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How can I cook rice inside a dish and have it turn out okay?

There are some rice dishes that I’ve tried making, but they never turn out right. I always have to cook the rice separately, and then incorporate it into the meats, veggies, flavorings, or sauces at the end. The problem with doing it that way, however, is the rice never usually holds the flavor… there is too much of a contrast between the other food and the flavor of the rice.

The last time I tried making a dish with rice in it went something like this: I was trying to make rice with lentils and potatoes (with other spices and what not). After I added my base spices and things into a 12" skillet, I added the potatoes, dry rice, and dry lentils. Then I added broth, stirred it as it boiled, and then reduced it to a simmer and covered. The recipe I was following said to leave it for 25-30 minutes, which I did. When I came back, it was all MUSH. Like oatmeal! The picture in the book is a nice, firm rice dish. This mushy thing always seems to happen, and I use quality stuff. Thoughts?
I was using a high quality long grain rice… I don’t use minute rice.

Also, I forgot to mention that the liquid content, after 25 minutes, was still not gone. It should have evaporated, but instead it gave it that oatmealy look.

OK, Jonathan. You’re using a good, regular long grain rice, not a wild rice or brown rice, I assume, because that’s a different story. They can take longer to cook.

You ARE leaving enough heat under it, aren’t you? You have to leave it at a LOW BOIL, for 25-30 mins, tightly covered. If you don’t have enough heat, it won’t ever cook properly. Try turning up the heat.

Polly

11 thoughts on “How can I cook rice inside a dish and have it turn out okay?

  1. Twenty Two says:

    Cook the vegetable curry in a separate pan and then mix it with the cooked rice. That’s the best way to go!
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  2. Angel L says:

    What type of rice are you using? You cannot use minute or instant rice – try a nice firm Jasmine rice. It works VERY well with dishes such as you mentioned. Good Luck to you 🙂
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  3. witchywoman_1977 says:

    too much broth, you may have to measure out the broth in your pot to know how much rice to add
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  4. Sweet Polly says:

    OK, Jonathan. You’re using a good, regular long grain rice, not a wild rice or brown rice, I assume, because that’s a different story. They can take longer to cook.

    You ARE leaving enough heat under it, aren’t you? You have to leave it at a LOW BOIL, for 25-30 mins, tightly covered. If you don’t have enough heat, it won’t ever cook properly. Try turning up the heat.

    Polly
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  5. JUDI O says:

    First, make sure you’re not using converted or par-boiled rice that’s partially pre-cooked to reduce cooking time.

    Second, reading your sample recipe, I usually add the rice first to the spices with a little butter or oil and cook it for a minute or two until the rice looks opaque. Then add the rest of the ingredients.

    Third, make sure you’re simmering and not boiling when you’re cooking it. That will overcok rice and everything else in no time. Also, check it 5 minutes early. If the grains of rice are just starting to split at the ends, it’s done (almost too done)!

    Hope this helps.

    **ps sounds like their might be too much liquid. If you could guess how much was still floating around, perhaps you can try to reduce the liquid by that much?
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  6. inuyasha_1969 says:

    try using a microwave it works for me but only eat broun rice there is no heathy thing about white rice and try wild rice. and add it with vegs
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    a t.v. show called you are what you eat.

  7. Eda M says:

    i would have to say that you need to slightly pre cook the rice. and then you can add, what ever else you would like, cook rice first.
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  8. sam says:

    If you use white rice, one part rice to two parts liquid for it to cook. On the stove top, let it come to a boil, give one last stir and add your lid. 20minutes is all it should take to cook the rice. Check it. If it’s not quite done, put the lid back on and let it cook another 5 minutes. (Make sure there is still a little liquid in the dish. If not, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.) If you are using cast iron, 20 minutes is plenty of time. If you are using a coated skillet, you may need a little more time. Also, don’t buy the cheapest rice. Get a name brand, or at least look at it. It should be "whole". if it looks like broken pieces, it will mush when it’s cooked. Good luck! (I cook rice dishes at least 3 times a week)
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  9. Dotr says:

    I wouldn’t put the potatoes in b/c the starch comes out when they cook and thats wot makes mushy. the same is for rice. at least cook separately for few min. then combine into broth.
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  10. sema says:

    You should probably use some nice arborio or carnaroli rice if you want to make a risotto
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  11. taylor s says:

    Always double the amount of liquid to the amount of rice you use. If you use 1/2 a cup, then use 1 cup of water. Rice needs to be cooked inbetween 17-20 mins, no less and no longer! Another secret that i use to incorporate flavors into my rice dishes it to broil/steam whatever ingredients it asks for, and then i cook my rice in the left over broth. It definitely incorporates the aroma there.
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