Rice is a staple food for millions of people around the world, and it is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.
There are so many different types of rice, and their delicious taste and health benefits make it a popular side dish for a variety of different cuisines.
However, cooking rice can sometimes be a bit tricky, and even experienced cooks can end up with undercooked rice.
Undercooked rice can be unpleasant to eat, with a hard texture and a slightly crunchy taste.
It can be frustrating to spend time preparing a meal, only to have the rice come out undercooked.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to fix undercooked rice and salvage your meal.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why rice may come out undercooked, and we’ll provide you with some simple tips and techniques to fix it.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, these tips will help you ensure that your rice is perfectly cooked every time.
How To Tell If Rice Is Undercooked
Before we get into how you can fix undercooked rice, it’s important that we know how to identify it.
The most common reason for undercooked rice is having the wrong ratio of water to rice.
If all the water in your rice cooker or pan boils and evaporates before the rice is thoroughly cooked, your end result will be undercooked rice.
The correct ratio depends on the type of rice you are cooking.
You can also have similar results if your heat is too high. Even if you have the right amount of water, if your heat is too high it will boil too quickly, and again, your rice won’t be able to thoroughly cook.
Your rice will also be undercooked if you don’t give it enough time to cook as it should.
Undercooked rice is easy to identify. The outside of the rice might seem fluffy and perfect, but the inside will be crunchy, dry, and hard.
To test if your rice is cooked properly, pick up a grain and squeeze it between your finger and thumb.
If it squeezes easily, then your rice is cooked. If it only squeezes easily part of the way, it is undercooked.
Can You Eat Undercooked Rice?
It is highly advised that you do not eat undercooked rice. Rice can contain harmful bacteria, but the cooking process kills these bacteria, making cooked rice safe to eat.
In undercooked rice, however, these bacteria can thrive and cause sickness.
Fixing Undercooked Rice In The Rice Cooker
Once the rice has finished cooking, if you feel that it is undercooked, you should allow it to remain in the rice cooker for another 10 minutes while in Warm Mode.
This will give the rice some extra time to soak up any water that is left in the rice cooker.
After the 10 minutes have elapsed, check your rice grains again. If they still feel undercooked, you should add half a cup of boiling water to the rice cooker.
Stir through the rice with a fork to separate the grains and mix the water through, and then cook the rice for another two to three minutes.
Check the rice once more. If it’s still undercooked, repeat the process of adding boiling water, mixing the rice, and cooking for two to three minutes.
You can do this as many times as you need to until the rice is thoroughly cooked.
Fixing Undercooked Rice In The Microwave
Fixing undercooked rice in a microwave is a surprisingly effective method if you know the right steps to take.
Microwaves don’t always have the best reputation for cooking food evenly, but their method of cooking works well for finishing off undercooked rice.
Take your undercooked rice and place it in a bowl that is microwave safe. You will need a couple of sheets of paper kitchen towel and these should be wet with water.
Squeeze some of the water from the paper towels, so they’re not completely sodden, and then place the sheets over the top of the bowl that contains the rice.
Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave it for a minute. Check the rice and then microwave it once more for another minute.
Hopefully, your undercooked rice is now thoroughly cooked!
This method works because as the bowl is microwaved, the water particles in the paper towels turn into steam.
The steam is then absorbed and locked into the rice grains, and they continue to cook.
General Tips For Fixing Undercooked Rice
The methods we suggested above are general fixes that should work for any undercooked rice.
However, if you identify why your rice is undercooked, there are a few more situation-specific methods that you can try as well.
Fixing Watery Rice
If your rice has cooked for the right amount of time, but there is still water left, this is watery rice.
This is an easy issue to remedy, as you simply need to continue cooking the rice on low heat for around five minutes.
Once the time has elapsed, let the rice stand for around 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.
There should only be a little bit of water left, so this fix will work fine.
If your rice is still swimming in water, however, you may want to remove a little before you continue cooking to prevent it from becoming soggy.
Fixing Soggy Rice
Soggy rice is rice that has absorbed too much water during the cooking process. This rice will be gummy, and the grains may split as starch is released from the rice.
Unfortunately, there is no way to take water out of rice grains and make them drier again. If your rice is soggy and gluey, all you can do is take your soggy rice and make something else with it!
Soggy rice is a great base for rice pudding, so grab some milk, sugar, and vanilla and turn it into a lovely dessert.
To prevent rice from becoming soggy, we recommend rinsing the rice with cold water before you cook it.
You will see that cold water becomes a little cloudy as it washes the rice, and this is because the excess starch is being released.
Fixing Hard Rice
Hard rice is rice that isn’t quite done yet. It’s similar to al dente pasta, where the outside is soft and moist, but the inside is still firm.
This is not what we want from rice grains, and this can be remedied by microwaving the rice for a couple of minutes.
Check the rice to see if it has softened and is emitting steam, and microwave it for a little longer if it isn’t.
In this article, we looked at how to fix undercooked rice.
We explained how to fix undercooked rice in both a rice cooker and microwave, and then explained a few situation-specific remedies that can be used as well.