I confess: I do not rinse my rice when I’m in a hurry or feeling a little lazy, which I’m sure horrifies my mom. But that old adage of “moms know best” is absolutely true—every time I skip the rinse, I regret it. Rinsed rice always results in better cooked rice. Plus, it's not hard nor does it take a lot of time—the extra two to three minutes it takes, makes all the difference.
Why Rinse Rice
When rice is processed and shipped, the grains rub against each other, creating a dusty powder. This powder is basically starchy rice flour. If you don’t rinse it off, it hydrates and cooks, forming a sticky, gummy texture. If you’ve ever had a mass of mushy gluey rice, it’s most likely because the rice wasn’t properly rinsed.
Rice is also a crop, grown in a field, which means there can be dirt, debris, and pesticides. Rinse the rice to remove them.
Two Way to Rinse Rice
There are two ways to rinse rice. You can rinse it under running water, like you would rinse a vegetable or fruit, or you can rinse it using a bowl or a pot.
Rinse Rice Under Running Water
Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Place both in your kitchen sink. Run cold water all over the rice and use your hands to stir and agitate the rice.
Dump the water out of the bowl when it fills up. Note the color of the water. It will initially look milky white, but as you continue to rinse the rice, the water should turn clearer, which indicates the rice is clean and ready to use.
Rinse Rice In a Bowl
This is my preferred method to rinse rice. Place the rice in a bowl or pot. Working in the sink, cover the rice with tap water. Use your hands to agitate the rice, stirring and swirling it in the water.
The water will turn milky white. Carefully pour the water out of the bowl, holding back the rice with one hand, if you wish. Then, add more fresh water.
Repeat this process until the water is clear even after you agitate the rice. It takes 4 to 5 times. There’s no need to be aggressive and rub the rice against each other. Use your hands, not a paddle or a whisk, which can break the rice.