Game Changer: Baked Rice

Game changer. Life changing. Food hack. Thing that makes life a bit easier. These all describe my feelings about learning that I could bake Rice. It can even be baked ahead in bulk and frozen or refrigerated for later use! That is a tremendous help for times that you want real food but don’t have the time or energy to make it yourself. After reading through various recipes for baked rice and experimenting a bit, I think that one cup of dry rice to one and three forth cups of boiling water is the formula that works best. The rice is not soggy (a pet peeve…) or too dry. If you have sprayed or oiled the baking dish, it doesn’t stick–unless maybe you let it go too long and burn it.

What really helps to speed things up is boiling the water in a hot pot while the oven preheats. In fact, you may want to give the oven a head start, because boiling water in a hot pot or electric kettle is WAY faster than waiting for water to boil on your stove top.

If you are making something in the oven to go with your rice that can cook at 375 F, you can prep it while the water boils. If it requires a longer cooking time than the rice, you could preheat the oven and pop it in before you boil the water. I typically will throw something together while the water boils. If it isn’t ready to go in when the water boils ( the rice mixture needs to be covered and placed into the oven when it is boiling,) I just put it in when I can and let it cook longer after I remove the rice to rest and be fluffed.

Long grain rice

Please be aware that the ratios of liquid (water, broth, or possibly a juice) to dry rice are different for each type. The ratio below is for long grain white rice.

Baked long grain rice

I’ve used this rice with an Asian stir fry and Latin American stir fry–both baked. I plan to experiement with adding salsa, achiote (a National seed,) or saffron to the rice as it bakes. I also suspect some soups might work for the liquid.

Baked veggie “stir fry” with mushrooms, peppers, onions, carrots, garlic, freshly grated ginger, black pepper, red chili flakes, and soy sauce.

Baked Fajita mix with chicken, mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, sazón, lime, chipotle powder, and a tiny bit of brown sugar.

RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 cup long grain white rice

1 ¾ cups boiling water (or other suitable liquid, such as stock or broth)

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt (or herbal substitute if you prefer)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. If you are boiling your water in a hot pot, start it after you start preheating.

2. Pour all ingredients into a baking dish (approximately 2 quart) and stir.

3. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil (or a dish lid if it has one) and bake until the water is absorbed,-approximately 25 minutes.

4. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to rest 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork and serve. Enjoy!

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