Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza glaberrima (African rice) or Oryza sativa (Asian rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia and Africa. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production (rice, 741.5 million tonnes in 2014), after sugarcane (1.9 billion tonnes) and maize (1.0 billion tonnes).
Oryza sativa with small wind-pollinated flowers
Since sizable portions of sugarcane and maize crops are used for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally.
- Saucepan with lid
- Wooden spoon
Boil water and add salt, Pour water (for every cup of rice, use 1¾ cups of water) into a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Mix 1 teaspoon salt into the water.
Pour in rice, add it to the boiling water.
Stir once, or just enough to separate the rice. Use a wooden spoon to separate any clumps. Don’t over-stir: That can cause the rice to become sticky.
Cover the pot and simmer, be sure the lid fits tightly on the pot. Turn down the heat to its lowest setting. Let rice simmer for about 18 minutes, then remove from heat and allow the rice to steam in the pot for another 5 minutes.