Should You Rinse Rice After Cooking?

Cooking 101

If you are thinking of washing your rice after it has been cooked, then don’t.  Rice is not meant to be washed after it has been cooked unless you want your rice to become soggy and sticky.

By washing your rice after it has been cooked you will be rinsing off the nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. 

Rice absorbs a lot of water during the cooking process, in fact, 70% of the total weight is water that has been absorbed.

A jar of clean rice.

According to Ricepedia, rice is eaten by more than half of the population of the world, that’s more than 3.5 billion people who depend on rice for their daily calories and nutrients.

Now that we know, that rice should not be rinsed after it has been cooked it doesn’t mean that rice should not be rinsed at all.

So when do you rinse the rice? 

In short, the rice should be rinsed before the cooking process.

However, keep in mind not all rice needs to be rinsed before cooking.

Should You Rinse Rice After Cooking?

No, but you should always rinse your rice before you cook it.  This is a good habit to get into. 

There are several reasons why you should rinse your rice before cooking it.

Removes loose starch. By rinsing the rice, it removes any starch that may be on the surface of the rice grains.  Loose starch is one of the causes of white rice becoming sticky and clumpy. White rice tends to have more loose starch on it and by rinsing, it reduces that thick paste that forms on the top when rice is cooked.

Taste Better.  You will notice that your rice taste so much better once they have been rinsed before cooking or it just my imagination.

Nicer aroma.  Not only will your rice taste better but they will smell so much better.  You will notice a big difference, it is hard to explain in words.  In other words, your home will smell amazing.

Fluffier rice.  Removing the starch doesn’t only prevent your rice from becoming sticky but helps the rice to be more light a fluffy. 

Remove debris. Rinsing your rice is not only about getting rid of loose starch but also removing any debris that may be on the rice.  The idea of eating dirty food does not sound appealing to me.  In fact, if we knew what was in half the food that we eat we would probably starve ourselves.  Lol.

I am sure there probably many more reasons why you should rinse your rice before cooking, but these at the reasons that stand out to me.

Rinsing your rice is a good habit to get into.  Just like fruit and vegetables, you would wash them before taking a bite.  One of the benefits of rinsing rice is that it removes any dirt and debris from the rice grains.

Not All Rice Need To Be Rinsed Before Cooking

Some rice processors add a powdered layer to their white rice (fortified rice) that is often mistaken for loose starch whereas it is the nutrients added to the rice to make them more healthy. 

The purpose of fortified rice is the extra nutrients that are added.  Rinsing fortified rice will wash away all of the vitamins and minerals that are meant to remain.

Always check the cooking instructions on the packet, this will tell you if you should rinse the rice before cooking or not.

If you are using short-grain rice to make a dish such as Risotto then rinsing your rice is not a good idea.  This dish needs starch to give it, the creamy texture that Risotto has.  Without the starch, it won’t come out the same.

This also applies to many other dishes such as Sushi. 

How To Rinse Rice?

I have found a couple of quick and easy ways to rinse rice before cooking it.  Although I am sure that there are many other methods these are the two that I have used frequently. 

Using A Fine-Mesh Strainer
Pour the rice into a fine-mesh strainer and leave it running under the cold water for a few minutes. 

It is important to note that you must use something that the rice will not fall through.  I have a fine-mesh strainer that I prefer to use that is fine enough for the rice not to fall out.

Once you pour the rice into the strainer, run it under the cold water.  Then use your hand to gently stir the rice around, making sure all the rice is rinsed properly.

Stir the rice gently otherwise, you risk breaking the rice grains which will cause more starch to be released during the cooking process.

Using A Large Bowl
Pour your rice into a large bowl.  Make sure that you use a bowl big enough that will cover the rice with plenty of water and will allow you to use your hand to mix it around.

Completely cover the rice with water and stir the rice using your hand.  Gently rub the grains between your fingers without breaking them.

Just gently moving the rice around the bowl will help remove the loose starch from the grains. 

Then drain the water into a separate container and use it to feed your plants.  It’s a great way to recycle water.

Now fill up the bowl with fresh water again and repeat the previous steps until the water becomes clearer.

Do this as many times as needed.  If you don’t have a large bowl you can easily use a large cooking pot.   

You will be surprised how much more fluffier your rice will be after you rinse them before cooking.

Should You Rinse Rice with Cold or Hot Water?

While I am not entirely sure if rinsing rice in hot water is good or bad, I prefer to rinse my rice in cold water.  It is what I have done from the very start.

Another reason I prefer rinsing rice in cold water is, that it is more comfortable when I need to put my hand in the water to speed up the rinsing process of the rice.

I do not need to worry about burning my hand when swishing the rice around. 

What Happens If You Don’t Rinse Rice?

I’m not a medical expert in any way, so from a non-medical point of view,  not rinsing your rice would cause your rice to become sticky.

As mentioned early, rinsing your rice helps improve its taste and aroma, so, if you forget to rinse your rice, they won’t taste and smell their very best.

So if you don’t like sticky rice be aware. lol

Does Rinsing Rice Make It Soggy?

I do not like soggy rice.  Rinsing rice before cooking them, does not make them soggy, but in fact, when it comes to white rice rinsing them prevents them from becoming soggy, unless obviously, you used too much water.  For this reason alone it is important to get the water to rice ratio correct (2:1), 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.

Final Thoughts

To rinse or not to rinse?

Have you ever found yourself with sticky rice? 

Rinsing your rice before you cook it will not only help prevent it from getting sticky but will improve the flavor and aroma of your rice.

As we learned earlier, by rinsing your rice you are washing away any loose starch that may be on the surface of your rice, for some dishes such as Risosta or Sushi you need to keep the starch.

I hope this article has made it clear if should you rinse rice after cooking, or before cooking.

If you have any questions or any tips regarding rice, please share them in the comments.

Happy Cooking!

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