Cooking rice sous vide is underrated. Once I figured the proper ratio of water to rice, it is a 100 percent foolproof method of cooking rice, no matter how much rice you make, from half a cup, to 4 cups.
When cooking rice on a stovetop, for one cup of rice you cook will need anywhere between 1.25 to 2 cups of water. In principle, one cup of rice “needs” one cup of water to cook. The rest of the water in recipes counts for evaporation. Evaporation rate varies by factors such as the surface area of the pot, the altitude, and the strength of the boil.
Since there’s no evaporation of water in a sous vide bag, the ratio of water to rice is constant regardless of where you live or how much rice you prepare.
When cooking fragrant rice sous vide such as Jasmine or Basmati, the aroma of the cooked rice is a lot more intense because all the volatile compounds that typically evaporate when boiling, stay in the sealed bag.
Using one cup of rice to one cup of water produces a rice which is firm, a.k.a “al dente”. The rice is chewy and separated. Personally I like one and a quarter (1.25) cups of water to one cup of rice. I like to add a little butter, a little salt. How much salt to add is a personal preference, and if you are not sure, check the rice packaging for recommendations.
Here is the basic recipe:
- 1 cup of rice (I use Basmati)
- 1¼ cups of water
- ½ teaspoon of salt (personal preference)
- 1 teaspoon of butter (Optional)
Cooking time 33 minutes
Cooking temperature 200f/94c
Add all the ingredients to a cooking bag, remove the air (by vacuum or displacement) and seal.
Use a bag that is 4 times larger than the ingredients.
Once the water bath is up to temperature, place the bag in the water and cook for 33 minutes.
It is almost impossible to over cook the rice, because the rice has absorbed all the available water so it is not going to get mushy, and since there’s no evaporation it will not dry out. I never tried to cook the rice for really long but if you go 20 minutes longer I don’t think you’d notice a difference.
Once the cooking time is up, remove the bag from the water. The rice will look like a solid clump, open a small corner to let air in, massage the rice a bit to break it up to kernels, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Open the bag and serve.