LET'S COOK BLACK RICE
Most common question asked, how much water does black rice need to cook, how long does it take? And if one would like to cook more batches of rice, how to scale?
Here what we feel gives that ideal 'chewiness', not too hard, not moist either, first when using a pot, then a rice cooker.
To become skilled, all there is, is to understand rice-to-water ratio and to know the time it will take to cook a certain variety.
To cook rice most water is absorbed into the grains while a bit of water is evaporated along the process.
total water = water for absorption + evaporation
Let's break both parts up here.
Rice needs to absorb water in a 1:1 ratio. Simple. So, if you triple your batch of rice, an equal volume of water is required.
Some water evaporates, needs to 'escape', while rice is being cooked. This loss of water has to be compensated by adding 'some' water at start and depends fully on the cooking equipment being used (the smallest detail matters, like closed vs vented lid, therefore, work methodically) and has nothing to do with the amount of rice you decide to cook.
To find out this volume, we recommend, to cook first one cup of rice with one cup of water. Taste and most likely you will find some extra water is needed. Do so by adding ¼ cup of water and simmer until all this water is gone (keep pot covered). Taste again. Repeat this cycle until you got the texture that works for you. You end up probably with an additional water volume, somewhere between ¼ (harder texture) to ¾ (softer, more moist) of a cup. Now you got the exact evaporation water volume. This is and will remain the same volume, ALWAYS, regardless how many batches of rice you decide to cook next time.
Rice-to-water ratio = 1:1 + evaporation water
This rule works for any kind of (non-glutinous) rice you want to cook.
So, for example at our home, when we want to cook 3 batches of rice - with our equipment we know our evaporation water volume is ¼ cup - we got to go with 3 + ¼ cup of water.
Cooking Instructions and Time
Bring to a boil over a high heat for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium-low, close the lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
Fluff the rice and simmer for another 5 min.
Turn off the heat, keep covered with lid and let the rice stand for 15 min so the grains can firm up.
Keep the pot covered while simmering as well as at the end when you have the rice sit for 15 minutes.
Last, we can't stress enough, get a pot with a thick bottom to avoid the rice to burn or stick.
We have been asked what's better: a rice cooker or a pot? We feel rice is tastier when using a pot, but a simple rice cooker works just fine, and that's what we - and most people in Thailand - use most of the time. It's so easy, just follow your rice cooker's rice-to-water ratio recommendation and once ready, the rice cooker will shut itself off while the rice is kept warm!
Nevertheless, you can determine the amount of evaporation water the same way as we did above. You will end up with a bit more evaporation water though. At home we always do a rice-to-water-ratio of 1:1 + ¾ .
We are not used to pressure cookers, but same goes for this cooking method . Build up the necessary water volume as you would do with a pan. However, one additional element to consider: select the pressure you feel comfortable with and time the interval, from the moment the pressure cooker is finished until you open the lid (evaporation is still doing its part!) We recommend a 10 minutes interval.