How to make rice
This may sound a bit basic.. but I figured it’s a good place to start since Thai food revolves around rice. Even the Thai way to say ‘to eat’ is literally ‘to eat rice’ (kin khaaw). Making Thai rice is easy!
Clean the Rice
You should clean the rice until the water runs clear. I generally measure the rice in the rice cooker’s bowl, cover it with water, swirl it around a bit then drain. Repeat 3-4x or until the water isn’t cloudy anymore. This rinses off all the dirt and other stuff, as well as the powdery rice flour. Some people don’t advocate cleaning rice, because it rinses off all the vitamins. This is untrue unless you are using vitamin-added rice, which I have never seen in Thailand. So, wash away!
Cooking In A Rice Cooker
The formula for most rice cookers is 2 parts rice to 3 parts water. Add the rice & water together and cook in the rice cooker on it’s normal setting. Fluff the rice at the end with a spoon to separate it.
Cooking In A Pan
The formula for cooking on the stove top is 1 part rice to 2 parts water. Put the rice & water in a sauce pan on high heat until your water boils, then lower it to the lowest heat your stove can do. Cook covered for 20 minutes.
Thai Sticky Rice
Thais also eat a very sticky rice, mostly in the North and North-Eastern parts of Thailand. This rice needs to be soaked for at least an hour or two in plain water before steaming. You cannot boil or put this type of rice in a rice cooker. Disaster will occur. You actually need a special piece of equipment, a special ‘sticky rice steamer’. After soaking the rice, add water to the bottom of the sticky rice steamer, and fill your rice into the basket. Make sure the water level is below the basket, otherwise you’ll ruin the rice. Cover the basket with a pan cover or something, and steam for 20 minutes.
Sticky rice needs to be covered after steaming or it will turn really really sticky and hard. Usually if you order it at a restaurant, it appears in a plastic bag inside a small basket. This is so that it doesn’t get too hard to eat.
A Bit About Thai Rice…
In my opinion Thai Jasmine rice is the tastiest in the world. The smell is sweet and nutty and it’s perfectly sticky. If you are cooking Thai food, I recommend you try to find Thai rice to accompany your hard work. It really makes the meal!
Sometimes on bags of rice you’ll see ‘Thai Hom Mali’ rice. Hom is the Thai word for fragrant, and Mali is Jasmine, so essentially it’s just saying “Thai Fragrant Jasmine Rice”.
In a Thai restaurant, if you want to order rice, you ask for ‘khaaw suay’ which literally means ‘beautiful rice’.