Cooking rice does not seem that complicated. However, there are so many different ways to prepare it. Each culinary tradition has varying methods on how to cook rice to perfection. For this process essay, we will focus on three ways of preparing the best rice possible. The differences between the methods might seem minuscule, but the taste is vastly different with each method. We will explore Gordon Ramsay’s style of preparing rice, the magazine Fine Cooking’s method, and Martha Stewart’s way of preparing it.
Gordon Ramsay is one of the most famous chefs in the world. He is popular on television and for his restaurants. Ramsay is also known for being a great teacher. He makes videos on how to prepare relatively simple dishes, such as rice. His method of cooking is as follows: 1) Get 400 grams of rice (preferably basmati). 2) Use cold water to rinse the dust and starch from the rice. 3) Place the rice in a pan. Add some cardamom pods (broken open), star anise, salt, and pepper. 4) Add one and a half part cold water. 5) Get the lid on, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to let it steam for about 8-10 minutes. 6) Keep the lid on throughout the steaming process. 7) Get the cardamom pods and star anise out, and use a fork to separate the rice a bit by running the fork through the rice a few times. 8) The rice is ready to be served (Shukla, Pragati). This recipe makes for a fragrant and downright delicious basmati rice dish. Serving curry on top of this rice adds to its tastiness.
Next up, the magazine Fine Cooking has its own take on cooking white rice. Though basmati is the king of rice, white rice can be tasty as well. According to Fine Cooking, to prepare the perfect white rice, these are the steps: 1) Rinse the rice a few times in cold water to remove starch, talc, and to make it less sticky. You can also opt for soaking the rice for 30 minutes. 2) Add water to the rice in a pan. “As a general rule, use 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups of water per cup of long-grain white rice, but you may need to experiment a little to find the amount you like best. Keep in mind that more water gives you softer, stickier rice—great for stir-fries. Less water results in firmer rice, a good style for rice salads” (King, Niloufer). 3) Put the pan of rice on gentle heat with a tight-fitting pot lid. 4) Let the rice cook and steam for about 12 minutes. By this time, the water should have been absorbed into the rice and the rice should be firm. 5) Have the rice sit off the heat with the lid on for 5-30 minutes. This allows all the layers of the rice to be as fluffy as the rest, as the moisture redistributes. This may not be as tasty Ramsay’s rice, but it ensures that the rice is uniform and fluffy (King, Niloufer).
Lastly, we have Martha Stewart’s recommended method of cooking rice. She also has a recipe for cooking white rice. Her style of making rice is quite simple. It also does not have much seasoning, besides salt. The process of making this variety of rice does not have many steps: 1) Bring 1/ ½ cups of water to a boil in an average pan. 2) Stir in 1 cup of long-grain white rice and ½ teaspoon of salt, and bring it to a boil again on medium-high heat. 3) Take down the heat to make the rice simmer. Cover the pan. 4) Cook the rice for about 16 to 18 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is gone. 5) Take it away from the heat and allow it to steam while covered for 10 minutes. 6) Run a fork through the rice to fluff it up. 7) Now it is ready to be served (“Perfect White Rice”).
To summarize, three different methods of cooking rice was examined: Gordon Ramsay’s fragrant basmati rice, Fine Cooking’s scientific way of preparing white rice, and Martha Stewart’s simple method of cooking white rice. Each way has its own merits and only self-experimentation will determine your favorite.
Shukla, Pragati. “How to Cook Light, Fluffy and Delicious Rice, According to Gordon Ramsay.” NDTV Food, 6 Oct. 2015, food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-cook-light-fluffy-and-delicious-rice-according-to-gordon-ramsay-759895.
King, Niloufer. “How to Cook Rice Perfectly – How-To.” FineCooking, 13 July 2017, www.finecooking.com/article/how-to-cook-rice-perfectly.
“Perfect White Rice.” Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, 16 Mar. 2019, www.marthastewart.com/347002/perfect-white-rice.