Whether you’re an expert cook or somebody who only cooks when necessary, accidents happen. Food gets undercooked or burnt- the possibilities are endless!
Rice is one of the easiest foods to cook, but even rice can be undercooked. You might be wondering if it’s okay to serve your undercooked rice, or if it tastes worse.
It doesn’t! Undercooked rice tastes very similar to properly cooked rice, with a bit of a crunch to it. Rice will take the flavor of whatever you cook it with, and undercooked rice is no exception!
Let’s dig into this a little more.
Can You Eat Undercooked Rice?
You can theoretically eat undercooked rice, but it’s not the healthiest thing for you. Eating undercooked rice has plenty of potential issues.
One of the biggest issues with undercooked rice is that it can have bacteria on it. Cooking something helps kill bacteria, and if rice doesn’t finish cooking, bacteria could survive. This can lead to an upset stomach or food poisoning.
As undercooked rice is crunchier than properly cooked rice, it can lead to tooth damage as well, or even fertility issues or cancer! Undercooked rice can contain trace amounts of arsenic, an incredibly toxic chemical.
How Can You Tell If Your Rice Is Undercooked?
Undercooked rice will often be more opaque than the slightly-transparent properly cooked rice, and far more clumpy. While cooked rice will also clump up, undercooked rice takes it to an extreme!
Properly cooked rice is easily identifiable, as each individual grain of rice will be separate, and can be somewhat sticky- especially in white rice. An easy way to tell if your rice is cooked is if it looks fluffy- if it does, good. Your rice is cooked!
Make sure your rice isn’t overcooked, either. Overcooked rice isn’t unhealthy, but it can be a bit gross. Overcooked rice will be mushy and watery, and might seem a bit more like soup than rice. Overcooked rice won’t have the same potential health problems as undercooked rice, but it won’t be pleasant to eat.
Why Was Your Rice Undercooked?
There’s plenty of reasons your rice could be undercooked- if you’ve just gotten a new stove or microwave, it’s possible that the new device is simply less powerful than your old one. This is one of a few possibilities; let’s dig into the others!
- There isn’t enough water
- Water is extremely important to cooking rice! If there isn’t enough, it will all evaporate, and the rice will be unable to cook further.
- The lid was opened too early
- Opening the lid of your rice container allows steam to escape, once again making your rice unable to cook.
- Your device is too hot
- Isn’t it funny that both too little and too much power can undercook your rice? If your cooking device runs too hot, it can evaporate all your water way too fast, leading to the same issue as not putting enough water.
How Can You Fix Undercooked Rice?
Thankfully, there’s several ways to fix your undercooked rice.
Put It Back In The Rice Cooker
This method requires a bit of guesswork, as you likely don’t know exactly how much longer you need to cook your undercooked rice for. If you’re willing to potentially deal with slightly overcooked rice, this is a quick and easy method.
Use Your Microwave
The microwave is one of the most useful tools in your kitchen, and for good reason. If you follow these steps, you can add ‘fixing undercooked rice’ to the ever-growing list of just what your microwave can do!
- Place the undercooked rice in a bowl.
- Make sure the bowl is microwave-safe, or you can risk burning yourself- or worse, toxic chemicals being released.
- Soak two paper towels with water.
- Squeeze out about a fifth of the water onto your rice.
- Cover the bowl with the paper towels.
- Make sure the paper towels are still soaked!
- Microwave for two minutes
Presto, your rice is cooked! The water and paper towels help steam your rice, with the paper towels preventing too much steam from leaving.
Use Your Stovetop
The stove is probably the most common way to cook rice, and if you are already using it to cook your rice in the first place, then it’s even easier for you!
- Poke holes in your undercooked rice.
- If you have chopsticks to use for this, perfect! If not, a straw or a butter knife will do just as well.
- Add water until it is slightly above the rice.
- Cover the container.
- Cook for five more minutes.
Once again, you’re provided with perfectly-cooked rice! Remember that cooking and reheating your rice are very different, and that reheating your rice with these methods can lead to overcooking it.
Cooking Your Rice Right
Of course, the easiest way to fix your rice is to do it right in the first place! There’s two very easy ways to make sure your rice is cooked properly.
Use a Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are, as the name suggests, designed to cook rice. They’re good at it, too! If you frequently find yourself making rice, it’s a good investment.
To use a rice cooker, simply put in your desired amount of rice and the recommended amount of water and follow the instructions on your rice cooker. Many times they’ll have recommended water-to-rice ratios, too!
Use Your Stovetop
If you use a stovetop, there’s a method just as easy as using your rice cooker! This is a traditional method that has been used for centuries, and if you do it right, you’ll see exactly why it’s so trusted.
- Wash your rice.
- Put your rice in your pan or pot.
- Level the surface.
- Make sure you do this step correctly- make the surface of the rice as level as possible!
- Touch the top of the uncooked rice with the tip of your finger.
- Your index finger is preferable, but your middle or ring fingers should work fine as well.
- Fill the pot or pan with cold water until the water reaches the first joint of your finger.
- Put the lid on your container and cook for tIhe recommended amount of time.
It’s important to remember that different types of rice have different requirements for temperatures and cook times. Keep this in mind when you’re cooking, as it’s very important!
To wrap it up, here’s some important information for you.
It is a very bad idea to eat undercooked rice. Undercooked rice has a variety of health issues, on top of it being inferior to cooked rice in texture.
You can tell if your rice is undercooked if it is slightly opaque and clumping together.
Your rice may have been undercooked because of not enough water, or steam being allowed to escape.
Fixing undercooked rice is quick and easy, and can be done on a stove, in a microwave, or in a rice cooker.