FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)
 

Food Articles, News & Features Section

Home       Food Articles       Food Trivia       Today in Food History       Recipes       Cooking Tips       Videos       Food Quotes       Who's Who       Food Trivia Quizzes       Crosswords       Food Poems       Cookbooks       Food Posters       Recipe Contests       Culinary Schools       Gourmet Tours       Food Festivals & Shows

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesCooking Methods, Specific >  Rice: Rinsing & Soaking

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS &
COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training
Over 1,000 schools & classes listed for U.S., Online & Worldwide

Culinary Posters and Food Art

See Also: Rice Types & Varieties; Rice Cooking Tips; Rice History; Brown Rice; Rice Trivia

Rice: Are Rinsing and Soaking Necessary?

 

The reasons for some cooking techniques and procedures common in previous times and in other countries may not be understood in modern (western) kitchens - so some procedures are still used that are no longer necessary. 
 
I think this is the case with rinsing rice.  I believe most people today (chefs included) do not understand that rice had to be rinsed because it was dirty, and/or talc, etc. was used to polish it.  They think it is part of the cooking procedure.

RINSING is not necessary.  Rinsing made sense when rice contained impurities (dirt, twig particles, bugs [alive and dead] and 'polishing' additives). 

However, SOAKING is different. Some recipes and rice varieties need to be SOAKED, such as sticky rice (glutenous rice). Soaking is most often part of the whole cooking process. The difference between rinsing and soaking and the effect and necessity of each has become blurred and confused. 

Adding to this confusion is the fact that many recipes for dishes like sticky rice and basmati call for BOTH rinsing and soaking.  The rinsing was done because the rice was dirty, not as a part of the cooking process, but soaking is a necessary part of the total cooking process.
 
Rice was not always as 'clean' as it is today.  Modern processing techniques remove impurities and excess starch.  Some rice is 'polished,' mainly for appearance.  Water 'polishing' is the common method used today in the U.S., rather than polishing by adding talc, glucose, starch, etc.

Some enriched* white rice should not be rinsed. (**70% of white rice consumed in the U.S. is enriched). Certain types of rice from other countries may have excess powdered starch clinging to the grains due to more primitive milling techniques or equipment, and some may be coated with talc, glucose, starch, or other coatings to improve appearance. These rices need rinsing.

The Bottom Line
• RINSING rice is a almost always just a 'CLEANING' process; necessary only when rice is 'dirty' with dirt, bugs, talc, starch dust, etc.  Rinsing is not necessary, unless the rice is imported, or if it has been stored in bulk and so roughly handled that causes some 'starch dust'. Some rice purchased in bulk (food coops, etc.) may also have impurities - dirt, insects, etc.  and may need to be rinsed.

• SOAKING is actually a part of the COOKING PROCESS and is an essential procedure. Examples: Sticky rice; also some basmati rice dishes use soaking to shorten cooking time and to allow the rice to expand into long thin grains.  Older basmati rice that can be brittle, may also be soaked so the grains do not break.

* Two methods of enriching are used to add the nutrients to enriched rice in the U.S.
1) Nutrients are mixed with a water insoluble wax or gum and sprayed on the rice grains.
2) The rice grains are 'dusted' with a nutrient powder relying on electrostatic forces to cause the mixture to cling to the grain surface - using this method the nutrients are easily washed away. All rice using this 'dusting' method in the U.S. must have a warning label against rinsing).
 
** ALL milled rice in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, New York and South Carolina MUST be enriched) [thiamin, niacin and iron that is lost is milling, and additionally with folic acid].

 

TOP 

RELATED ARTICLES

   Cooking Methods, Specific        Banana Heaven, Bananas Foster        Beurre Blanc        Biscuits and Gravy        Caesar Salad Detailed Instructions        Chicken Soup 101        Chile Rellenos (with Recipe)        Clafoutis (History & Recipe)        Custard's Last Stand        Drying Herbs        Eggs Benedict: Nothing’s Over Easy        Egg Foo Young        Eggplant Parmigiana Redux        En Papillote        Fish: The Whole Fish        Fruit Leather        The Grand Sauces       * Bechamel Sauce        * Espagnole Sauce Recipe        * Hollandaise Sauce, How to make        * Tomato Sauce        * Veloute Sauce Recipe        Grilling Vegetables        Hollandaise Sauce: Problems & Fixes        Jerky        Linzer Cookies        Lobster Bisque        Mousse, The Mousse is Loose!        Pasta, Using Your Noodle        Pâté, Pate: Info & Recipe        Pates, Terrines & Galantines        Pickles & Pickling        Pizza, Refrigerator Dough        Pudding, Granny Makes Pudding        Quick, Elegant Summer Desserts        Rice: Rinsing & Soaking        Ritz Crackers 75th Anniversary        Roll Call: Egg Rolls        Roux        Roux the Day        Salad Dressings        Soup's On!        Sweet Tarts        Tomato Salsa        Vegetable Leather  
   Home       About Us & Contact Us       Food Articles       Magazines       Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.

For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: james@foodreference.com

All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2014 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.

You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.

Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.

Please take the time to request permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POPULAR PAGES

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals

Chef with red wine glass
Order Free Food & Kitchen Catalogs