I've always been very unimpressed with any rice that I make. It never tastes as good as the rice from the Asian restaurants, no matter the method used.
Then I saw a show by "America's Test Kitchen" (my favorite TV cooking show on PBS), which is known for their taste tests. They said that the best basmati rice is actually the one grown in India, all the US brands didn't measure up. The worst Indian rice was still superior to the best US rice due to the type of rice. If this type of rice was grown in the US, I'm sure it would do just fine, but it isn't (wish it was in an organic form).
Tilda brand came in first and Kohinoor came in second. I purchased some Kohinoor basmati brown long grain, cooked it according to directions in a pot (not a rice cooker) and was pleased with how it came out. Then I made salmon rice salad a few days later. It was outstanding, all due to the rice. I basted a piece of salmon with olive oil, cooked it in the oven, let it cool a bit, flaked it, and mixed it with some leftover almond slivers and salad dressing from a Taylor Farms Spinach Salad kit purchased at Sam's Club.
The local Asian grocery store only sells Tilda in absolutely huge bags and it would take years for us to go through one. Kohinoor was available in a small plastic jug with an airtight seal, so that's why I chose it. Someone told me they get their rice at Tom Thumb grocery (aka Safeway) because it's sold in manageable quantities. Be aware that you need to freeze it for at least 3 days when you bring it home (or can just leave it in the freezer indefinitely) and when you cook, rinse most rices at least 3 times. The brown Kohinoor was prepared for our western tastes and did not require rinsing.
Source: America's Test Kitchen
I always buy a large bag of Jasmine rice from Costco, I think the brand is Lucky Elephant (?) and it is from Thailand. I store it in gallon zip lock bags but it is a good idea to store the excess in the freezer. Jasmine and basmati are both long grained and very similar. I always use a rice cooker for my rice and it always comes out perfectly.
Keep in mind that there are several varieties of Asian rice, depending on the country of origin. Japanese sticky rice is very different than rice in India. To be authentic, you will want to get rice from the proper region and prepare it accordingly.
I prepared Basmati Rice for the first time, earlier this week. It is SOOOOO wonderful! I am kicking myself for all the years I just used the common, tasteless white rice! I COULD have been eating THIS all those years! I bought mine at Wal Mart, Royal brand. It is unbeliveable how much flavor it has. I used one cup of dry rice. When it was cooked I had FOUR cups of cooked rice, so if you think it's more expensive, think again, it's not.......and it tastes so much better! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
I thought the same thing... SO I went in to several Asian & Chinese restaurants & asked them what kind of rice they used & found out it wasn't WHAT kind of rice they used, but the WAY IT'S COOKED! ...They use a Pressure Cooker!!! ... That's why it's so yummy & THAT'S what makes the big differences, & also, many of the restaurants use a short grain "sticky" rice or medium grain"Calrose" rice, not the long grain rice we Americans prefer!
I had a relationship with a Thai lady and we always got Jasmine rice from Thailand. We cooked it in a rice cooker and it has always been wonderful. Far better than any rice I have had from the USA. I have not tried Basmati rice, but maybe in the future.
This is not really for the rice, but for the salmon mentioned. Holly cooked her salmon in the oven. When I'm making something that requires cooked salmon, as in salmon salad, I poach it in a little bit of water in a pan of an appropriate size, on the stove. I live alone, and to turn on the oven to cook one or two pieces of salmon is not practical. I find that I can monitor it to make sure the water slowly cooks away, keeping the nutrition in the fish. I'd rather add a little bit of water than throw out an excess that has all the good stuff in it!!
While making stuffed green peppers last night, I used Jasmine rice instead of instant (for the first time). My son remarked that those were the best stuffed green peppers he's ever eaten! I believe it was due to the rice! It was delicious! I don't think I'll ever buy instant rice again!
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