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I don’t know about you, but there are some convenience foods that I have missed since starting my Traditional Foods journey. One of these is instant rice. I used instant almost exclusively before, because it was, ya know, instant. I also have some family favorite recipes that call for instant rice. And while cooking not instant rice is not a big deal, it can add considerably to the time it takes to get dinner on the table. And for busy people, like we all are, that can be a big deal.
But now, through the magic of dehydration, you can make your own organic instant rice!
Here’s the secret to making your own instant rice:
Cook rice. Dehydrate rice. Done. 🙂
And by “cook rice” I mean cook LOTS of rice. Like, a whole bag of rice. All at one time. BIG pot.
If you rinse the rice well before cooking it, it doesn’t stick together quite so much.
For every cup of rice you will need 2 cups of water. Since we are dehydrating it, don’t use anything but water. When we use it later we can rehydrate it with something else, like homemade chicken stock. Lightly salt the water, add the rice, and bring it to a boil.
Cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Allow to cook for 30-45 minutes. I check at 30 minutes to see if all the water is absorbed.
When the rice is cooked through, remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes with the lid on. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff up the rice well with a fork.
Then put it in the fridge to chill. I just stick the whole pot in there overnight. I’ve found that the rice is easier to spread out on the dehydrator trays when it’s cold. But you can skip that step if you really want to.
Put it in the dehydrator
After it’s cold, I take about 3 cups and spread it out on each dehydrator tray. I currently have an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator that I just love, but I had a round dehydrator before and that worked too. I use the tray liners that came with the dehydrator, but if you don’t have any you can line with trays with parchment paper.
So you’ve loaded up all your trays, closed it up, and turned it on. If you have a dehydrator that lets you set the temperature, 125-145°F is good for rice. Drying time will vary depending on how thick the rice is on the tray and your current humidity level. I like to check it every few hours and kinda break up any clumps, but that’s just my OCD kicking in and isn’t really necessary. 🙂
It’s Dry, Now What?
After it is completely dry let it cool and then store it in something fairly airtight. Ya’ll know how I love my canning jars for storage. I have some rice in a 1/2 gallon jar, and I also have some that I used my vacuum sealer on and sealed up in 1 cup packages. I have found that when sealing rice it’s best to put it in a paper lunch bag first and then seal in the vacuum sealer. Otherwise the rice can puncture the bag. Which kinda defeats the whole purpose of vacuum sealing. Random thought for the day: Vacuum is a really weird word. 🙂 Make sure you label and date the packages and add the re-hydration instructions.
I should probably give you the re-hydration instructions, too. Of course, if you have a recipe that calls for instant rice, just use it as it is. If you are re-hydrating, boil 3/4 cup of salted water, or homemade chicken stock for every 1 cup of instant rice you want. You can throw in some butter if you want. I use about 1/2 Tbsp per cup of rice. And by “throw in some butter”, I mean place some gently in the pan. Because throwing butter would just be wrong.
After the liquid has come to a boil and the butter has been
thrown in carefully added, remove the pan from the heat, add the rice, and cover. Let that sit for 10 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork, season if necessary, and serve. Gotta love it!
This has been another installment in my Pantry Replacement series. What’s in your pantry that you would like a whole foods replacement for?
Here’s more from my Pantry Replacement Series: