The most important factor in perfectly cooked rice
Rice cooks through a chemical process called gelatinization whereby the starches absorb the water and become softer. Too much absorption and the rice will become too soft and unpleasant to eat. Not enough and it will remain hard (that’s why we wash excess starch off the rice).
Most rice we buy comes with a 2:1 water to rice ratio to follow. So if we follow that ratio, why doesn’t our rice come out perfect?
It has to do with evaporation. In a perfect environment where there is no evaporation, for example in a vacuum bag, you can cook rice perfectly at just a 1:1 ratio. But since we’re cooking in pots with lids that do let out some steam, the 2:1 ratio assumes that some of the moisture will escape.
That means that our job is to make sure that as much of that liquid and moisture gets into the rice as possible and as little steam as possible escapes. It’s the steam, after all, that does much of the cooking.
So as tempting as it is to lift up the lid to see if its done, resist the urge! You’re letting steam out and the rice needs that steam.
Keep the heat low, the lid tightly on, and even once you turn off the heat, leave the pot covered for 10 minutes (there’s still steam that needs to absorb).
Only then can you unveil your perfectly cooked rice.