Rice. It's cheap, filling, and delicious; IF you know the secrets to cooking it right. It's also the backbone of a lot of other dishes so knowing how to cooking rice correctly is an important skill to master.
Besides, it is nice to just throw rice, water, salt, and butter into a machine, hit a button, and come back to perfectly cooked rice 30 mins later... especially when you're also trying to manage a busy household... but it's not necessary.
The tight fitting lid is important because rice needs pressure in order to achieve perfect texture. If you're trying to impress someone then the best way to cook rice is in a pressure cooker, but that's only for the serious rice connoisseur.
If you don't have a tight fitting lid, simply lay a kitchen towel over the open pot after you've added all of the ingredients. Then place the not-so-perfectly fitting lid on the pot, sandwiching the towel between the pot and the lid.
This will create a seal, similar to that of a tight fitting lid, and will prevent steam from escaping.
It's also a good idea to flip the corners of the towel back over the pot to get them away from the burners.
Make sure the water is boiling and the butter has melted before you add the rice and always simmer your rice on the lowest flame possible.
It's really that simple.
As far as cooking time goes, just follow the instructions on the package.
You've got a lot of options when it comes to which rice to buy but some of my personal favorites are whole grain rices like wild rice, brown rice, and blends that incorporate both with ancient grains.
Whole grain rices tend to take longer to cook, but I appreciate the taste more.
Long-grain basmati rice is what most Westerns would consider "standard" rice, but isn't as nutritious as whole grain varieties. Still, there's nothing wrong with it; and for the sake of simplicity it's the rice I use when describing the cooking method below.
A pot with a loose fitting lid and a dish towel, or
A rice cooker, or
(Note: Just pick one.)
1 Cup Rice
2 Cups Water
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
Place all ingredients except the rice in the pot, cover the pot, and turn the heat up to high.
When the water comes to a rapid boil, add the rice and quickly place the lid back over on the pot. Reduce heat to a simmer (the lowest flame available) and set a timer for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid while the rice is cooking!
After time has elapsed, remove the pot from the heat but do not remove the lid for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Toasted slithered almonds - You can find them pre-slithered in the baking aisle. Just spread them out on an oven sheet or a toaster sheet and toast them (500 degrees in an oven) until dark brown.
Bay leaf and green onion - Add the bay leaf when you add the first three ingredients and then fold in the green onion (chopped) after the rice is done cooking.
Cilantro and lime (juice & zest)
Substitute the water for broth or stock
Healthline: "Brown vs. White Rice. Which is better for your health?"