It’s a common practice in many kitchens – but why do people do it? Do you really need to rinse rice?
Many recipes call for rinsing rice beforehand, but if you’re anything like us, it might be a step you totally gloss over. So, what’s the reason behind doing it? Do you really need to rinse rice?
Essentially, rinsing rice can help remove some of the starch from the surface of the rice that can sometimes make it stickier or gummier once it’s cooked. If the rice is cooked properly- and if it doesn’t overcook!- the extra starch won’t make or break your dish! So technically, no, you don’t have to rinse it.
In fact, when making risotto – with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, for example – you don’t want to ever rinse the rice! The surface starches are what give risotto such a creamy and delicious texture, and rinsing could inhibit those from fully developing. This also goes for dishes like rice pudding, when you’re relying on those starches. (Same with Sartu Di Riso – if you rinsed the rice beforehand, it might wither and break before you even get the bundt pan all the way off!)
Ultimately, it’s up to you – if you want a fluffy, not-at-all-sticky rice, go ahead and rinse it. It does give you a little extra wiggle room too, because on the off-chance the rice does get overcooked, it can help prevent the rice from getting too gummy.
Interested in giving it a shot? There are a few methods out there, but the easiest and least-involved way is to simply grab a fine-mesh strainer, add the amount of rice you want to cook, and run water from the sink faucet over it until you notice the water starts to run clear.
What can we say – we like our surface starches (hello, pasta)! At the end of the day, this one is up to personal preference – and how much time you feel like spending prepping dinner.