Cooking rice may seem a piece of cake, but it's a lot trickier in reality. There lies a delicate balance between the amount of rice, water, and cooking time. Also, the flame intensity (of gas stoves) has to be adjusted according to the quantity of rice.
However, mistakes do happen, especially when you're new to cooking rice. The threat of rice being poorly cooked is always lurking in the shadows to ruin your cooking experience, waiting for the slightest of mistakes to happen.
At the same time, fixing crunchy rice isn't rocket science either. Consider this article as your guide to fix undercooked rice using every cooking appliance, including gas stove, induction cooktop, rice cooker, microwave oven, etc.
Why Does Rice Get Undercooked Sometimes?
Lack of cooking experience is one answer to this question. Cooking rice requires just the perfect ratio of rice and water; these two must always remain in balance. You can call rice 'perfectly cooked' when it absorbs just the right amount of water under the application of the right amount of heat.
However, when the quantity of water is somehow less than required or heating is improper, disappointing undercooked rice becomes apparent in the cookware.
How to Identify Undercooked Rice?
If you're a newbie in the kitchen, you might end up under-cooking your rice. In that case, to avoid any health problems, you need to identify and fix the mess you've accidentally created.
You can easily tell the difference between perfectly cooked rice and undercooked rice; all you have to do is look for the consistency of the rice. Properly cooked grains of rice are very consistent, smooth to touch, and fluffy to eat.
On the other hand, undercooked rice has a grainy texture and isn't nearly as soft, smooth, and fluffy as cooked rice.
Grabbing and squeezing a grain of rice to check whether it's cooked or not is a better alternative. In that case, perfectly cooked rice will mash entirely while crunchy rice won't. You can also ask a cooking veteran to do this favor if you're not that confident in telling the difference. Moreover, undercooked rice requires additional chewing and has some harmful health effects that we'll discuss in the FAQs section of this article.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice on a Gas Stove and Induction Cooktop?
A gas stove is the most common kitchen appliance in a typical Indian kitchen. Using a gas stove or the best induction cooktop in India to fix your undercooked rice is the easiest method of them all.
First of all, check how undercooked your rice is. The best way to do it, however, is to chew a tablespoon of that undercooked rice. If you have a hard time chewing it or it's just simply unchewable and crispy, depending upon the quantity of rice, add ½ to 3/2 cups of water and put the lid on your cookware. Now set the flame of your gas stove to low and let the rice cook for another 5-10 minutes. Using the best auto ignition gas stove can significantly reduce the trouble of fixing undercooked rice. If you are using an induction cooktop, set the temperature below 200°C and cook it for the same duration.
Pro Tip: Undercooked rice can be fixed but fixing burned rice, and overcooked rice is neither easy nor efficient. It's better to avoid high heat settings on your stove or induction cooktop, or your rice may get burned.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Rice Cooker?
Using pressurized water vapor to cook rice is a very efficient approach. No wonder a rice cooker is the most common cooking appliance to cook rice (obviously, the name says it all). You can utilize its efficiency to fix your undercooked rice. Depending upon your rice cooker's capacity, you have to add more water and let it cook for about 15 minutes at low heat settings. If your rice is still not properly cooked, repeat the process until it is.
Pro Tip: Rice tends to expand when cooked. In that case, don't overestimate your rice cooker's capacity. Meanwhile, keep the heat settings to a bare minimum. Get the best rice cooker in India to make this process more efficient.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Microwave Oven?
A microwave is your best friend when it comes to cooking and reheating food. That said, it can be used to fix poorly cooked rice pretty effectively. The process is a bit trickier.
First of all, place the undercooked rice in a bowl made of glass or ceramic or any other microwavable bowl. Then, grab two paper towels, soak them in water and squeeze about 1/5th of water onto the rice.
Next, place the rice bowl in the microwave oven and remember to cover the bowl with those two wet paper towels. Do take special care of the paper towels; they should still be very wet when you cover the rice bowl with them.
Then all you have to do is microwave the rice for two minutes, and your rice will get the desired consistency, flavor, and texture.
Pro Tip: Avoid placing rice in a non-microwavable bowl (made of materials like metal, crystal). Also, your microwavable bowl should not feature any metallic paint, or it will lead to some serious consequences. We highly recommend using the best microwave oven in India to fix undercooked rice.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker?
The switch of a electric pressure cooker flips from 'cook' to 'warm' in undercooked rice. Don't open the lid in that position; allow an extra 10 minutes for the rice to cook completely. However, if your rice is still left undercooked, the lack of water is to blame. In that case, don't go into panic mode; just add half a cup of warm water and let it cook for a further 15 minutes. If the issue with the rice persists, add more water and keep repeating the process until you get the desired consistency in your rice.
Pro Tip: Avoid adding too much water at once, or your rice might get overcooked, and the situation might get even worse. Also, avoid using high heat settings on the best electric pressure cooker or instant pot of yours to avoid burned rice.
How to Fix Uncooked Rice in a Casserole?
Among many kitchen appliances and utilities that can fix uncooked rice, a casserole is the least efficient. However, it sure can do the job at the cost of time. Unlike other kitchen utilities that can do the job in minutes, using a casserole will cost you an hour or so.
To fix uncooked rice using a casserole, all you have to do is make sure the rice in the casserole is completely covered with water (warm but not too much). Then, cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil for even better insulation.
Finally, leave the dish as it is for at least an hour, and your uncooked rice will no longer be that way.
Precaution: There are some health risks involved in this method. In a recent study, it was proved that a type of toxin-producing bacteria called Bacillus Cereus present on raw rice is responsible for over 63,000 cases of food poisoning each year. It normally gets killed when rice is properly cooked due to high temperatures. But it may survive if you use a casserole to fix your undercooked rice as there will be no temperature barrier to stop the bacteria from multiplying.
Pro Tip: You should only choose this method as a last resort. There are better alternatives available that can do the same job in a fraction of the time and are much safer.
Frequently Asked Questions about Undercooked Rice
Undercooked rice doesn't have the same texture as perfectly cooked rice. That said, it has a rather grainy texture and lacks consistency. It's also not fluffy as cooked rice, and touching undercooked rice doesn't feel smooth. You can try squeezing a grain of rice between your thumb and fingers; if it's properly cooked, it will entirely mash like pasta. If it doesn't, it's poorly cooked and requires additional treatment. Moreover, crunchy rice has a whiter color at the center. If you're a cooking veteran, you can instantly tell the difference between perfectly cooked rice and undercooked cooked rice without even touching it.
You might not be able to tell the visual difference between undercooked rice and cooked rice, but you surely can do it once you taste it. Undercooked rice is hard in the middle, and it's not nearly as fluffy and smooth as perfectly cooked rice. Also, undercooked rice is crunchy and harder to chew. It can even cause damage to your teeth and overall health.
Besides the awful taste and difficulty in chewing, eating undercooked rice can have some nasty side effects. This is because rice contains a layer of cellulose on top of it which breaks down upon cooking. In the case of undercooked rice, however, the layer of cellulose remains intact, which can't be broken down by any of the enzymes present in the human body. That said, indigestion is the most common side effect of eating undercooked rice. In addition, it can lead to problems like acidity, vomiting, etc. So, eating undercooked rice is mostly not a good idea.
No, you cannot! This urge to eat undercooked and raw rice is very common amongst women. However, this craving must be avoided at all costs. So, despite knowing all the side effects of eating crunchy rice, it'll be a fool's play to still eat it during pregnancy as you'll be harming your health as well as your yet-to-born baby's. Also, your body will find it difficult to absorb the nutrients from the rice. Moreover, undercooked rice can expand a little in your stomach, is very alarming, and can cause irreversible harm to your baby.
It depends on how undercooked your rice is. If your rice is mostly clean and moderately undercooked, eating it shouldn't be much of a problem. However, if your rice is mostly undercooked, some spores of bacteria may survive that can result in serious health issues like food poisoning, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Any partially cooked grain of rice will use the available water to expand itself. That being said, undercooked rice does expand in your stomach, and if consumed in high quantities, you may encounter various negative side effects. However, if you've still mistakenly consumed undercooked rice, just drink an additional cup of water to negate the expansion of those partially cooked rice grains.
Yes, poorly cooked rice can increase your risk of food poisoning. Undercooked rice may contain bacterial spores of Bacillus Cereus, which is the main culprit for food poisoning. These spores act as a shield for bacteria to survive cooking for a short period. If your rice is cooked properly, the bacterial spores most likely would have been eradicated due to high temperatures. In undercooked rice, however, the spores might survive and cause some nasty health problems like diarrhea and food poisoning. In some extremely rare cases, this food poisoning due to undercooked rice can cause permanent damage to organs and even death.
Properly cooked rice contains enough water so that it doesn't require more water to expand itself. On the other hand, undercooked rice uses the available water in your stomach to expand even further. That said, it will cause a lack of water in your body which is directly responsible for constipation and other stomach-related problems such as gas and bloating.
Fixing undercooked rice isn't very tedious if you know the basics. There are many ways to cook rice, all of them, however, require expert precision, or you might just end up with a bowl full of undercooked rice. The ratio of water and rice is the main factor that needs special attention.
However, if you still end up under-cooking your rice, do not panic. You just have to follow the general rule of thumb- Add enough water. Then, with all the precautions taken care of, you can fix undercooked rice using any cooking appliance given. But, they all have different efficiency of doing so, choose the one which suits you best.