The Armchair Critic

(Pretending to know everything)


How To Cook Rice

Posted by Lee i.

When I was in grade school, I was assigned to cook the rice. My mother figured that didn't require too much cooking experience. One only has to measure the rice, rid it of the pebbles and unhusked grains, wash it, add water and then put it to boil.

My mother figured wrong. I could never get the right mix of rice and water.

My older brother Joie, in college at that time, taught me how to measure the water. He said, and I quote: measure the depth of the rice with your hand, palm open. Mark the height of the rice on your palm with your thumb. Then put the tip of your fingers on the rice and measure the water. The water level should be equal in height as the rice.

This resulted in rice that was always wet.

Then, my next older brother Jolan taught me another way. He said, fill the pot with water and make sure the rice is level. Then tilt the pot until the water at one end is shallow, "just like in the beach."

The rice I cooked this way, as we say in Ilocano was always nakusul. Or undercooked. Not enough water.

I just gave up. One day, after washing the rice the prescribed three times, I placed it on the dining table and left the house. Of course, I got a terrible tongue lashing from my mother - "What? You think the rice will cook itself?"

At the time, the electric rice cooker hasn't been invented. But even now, with all the modern conveniences, my rice is still hit or miss.