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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.
Instant organic rice used to be almost impossible to find at the grocery store. And when I could find organic instant rice at the store, it was way more expensive that regular ole instant rice. So it wasn’t always in my budget.
I also have some family favorite recipes that call for instant rice. And those recipes don’t work with not-instant rice. So I didn’t make those recipes any more. Which made people cranky.
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 organic instant rice:
Cook organic rice. Dehydrate organic rice. Done. 🙂
And by “cook rice” I mean cook LOTS of rice. Like, a whole bag of rice. All at one time. BIG pot. 🙂
Did you know that if you rinse the rice well before cooking it, it doesn’t stick together quite so much?
Cooking the Rice
This is great for both brown rice and regular ole white rice as well. I like ’em both and use ’em both. So I made ’em both. 🙂
For every cup of uncooked rice you have, 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 bone broth or beef bone broth.
Start by measuring out your rice. Then measure out the amount of water that you need into a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Lightly salt the water, throw in the rice, and bring it all to a boil.
After to reaches a rolling boil cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. You don’t want it to continue boiling, but you need it to stay hot.
Allow the rice to cook for 30-45 minutes. I usually check at about 30 minutes to see if all the water is absorbed yet.
When the rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 or so minutes with the lid on. After those 10 or so minutes, remove the lid from the pot and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Don’t stir the rice, cuz that will make it a big pot of mush. And ain’t nobody want that. Just stick the fork in to the bottom of the pot and lift it up to sort of separate it all a bit.
Prepping the Rice for the Dehydrator
Then put the cover back on the pot and put the rice in the fridge to chill out. I just stick the whole pot in there overnight.
You could, of course, take the rice out of the pot and into a big bowl (or bowls as the case may be) if you have a thing about pots in the fridge. I won’t judge. 🙂
I’ve found that the rice is easier to spread out on the dehydrator trays when it’s cold. But you can actually skip that whole rice in the fridge step if you really want to.
Put the Rice in the Dehydrator
After the rice is 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.
Tray liners came with my dehydrator so I use those, but if you don’t have any you can line the trays with parchment paper.
So load up all your trays, put them into the dehydrator, close it up, and turn it on. If you have some rice left over, just stick it back in the fridge until the first batch is done.
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 for normal people. 🙂
My Organic Instant Rice is Dry, Now What?
After your rice 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, right? I have some rice in a 1/2 gallon jar, and I also have some that I used my FoodSaver 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.
How to Rehydrate your Homemade Instant Rice
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.
Every cup of dehydrated rice will yield 2 cups(ish) of cooked rice.
You can even throw in some butter if you want. I use about 1/2 Tbsp butter 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?