Soaking rice* can be quite an emotive topic. Does it really make a difference? Yes. The pictures below will show you the difference in appearance. Also, the cooking time is shortened if the rice has been soaked.
How long should you soak the rice? It really depends. If your company is sitting in your living room already and your children are convincing the world that you’ve never feed them in their lives, throw the rice into the water while you get out the pots and peel veggies. Even 10 minutes makes a difference. But if you have the luxury of planning in advance to cook the rice, let it soak. Some soak it overnight, but I like to soak it about 2-3 hours.
All this being said, if you don’t soak your rice, it will still taste delicious. It just might not look as beautiful and will take longer to cook.
What to do? Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Then, put the rice into a large container and add enough water to more than cover it. When you’re ready to cook it, drain the rice. Voila! Quick cooking, beautifully separated rice will appear in your pot in a matter of minutes.
* All rice referred to on this blog is basmati rice, unless otherwise specified.