indefinitely

While there are about 40,000 rice variants, the two most common types are

  • Japonica – very short and round: most commonly known as ‘sushi rice’. European variant (bomba) is used in paella.
  • Indica – (recently classified as a subspecies of Japonica?) – long and thin: used in China, India, Thailand, Southeast Pacific, European, North/South American cuisines. Variants are commonly known as Texas, Basmati and Jasmine.

The most recent study in 2011 shows that both japonica and indica originated from a single domestication event that occurred 13,500 to 8,200 years ago in China (Yangtze River basin) from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon.

Love, Wikipedia

The basic steps for preparation are essentially the same…

  1. Wash and rinse in a bowl repeatedly until the water runs clear
  2. Strain into a sieve and let it absorb/drain off the remaining water at least 30min
  3. Put it in a cooking vessel along with water (or something composed mostly of water)
  4. Apply heat
  5. Form and/or plate it
  6. Insert into your face-hole until self-loathing ends, or begins.

The first two steps are often skipped simply because most people do not know that you should prepare rice before cooking. Or they think their rice doesn’t need to be ‘cleaned’. The fact is: you need to remove excess starch and allow the rice to slowly absorb some of the water before cooking.

Love, Your Rice

Japonica

Common basic flavor profiles

  • Dashi
    • Seaweed (kombu)
    • Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
  • Mushroom
  • Sesame

Japanese cooking – traditional

[Should I evebn get into the Old Method? Low heat to bubble, then higher heat after, then back to low? More research needed. Some old… I mean OLD Japanese mofo did this and it turns out perfectly. He’s also been doing it for nearly 70yrs (like that was his full time job, everyday). Which is longer than 95% of my relatives have lived so yeah, FML.]

Stovetop Method

  • Thick Heavy Pot (earthenware, cast-iron, high-end multi-layer steel)
  • Measure carefully
  • Wash rice (put rice in bowl, add 2x water, agitate till cloudy, pour off water and repeat until clear)
  • Strain and let sit in sieve for 30 min
  • Soft water is preferred (soaking kombu in the water for a few hours will make it a bit more slippery-soft)
    • One of the main things Japanese cooks talk about when it comes to cooking (in Japan) is the “softness” of their water. So it matters.
  • Add rice to pot
  • Ratio of rice to water is 1:1.2
  • Heat on high, when boil, cover and set to low and cook for ~13min

Rice Cookers

There is a reason the Japanese invented them and now well over 1.5 Billion people worldwide use them. Every sushi house, izakaya, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurant (with the exception of a few very niche, and/or Michelin star places) use them. They’ve been working on this tech like it’s the cure for cancer since ~1950 and are capable of cooking all common types of rice (including their brown/whole grain variants) probably (more like definitely) better than you will ever have time to learn. In terms of consistency, and usability of ~100% of the grains, they are unequaled by any other stovetop method. If you love the cuisine and/or rice in general, get one. Oh yeah, they also cook more than just rice, too.

  • Follow the Stovetop Method Above to “Add rice to pot“.
  • Then follow rice cooker’s ratio and settings.

So, you’ve extra rice from last night sitting in the fridge? Perfect, that is what is supposed to be used in fried rice. Wok-fried rice is a leftovers cooking method. You’re not supposed to make fresh rice for stir-fry. If you want to make rice for stir-fry: cook the rice, store in the fridge overnight, then use it.

Love, Billions of Asian People

Recommended Brands

As of this writing I only recommend Japanese rice cookers due to their features, quality-control, and accountable chain of custody/supply line.

  • Zojirushi (what I use)
  • Tiger
  • Panasonic
  • Hitachi

Indica Rice

Common basic flavor profiles

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemongrass
  • Coconut
  • Cumin
  • Saffron
  • Rose water
  • Tomato
  • Chilis
  • Chicken stock
  • Butter
  • Indian Dum-Stuff (ALL THE THINGS!)

Cooking Methods

With Indica rice, it is still common to wash the rice until clear, but then it is usually soaked for several minutes to hours before cooking, depending on the cuisine and method. Below are very basic overviews of preparation. I’ll add links to more detailed recipes later…

Western

  • Latin, Spanish: Rinse until clear, then soak for ~15min. Sauté in oiled pan until light golden, then add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
  • Italian/Spanish: Stir-frying raw (short grain: arborio/bomba) in fat before boiling/simmering: used for making dishes like risotto, paella, saffron rice, etc.
  • Spanish/Mexican: Raw sautéd in a lightly oiled pan until lightly browned, then cooked at low simmer will create a split-rice pilaf (FYI: pilaf is just rice sautéed with aromatics before cooking in broth).
  • Cajun: Similar to Dum Biryani (below). Raw rice added to a combination of cooked ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmered for ~15min covered. Chicken livers sautéed in butter are added on top and then covered and put in an oven (~250F) for ~10min.
  • French: Sauté raw in butter, reduce, then a splash of wine (of course) until nearly evaporated, add stock, bring to boil, then cover and low-simmer for 2-3min, then remove lid, then cover with round of parchment paper (rim-jobbed with butter) and put in a 350F oven for about 15-20min. Often served with a sauce or gravy.
  • Midwest American: No wash, no rinse, boil, then simmer and burn 1/4 of it to bottom of a flaking teflon pan. Add butter and fluff with a fork, because that will save it.

Eastern

  • Persian Rice: Rinsed clear and soaked for ~30 min. Added to boiling water for ~7min. Drain and add to a pot lined with 5mm potato slices (already sizzling) and cover at low heat for ~45min
  • Indian Pulau: (aka Pulav, Pulao): Rinsed clear and soaked for about 10-20min, cooked like normal rice, (i.e. standard pot method or rice cooker) seasoned with saffron/turmeric/cumin
  • Indian Dum Biryani: Rinsed clear, par-cooked ~70%, then layered in a pot with delicious things. Dough is applied around the rim of the pot (the dum part) and low-cooked for 20-30min more. It’s like a low-tech pressure cooker that doesn’t explode if you don’t RTFM. Rice cookers can accomplish this without the dough (sort of). Also, one of the most amazing mixed-rice dishes you will put in your face. Ever.
  • Thai Steamed Rice: Rinsed clear, then soaked 4 to 12hrs. Steamed in Bamboo cone (or cheesecloth/hemp sack) in bamboo steamer stack for ~20-30min. I like to do the soak with a bit of coconut milk mixed in the water and might have been seen adding a smashed piece of lemongrass to the lower steam basket.
  • Vietnamese Broken Rice: Rinsed clear and let soak with water in rice cooker for ~1hr before cooking.
  • Chinese Stir-Fry/Wok-Fry: Rinsed clear and cooked in a rice cooker. Refrigerate overnight, then use for the stir-fry meal the next day.

Some info sourced from wikipedia, and my obsessive consumption of various rice recipes and documentaries over the years (yes, I watch RICE documentaries). Other sources linked.

Neurotically Yours, Jimi

Notes

  • This document doesn’t go into African Oryza glaberrima, or Javanica (AKA: tropical Japonica) as they are cultivated for sustenance, not export.
  • If you want to go even further down the rabbit hole, I recommend wikipedia’s article and ricepedia’s website.
  • If you can still find Japanology (Plus) and School of Wok on YouTube, dive in.

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