Absorption Method

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The absorption method is the preferred method for a flavoursome and nutritious rice, but it is no good for risotto. The absorption method for cooking rice is:

  1. Gently sauté the rice in butter or oil until it turns opaque
  2. Put rice into a pot
  3. Add water, stock or other liquid in the proportions recommended for the type of rice (see table below), using a cup or measuring spoon
  4. Bring liquid to the boil and simmer with no lid on until the water is level with the rice and a few bubbling holes
  5. Put on lid on to the pot very tightly, perhaps covered in tea towel
  6. Reduce heat to as low as possible with gas, or switch off heat for electric hobs but keeping the pan on the electric rings
  7. Cook for 7 minutes exactly and then remove from the heat
  8. Never stir, or the grains become sticky

For brown rice, use the same method, but it will take much longer - approximately 45 minutes.

Cooking Guide for Rice

Type of Rice Amount of Grain Cooking Liquid Cooking Time - Hob Yield
Rice, white 225ml / 1 cup 2 cups 15-20 minutes 2¼ cups
Rice, semi-pearled 225ml / 1 cup 2½ cups 25-30 minutes 2¼ cups
Rice, brown 225ml / 1 cup 3 cups 35-45 minutes 2¼ cups
Basmati rice, white 225ml / 1 cup 1 cups 15-20 minutes 2¼ cups
Fragrant rice 225ml / 1 cup 1½ cups 20 minutes 2¼ cups

Further Reading

  • Christian, G. (2005) Real Flavours: the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients, Grub Street. ISBN 1904943209.
  • Muir, J. (2006) A cook's guide to grains, Conran Octopus. ISBN 1840910739.