How to cook rice quiz; Fluffing

Onigiri Society Quiz: let's learn about rice! Vol .58

This quiz is about cooking rice.

All that is needed to cook rice is water and heat. Cooking rice may seem easy, but if you want to cook really delicious rice, it is a difficult task that requires skills and knowledge. Each step of the rice cooking process has an important function that effects the flavour and texture of the final product. Without a solid understanding of the rice cooking process, even the the most highly ranked, and expensive rice will yield disappointing results, and you will have waisted your money on such a premium product.

The process of cooking rice can be broken down into the following functions: preservation, washing, draining, soaking, adding water, heating, steaming, and fluffing. Each step in the process has a meaning and a purpose.

Now, here is a one question quiz about fluffing rice. To fluff the rice, use a rice paddle to cut a cross in the cooked rice and then using the paddle scoop rice from the bottom of the pot and turn it over, gently mixing up all the rice so that grains from the bottom are now near the top of the pot, and vice versa. When, out of the following options, is the best time in the cooking process to fluff the rice?

a. Start fluffing right after the rice cooker has finished cooking.
b. Start fluffing 30 minutes after the rice cooker has finished cooking.
c. Start fluffing 2 hours after the rice cooker has finished cooking.
d. There is no need to fluff the rice.
Onigiri Society Quiz: let's learn about rice! Vol .58 answer

The correct answer is "b. Start fluffing 30 minutes after the rice cooker has finished cooking."
If you chose "a", the rice would be a bit hard in the centre as it would not have had enough time to steam.
If you chose "c", the grains of rice would bond together, resulting in a "chunk of rice" which doesn't have a very enjoyable texture. (Abokichi; The results of "d" would be a more extreme version of "c", with a very dense and gummy outcome, and not at all delicious.)
Make sure to wait at least 15 minutes after the rice cooker has stopped for the steaming process to continue. In this way you can be certain that the water inside the grains of rice have enough time to reach the centre. By fluffing the rice at this point, the grains can be well separated, and any extra water can be allowed to evaporate, leaving the rice with an optimal texture.
Question write by Tadao Koike, 3rd generation of Koike Rice Store and 5-star Rice Master.

*This article was translated from the original Japanese published by Onigiri Society in Japan with their permission. 

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