There is really nothing new under the sun. A lot of culinary ideas are borrowed, copied or transferred from one country to the other.
Chinese people regard rice as their most important food. There are all different varieties of them. There
are the long grain rice and the short grain rice too.
The short grain rice is sometimes called gluttonous rice or sweet rice. It has this unique sticky feature when cooked and they are a lot softer than the long grain rice. It is almost similar to the Japanese sushi rice.
Chinese people use their ingenuity in preparing this gluttonous rice. You can cook it normally though it takes in more water than the long grain rice. You can steam the rice. You can use a clay pot to cook the rice and of course the preparing of gluttonous rice from raw stage through frying.
The technique to fry gluttonous rice from raw is simple, yet you need patience and a very strong arm to go through the continuous motion of flipping the rice in a wok. The temperature for the frying has to be correct so you would not burn the content. You also need a spray bottle to mist the rice all the time. You can decrease the temperature with the mist when it gets too hot and the rice gets stuck to the pot.
The Italians takes on a different version with the sweet gluttonous rice. They call it risotto. It is considered as a famous dish since it takes a lot of time and patience to prepare this. There are 3 kinds of rice you can use for this dish. The most common and least expensive one is the Aborio; then comes Carnaroli and Vialone. Aborio is the most difficult to work with and the other two are a lot more forgiving. Risotto is simple enough to make and there is a little trick to it. Risotto is nothing more than cooking Aborio rice (short grain sticky rice) slowly from raw stage.
Broth is added to the rice gradually bit by bit to cook the rice slowly. When the rice is done, it will take on the appearance of wet rice in some broth. It is soft, tender, aromatic, and a bit chewy. It is a comfort food and you can keep eating till you are bloated without noticing.
You need 2 pots, pans, fry pans or something to cook with.
Ingredients: olive oil (our Italian friends soak everything in olive oil. You can use vegetable oil if you want.)
Short grain rice (some people have experimented with sweet rice and sushi rice)
Chicken broth or vegetable broth; Use a separate pot for the broth. Keep it at medium heat. ** Here is the trick; the warm broth would keep the temperature of the rice up so you do not have to lose the time for cooking the rice. Otherwise, the rice would need the heat to keep the cooking temperature and the rice would get too soft and mushy.)
White wine – optional
That is it.
Heat the pan up.
Put the oil in.
When the oil is hot, put in onions first. Onion would soften up and slowly caramelize.Then put garlic in and do not burn the garlic.
Put rice in. Stir. When the rice got coated by the oil and you can hear the sizzle. Use a ladle and put broth with the rice.
The broth would slowly get dry, and then put more broth in. Stir constantly. Put broth in bit by bit.
Eventually you will notice the rice becoming translucent. That should be close to done. You can put some wine in if you desire.
When the rice is done, put a bit of butter into the rice to give it a shine.
You can also cook up some meat or seafood and incorporated with the rice. Mushroom is also a common accompaniment for this dish.
Very often people would say risotto is an amazing dish, but if you cook rice with some flavoured liquid, it will taste good as well.
The more interesting thing is, Italian has their risotto while the Spanish people have their paella.
Spanish paella! It is prepared in a flat bottom carbon steel pan with rice from raw stage. Spanish people like the rice to have a bite, not entire soft. They put everything onto the pan and cook till done. Of course the temperature would control everything.
They also use saffron in the rice to give it that particular reddish colour.
There you have it, one rice 3 methods to prepare.
Methods might vary but the principle is the same. If I could only be a philosopher …………. Then I can be truly confusing.