Should you wash your rice before cooking it?

Should you wash your rice before cooking it?

To wash or not to wash? That’s the question many of us have battled with when it comes to cooking rice. Here is what the expert has to say.

Washing rice in a bowl
Washing rice in a bowl/ Supplied

Rice is a staple in most homes. It is one of the most loved foods in the world.

Although many of us cook it the same way, we don’t all agree when it comes to whether it should be washed before being cooked.

While some prefer to wash or remove the starch, some prefer to cook it without washing it. We spoke to Chef Mahlomola Thamae to find out what is the best way to cook rice.

Thamae says it depends on the type of rice that you are cooking.

Although rinsing rice flushes away excess starch that could get absorbed by water and swell, he says not all rice needs to be washed before cooking.

"It normally depends on the type of rice you are cooking. All rice has starch. Some have high starch,” says Thamae.

He says those with high starch must be “rinsed before cooking, while long-grain rice can be rinsed after being boiled.”

The Spruce Eats states that rice has two types of starch - amylose and amylopectin.

"Amylose is a long, straight starch molecule that does not gelatinize during cooking, so rice that contains more of this starch tends to cook fluffy, with separate grains. Long grain white rice has the most amylose and the least amylopectin, so it tends to be the fluffiest and least sticky," states the publication. 

Food Republic did a test on the difference between washed and unwashed rice.

They cooked both of them and noticed the following difference between the two:  

  • When cooking, rinsed rice bubbles a little versus unwashed rice which bubbles a lot.
  • Once cooked, unwashed rice comes out with big, sticky clumps.
  • Washed rice grains separate more easily.
  • Unwashed rice has a gluey texture while washed rice is fluffier, more al dente.

Below is the experiment:

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