As I have written before, Jasmine rice has a unique taste, texture, and aroma that everyone loves. However, not everyone knows how to cook this particular kind of rice. So, to help you avoid failing, I thought I would pull together 5 common mistakes that people make while cooking jasmine rice and show you how to avoid making them.
Of all of the different rice varieties, Jasmine rice is one of the most distinctive kinds because of its unique aroma. Hailing from SouthEast Asia, Jasmine rice is synonymous with far east cooking and offers a unique culinary experience.
More subtle than the Basmati rice, jasmine rice has made its name across the globe for its light aromatic smell yet is still a fusion when it comes to its soft and fluffy texture.
What many people don’t know is that a few simple techniques, once mastered, can make the difference between good Jasmine rice and amazing Jasmine rice. So today, I have listed down the 5 common mistakes people make while cooking jasmine rice.
Table of Contents
1. Not Choosing the Right Brand
If you go to the food store, you will find an aisle packed with different kinds of rice with brands from all over the world. Choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
However, if you are familiar with the history of the rice variety you are buying, then you can easily point out and filter the brands.
In choosing the right jasmine rice brand, select those that are from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. These countries share the same rice characteristics and variants since they are just neighbors.
Make sure to also check the date it was harvested or packed. Remember, the longer the jasmine rice has been packed and stored, the more it loses its fragrance.
Plus of course, you are confident that you are buying authentic jasmine rice. On the other hand, if you prefer to buy organic jasmine rice, make sure that the label shows Non-GMO verified and has a seal of certification.
2. Not Choosing the Right Variety of Jasmine Rice
Another factor to consider is the type of jasmine rice you are using. Normally, we only see the regular short-grain jasmine rice at the groceries. However, it also comes in different varieties:
- Brown Jasmine
- Long-grain Jasmine
- And short-grain Jasmine
On each packaging, you will also see more details about the variety of jasmine rice you are buying. But, for this post, let’s stick to the regular aromatic jasmine rice we all love!
3. Not Using the Correct Method of Cooking
Now, this is where most people make mistakes. If you want to taste authentic jasmine rice, then you should also cook it the traditional way, which is steaming. However, the rice becomes stickier compared to the boiled one.
You place the jasmine rice inside a bamboo steamer on top of boiling water. The vapors trapped inside the steaming basket cook the grains evenly.
Steamed jasmine rice is frequently used in making famous desserts like mango sticky rice in Thailand and rice puddings in other parts of Asia.
On the other hand, boiling submerges the rice in water, which then makes the grain firmer, thicker, and easier to separate. Regular jasmine rice served during dinners at restaurants is usually boiled jasmine rice.
Boiled rice is normally paired with other side dishes such as meat, chicken, veggies, and fish. The tip here is that long-grain rice prefers boiling while short-grain rice prefers the steaming method. 😉
4. Soaking Jasmine Rice
Never soak your jasmine rice in water before cooking. Soaking will result in mushy and sticky rice which is closer to a pudding. Unless your recipe calls for soaking the rice prior to cooking.
Simply wash and rinse the grain until the water runs clear. You can place the rice in the pot and place it under running water.
Another tip is not to crush the grains when washing. Just gently mix or fold the grains with your fingers to allow the water to go through the bottom part.
Unless you want to cook Thai sticky rice, then you can soak the grains for two hours to achieve the full stickiness you feel when eating mango sticky rice! 😛
5. Not Buying Enough for the Meal
Basmati and jasmine rice are two aromatic varieties that need not be stored longer.
Like what I mentioned earlier, the aroma that jasmine rice gives tend to shy away when it has been sitting around for quite some time.
The fresher the grain, the more fragrant it is, so it is best to buy enough jasmine rice based on your recipe or for the given meal.
However, if you cannot find enough package for your needs and really had leftovers, seal it tightly and place it in a tight-fitting container.
As much as possible, cook the grains in a week so you can still get the rest of their aroma.
Some Other Things To Consider
How Long Does Jasmine Rice Stay Fresh?
After opening a package of jasmine rice, it’s best to keep it in a cool, dry area of your kitchen cabinets.
Cooked jasmine rice stays for about a week inside the fridge or the freezer. But, the taste and texture will be quite different than the freshly cooked jasmine rice.
It’s best to use the cooked jasmine rice after a day or two so you can still get some of its aroma and soft texture. More than this, the rice becomes hard and dry.
Uncooked jasmine rice, on the other hand, should be kept in an air-tight container or jar with a lid. You can still use it for about 6 months or more. Again, the aroma of stored jasmine rice will not be the same as the freshly-opened one.
Whats the Best Cooking Method?
Earlier, I mentioned about steaming vs boiling and their differences. We learned the best way of cooking jasmine rice depending on what our recipe calls for.
The steaming method is more used in making great desserts such as rice cakes, puddings, and sticky rice. Authentic Thai jasmine rice also uses the absorption method by cooking it over the stovetop or the rice cooker.
This will make the grains more separate and fluffy when cooked plus the overflowing aroma of jasmine.
Stovetop Cooking vs Rice Cooker
Stovetop cooking is good especially when you are at home and have all the time to spend in the kitchen.
However, cooking rice on the stovetop is more challenging because it demands more time for you to check the heat and adjust the temperature.
It all depends on the level of convenience you need, but of course, nothing beats the comfort and ease that a rice cooker brings.
Let’s all admit it, rice cookers have tremendously helped in making our kitchen stays a real breeze.
Just like in cooking jasmine rice, you can also become a real expert sooner when you use a rice cooker.
How to Cook Jasmine Rice in a Rice Cooker
Cooking jasmine rice in a rice cooker makes the grains firmer and thicker which is perfect for side dishes on any given meal. Preparing it in a rice cooker is pretty simple there are just two important points to remember: (1) the rice to water ratio and (2) the type of rice you are using and off you go.
Jasmine rice uses 1 and a half cup of water to every cup of jasmine rice.
Watch this short video on how to cook jasmine rice in a rice cooker!
What Rice Cooker to Use?
There are many rice cookers to choose from today, they differ in many ways. But in my opinion, the best choice for cooking jasmine rice is Zojirushi NS-ZCC10.
Well, three reasons – it’s level of rice cooking technology, the high quality build and it’s almost unerring ability to cook perfect rice every time no matter what the type.
This rice cooker is equipped with a modern neuro-fuzzy technology where the device easily adjusts the cooking temperature, heat, and time based on the water and grain you used.
Neuro-fuzzy logic rice cookers have computer chips installed inside to program the device to work in a “Human” way; I’ve written more about it here.
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 is packed with a multi-cooking menu such as quick-cooking, reheating cycles, keep warm, and extended keep warm.
Is it Worth the Price?
I know some of you will think about how expensive this rice cooker can be compared to the other brands. However, we are not just talking about plain or simple rice cookers.
You are investing in a modern rice cooker which can do more than what its name implies. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 is the number one brand and model in Japan and in many parts of Asia because it has given justice and perfection to rice cooking.
In fact, you can actually invest in a rice cooker alone and you can cook a lot of recipes from fried, stews, soups, desserts and more. Plus, a modern appliance is perfect for a modern world where everyone is busy and don’t have much time yet desires to cook hearty meals.
If you are looking for a real quality rice cooker, then this shoudl be your #1 choice.
Other Ways to Cook Jasmine Rice
Plain jasmine rice is monotonous when eaten as is on any other occasion. However, you can jasmine rice more lively by trying out other rice recipes. Most of the recipes we know of jasmine rice are actually sweet and for desserts, so I have listed other recipes you can try to make your next meal extraordinary.
You can cook any of the following:
- Yellow jasmine rice – Simply add turmeric and cumin for extra flavor and color
- Ginger Beef and Broccoli Jasmine rice
- Jasmine and pineapple rice
- Thai Heb salad and jasmine rice
Now, you will have more exciting dishes to share with your friends and families!
Cooking is not rocket science, more so cooking rice. As you go along learning the different methods on how to cook the perfect rice, you will come across other rice varieties.
In this article, we discovered jasmine rice and the 5 common mistakes people make while cooking jasmine rice. To summarize, choosing the right jasmine brand is essential to ensure freshness and quality.
Jasmine rice has been part of great culture and tradition in many parts of Asia. So it is also a must to retain and continue to practice the best ways on how to cook this grain.
I hope that you have learned new insights on how to make your jasmine rice perfect for your next meal!