what detriments if you DONT wash rice grains before cooking?

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boomchakabowwow

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i'm cooking lunch. started the process.

rinsed and cooking rice. i rinse the grains and pour the starchy water into a tub. it was darn near a gallon of water when done. it looked like horchata! haha. anyways, i use the rice water to dump into my gardens, and plants around the yard. i've seen korean recipes where they pour the rice water into their Jigea recipes.

what happens if you forgo washing alltogether? gummy rice? arsenic death :)? i always rinse because it's simply what i do. never considered the ramifications if i dump the rules.
 

ptolemy

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Most of the time, nothing happens. It may depend for some very specific applications or very specific rice, that does get super starchy, or for a specific dish you want to make very sure that rice separates. 98% of the time, it won't make a difference for 98% of the people...

With that said. I generally wash rice for about 2-3 min under a stream and then use my hands for last 30 seconds. First 2 minutes allows me to get in the the groove and get all the ingredients I am going to cook with out, and last 30 seconds insures that I swerve it making sure if there is anything extraneous there, it will be either washed away, or hopefully i'll catch it and remove it
 

MarcelNL

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I rinse using batches of clean water until clear, the way I understood the purpose is that the rice stick more if you don't and washing brings the flavors out better and that is in line with my experience. Big question is how much of a detriment that is...

 

M1k3

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I hate the sticky and gritty that you can get when you don't wash it.
 

TB_London

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I stopped bothering and don’t really notice the difference, but also buy more spendy rice than I used to
 

sansho

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another thing
it's not something i've tested extensively, but i feel it may improve the flavor of rice that isn't super fresh. older rice gets that oxidized aroma, and washing it off seems to reduce it.
 

Naftoor

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I’d always heard that one of the reasons is due to high arsenic levels and other heavy metals. I believe that came about due to areas of heavy rice production also being areas with large amounts of arsenic washing down out of the Himalayas. On looking into it, it looks like arsenic in rice is more of an issue with brown rice, and washing probably wouldn’t remove it since it’s been absorbed by the plant.

(Arsenic in Rice: A Cause for Concern : Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition)


On the other hand, it looks like some washing is beneficial for reducing some mycotoxins. Looks like 1-2 times gets you about as good as you’re gonna get before diminishing returns kick in.

(Optimization of washing and cooking processes of rice for Ochratoxin A decrement by RSM)

And then in other spots, people will warn you washing off the excess starch will impact the texture. More washing in theory leads to less starch gumming things up so less creamy, more fluffy. Think more Biryani or iranian rice, less risotto or rice pudding.

Personally, most of the rice I consume hails from the Indian subcontinent or SE Asia. Basmati, jasmine and the like. I have no idea the storage conditions of it, or how it’s treated to keep pests at bay. I wash it.

My second biggest category is medium grain rice from California. I may have more faith in how it’s treated, but even washed it always has plenty of starch, so I wash it.

I don’t tend to make risottos, but if I did and was using a western grown Arborio I guess I’d probably use it unwashed to maximize the starch content.
 

EShin

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I cannot speak about other places and rice varieties so much, but @Naftoor has covered quite a lot already. In Japan, we would wash white rice to get rid of excessive rice bran (that has a particular smell) as well as dust and other uncleanness. Quite a lot of people get their rice from their grandparents or directly from small farmers, who mostly use old machines to polish the rice, so the rice will be a lot less clean than if it is processed industrially. Also, depending on the rice variety and especially on how the rice is produced, brown rice can be extremely tasty. In such cases, the white rice will be more flavourful if you don't wash it too much. With rice from the store, I think it won't make a huge difference and rice that doesn't require washing is sold quite commonly now. Still, you might need to see and adjust to get the right taste and stickiness, but honestly most people don't think about it too much and just do what they've always done.
 

Michi

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I've done a side-by-side comparison with Indian aged Basmati rice. Without rinsing, you don't get the same fluffy and separated grains of rise. Rinsed rice comes out "drier", whereas, without rinsing, the grains cling to each other a bit more.

Both kinds of rice are totally edible though. It really depends on how picky you want to be.

I did a cooking course about ten years ago with an Indian chef, who is well-known and competent. She told us that her mother taught her to "wash the rice seven times".
 

Ericfg

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As a pro cook I rinse until (mostly) clear. I'm in the US and we get our rice from Sysco. Sometimes it's sysco brand, sometimes it's from a major rice supplier (like Uncle Ben).
So it's around medium quality. Anyway, I rinse mine like I said and when compared to my coworkers who don't rinse mine's always a lot less sticky and lumpy.
Also, cooking method matters as well.
 

Skylar303

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As others have mentioned with sushi rice and such. But if you use glutinous rice like Botan "sticky rice" not washing it will definitely make it more sticky and almost mushy? I guess for lack of a better term, than I desire. In normal western long grain, I haven't really noticed a difference since the overall starch is lower. But I still end up washing it until almost clear.
 

JASinIL2006

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I prefer the texture of rinsed rice - less clumpy and a big more fluffy. Mostly, I like the fact that our rice cooker is 90% easier to clean after cooking rinsed rice.
 

tostadas

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Sometimes you might find dead (or live) bugs in your rice bags. They float to the top when you wash the rice, making them easy to remove.
 
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Looks like it’s already been said a few times but to echo once more - get rid of dirt/debris and remove starch. Some high end rice comes polished so only a light rinse is needed. I personally like to rinse rice using a strainer and bowl so I can lift the rice out of the bowl, give it a shake and inspect the color of the water easily without losing grains in the process. Once it looks pretty clear I stop rinsing
 

DitmasPork

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i'm cooking lunch. started the process.

rinsed and cooking rice. i rinse the grains and pour the starchy water into a tub. it was darn near a gallon of water when done. it looked like horchata! haha. anyways, i use the rice water to dump into my gardens, and plants around the yard. i've seen korean recipes where they pour the rice water into their Jigea recipes.

what happens if you forgo washing alltogether? gummy rice? arsenic death :)? i always rinse because it's simply what i do. never considered the ramifications if i dump the rules.

I ALWAYS, always, wash Asian rice until water runs clear, even when cooking a feast for 20—basmati, Japanese rice, jasmine, etc. The result is a cleaner tasting, less starchy bowl. The same goes for dried pulses/dal, they should be washed. However, I'll forgo washing rice that's destined to hit hot oil as a first step—as with risotto, Mexican rice, paella, Uzbek plov.

With basmati, sometimes I'll soak it for an hour or so in salted water before cooking.

Yup, a time consuming process, but rice is such an important component on the table that it's deserves the effort; a main feature, not just a side dish, IMHO—an extra, sometimes arduous step that makes a difference if time permits, akin to picking tails from bean sprouts; peeling skins from chickpeas for salads; or clipping toenails from chickens feet.

Packaging for rice often says not to wash—I ignore that advice.
 
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boomchakabowwow

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just to be clear. i wash my rice. i usually put it into a sieve and run water thru it and into a bucket to save the liquid to water plants.

i dont think rinsing will remove really yucky stuff like germs or stuff. extra starch, dust, etc. sure.
 

DitmasPork

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just to be clear. i wash my rice. i usually put it into a sieve and run water thru it and into a bucket to save the liquid to water plants.

i dont think rinsing will remove really yucky stuff like germs or stuff. extra starch, dust, etc. sure.

Good that you put the rinsing water to good use on your plants! I’ve never used a sieve to wash rice—finding it more effective to cover rice with water, vigorously swishing around with my hand, drain and repeat until water runs clear. Living in a NYC apartment, with no plants—all the water goes down the drain, typically 4 pots of water. I’m not bothered by the thought of germs on rice—unless I find signs of rodents or insects, then I’ll dump the whole bag. With arsenic, pesticides, etc.—I admittedly turn a blind eye, as pretty much all vegetables at the market contain chemicals pesticides; kale and spuds particularly bad.
 

rmrf

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I always wash my rice and I try to be careful not to swirl too aggressively. I don't want to break the grains of rice. If there is a drought and during the summer, I use the water for plants but in the winter I just pour it down the sink. I find white rice needs more washing than brown (semi-brown) rice and rice at the bottom of the bag needs more washing than rice from the top of the bag.

Another aspect is that soaking rice helps the texture, especially for older rice. Some people say 2 hours, but I find 15-30 minutes sufficient for my rice. Last time I tried, I didn't find a significant difference between 1 and 2 hrs, but I didn't do it back-to-back.
 

Perverockstar

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Depending on the rice, the more starchy ones will separate better when cooked if they are washed before. Black rice and Sushi rice come to mind. With those very starchy rices, you may not wash them if you are making porridge, for example. Some other rices do not give a significant difference if washed or not, like Basmati.
 

Benuser

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I like soaking Basmati or Surinam rice for an hour or so. I do so before rinsing. Makes the washing much faster than the other way around.
 

DitmasPork

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Hot take. All y'all saying you wash till the liquid runs clear are liars! You rinse like 4-5 times max, not the 10-20 times or whatever you'd have to do to get crystal clear water. :p
I’ll typically wash 3–4 times to get the water clear enough, any more than that is a terrible waste of water.
 

MowgFace

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I recall @Xenif mentioning a few tips that I started using a few years back that have been adopted into my regular rice cooking process. I am paraphrasing here, to avoid having to "site:" search for the post

Short soak - similar to Blooming coffee. I only wait ~1 minute
Wash 3-4 times (Do not let sit in starchy water to avoid reabsorption.)
Soak Rice prior to cooking. should turn slightly opaque, then drain. (I only have the patience for 10-15 minutes, if i soaked longer maybe it would be more opaque i think he had recommended an hour)
Add appropriate amount of water (and salt now if thats what your process is) I usually use .9 cups of water for ever cup recommended since i prefer drier separated rice.
Now that we are ready to cook, mound the rice into a little hill so there is a portion that sits out of the water to help with convection. (Original recommendation was adding a couple ice cubes at this point, but i always forget... Read: never do this)
Cook and wait.
Fluff? I dunno, i never do this, but it sure does look nice when my lady does it.

Just like coffee, i only use delicious water to cook which, in my case, is filtered water from my fridge dispenser. Though, I don't think id ever use bottled water if I didn't have filtered at my fingertips.
 

ian

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Xenif’s post influenced me too.

Short soak - similar to Blooming coffee.

I don’t get why the short soak tho. You bloom coffee (I think?) so that the escaping CO2 from the initial hit only prevents a little of the water from getting properly infused, as opposed to a lot of water. Not really applicable to rinsing rice.

Also, like you(?), I’m still not convinced the ice cubes make a difference, but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

——


Also, pro tip for soaking rice: combine rice with the correct amount of water, wait, then cook. (That is, don’t drain after soaking.) Then you don’t have to worry about how much water was absorbed during the soaking period when you measure the water for the cook.
 

MowgFace

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Xenif’s post influenced me too.



I don’t get why the short soak tho. You bloom coffee (I think?) so that the escaping CO2 from the initial hit only prevents a little of the water from getting properly infused, as opposed to a lot of water. Not really applicable to rinsing rice.

Also, like you(?), I’m still not convinced the ice cubes make a difference, but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

——


Also, pro tip for soaking rice: combine rice with the correct amount of water, wait, then cook. (That is, don’t drain after soaking.) Then you don’t have to worry about how much water was absorbed during the soaking period when you measure the water for the cook.

I'm with you on the question on short soak. I think it was to help open the pores? I dunno.

Since it is such a short soak, it hasn't been an issue for me to blindly obey (the KKF way!).

I'll take a look for the thread later, but i thought the ice was something about the longer the water takes to come up to temp, the fluffier the rice turns out? Like if you were on a burner, to make sure the heat is low, but in a rice cooker you only have the "GO" button. I will say, all of the other tips that were recommended have definitely had a positive impact on my rice, so i wouldn't doubt there is merit to the recommendation.

I think i could go either way on draining after soaking, but hasnt negatively impacted my rice at least.
 
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