U.S. Rice
FAQs
Q
What are some tips for getting perfect rice?
A
Measure accurately, time the cooking, keep the lid on tightly and test for doneness. If the rice is crunchy or has a hard center, add more liquid, cover tightly, and continue cooking. When more separate grains are desirable, sauté rice in a small amount of butter or oil before adding liquid and cooking. For best results, follow package directions.
Q
Does rice have to be rinsed before using?
A
U.S. rice does not require washing or rinsing before cooking because it is a clean, high quality product. Additionally, rinsing can cause nutrient loss in enriched rice. If rice is rinsed or soaked before cooking, the amount of liquid needed will be reduced slightly, as will the cooking time.
Q
What are the advantages of U.S. rice over imported rice?
A
First and foremost it’s the quality and cleanliness of the rice. It’s grown and milled to the highest standards, is readily available, and consistency of product and supply are ensured. U.S.-grown rice accounts for nearly 90% of the rice consumed in America.
Q
What food safety precautions do I need to know when storing and cooking rice?
A
Rice should be stored in a cool and dry environment, in tightly sealed containers. Because rice is a cereal product, it must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by foodborne bacteria when cooking. Rice should be held for service in a steam table or warmer above 140°F (60°C). If not using immediately or for use in cold applications (like rice salads), hot rice should be cooled as quickly as possible by transferring it to a shallow pan. Cool the rice to 70°F (21°C) within two hours. Rice should then be wrapped, dated and kept refrigerated until ready to use.
Q
How do I best reheat cooked rice?
A
Rice may be reheated on top of the stove, in a steamer or in the oven. When rice is reheated, be sure that it reaches a core temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Adding a small amount of moisture helps rehydrate the rice.
Q
What type of rice should I use for rice pudding?
A
The starch levels and consistency of medium or short grain rice make them ideal for puddings and other dessert applications.
Q
How can I use rice to help control my costs?
A
Rice is a very inexpensive ingredient that provides generous plate-coverage and allows you to reduce the amount of expensive ingredients, like specialty produce and proteins, while increasing portion size. Dishes made with rice have a very high perceived value.
Q
What type of rice should I use for risotto?
A
U.S. arborio or medium grain rice are good choices and deliver the delicious taste, texture and creamy mouth feel desired in risotto.
Q
Is rice safe to serve to customers with food allergies?
A
Rice is gluten-free and non-allergenic. It is an ideal food to serve customers who are allergic to gluten and cannot eat wheat-based products, and is a good choice to feature in gluten-free menu items. Nearly all people with food allergies are not allergic to rice.
Q
How does rice perform in take-out applications?
A
Rice “travels” very well. It maintains its quality, taste and texture in take-out foods and is far superior to fries, for example, which get soggy and do not reheat well in a microwave.
Q
Is rice available through government foodservice programs?
A
Yes, rice is available through the commodity program for school lunch and breakfast programs and other state and federal food programs.