How to Parboil Rice: make parboiled (Precooked) rice recipes

Precooked rice

Parboiling of rice is simply precooking rice that can be used to make different rice recipes. The process involves boiling rice in hot water for 5 minutes to 10 minutes depending on the type to soften it and then rinsing it in cold water to get rid of the starchy content. The same process of parboiling rice works for both white rice and brown rice. Usually, the rice we buy from the market often comes with so much starch in it, there is a need to parboil the rice to remove excess starch from it before we use it t in our actual cooking.

Difference between Parboiled rice and white rice

When rice is harvested from the farm with the husk, it needs to be peeled before being eaten. The process of peeling the husk varies and determines whether rice will be called white or parboiled. When the rice is precooked before peeling, it is called Parboiled rice but when the rice is directly peeled, it is called White rice. Hence, white rice and parboiled rice are not the same.

This partially boiled rice is done commercially with raw rice.  The process enables the nutrients from the bran layers (outside of the rice) to move into the endosperm (inside of the rice).

Things to take note of before Parboiling Rice

When parboiling rice for making Nigerian jollof rice, it is wise to cook the rice for just a short period of time in order to prevent it from becoming soggy, because many seasonings and water are usually afterward to make the jollof rice. It is also good for the parboiled rice to be washed before cooking to get rid of any dirt during storage, transportation, and so on.

If the rice gets too soft before the main cooking time,  it will turn out soggy and probably burn during the cooking process. However, the best thing to do is to precook it halfway and when all the ingredients have been added, the rice will cook before the water dries off.  however, if you want to remove more starch from the rice, you can cook it longer until you achieve what you want.

Even though there are varieties of rice such as the basmati, brown rice, and long-grain white rice, I personally prefer the long-grain white rice, which is just perfect for any kind of rice recipe.  Apart from parboiling your rice on the stovetop, you can still do this using a slow cooker or rice cooker, but the cooking time will definitely vary.

Some Facts about Cooking and Parboiling rice

  • Eating parboiled rice is healthy compared to white rice which has more starch content, you can also use it to make chicken fried rice.
  • Parboiling rice is good for diabetics because it reduces the starch content in the rice.
  • For those who want to lose weight, parboiling rice is not the best option but even while losing weight, every meal needs a small amount of carbohydrate added to it to provide the needed energy
  • When not properly stored, parboiled rice can go bad, therefore proper storage such as freezing the cooked rice in the freezer when parboiled
  • Parboiled rice be used to make rice water and given to children to prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea. Some people use it for hair growth treatment
  • It cooks faster compared to white rice
  • Before the rice is parboiled, it is white and when

When do you parboil rice?

The reason why we parboil rice is to remove excess starch from it. I parboil rice to get rid of the carbon taste that is associated with uncooked or undone rice.

When you parboil rice first, it helps make the rice firm and also prevents it from burning or turning soggy before it is finally cooked. This is very useful especially when other ingredients have been incorporated into the rice to cook.

Additionally, parboiling rice makes it easy for the rich spices and ingredients we used in cooking the rice to be absorbed.

Serving options for parboiled rice

Parboiling rice is straightforward to make; all you need is your uncooked rice; the same method applies to brown rice or any other type of rice. However, the parboiled rice can be prepared into white rice and then paired with stew or gravy sauce. Mostly in Nigeria, we used parboiled rice to serve with different recipes such as tomato stew, to make jollof rice, chicken fried rice, coconut rice. and even to make rice and beans mixture. There are so many things to do with parboiled rice apart from the few options I listed.

Steps on How to Parboil Rice

  1. Place a pot of water on a stove-top and bring to a boil, the water should double the size of the rice you want to cook.
  2. Once the water has boiled, measure the amount of rice you want to parboil into the water, and use a turner to stir so that no grain sticks together.
  3. Cook the rice for at least 5 minutes, when you notice the starchy water coming out of the rice, you can stop cooking the rice.  To know if the rice has cooked, you can bite into the grain, and if it makes a hard sound, it is not yet ready just keep cooking. Also, you can pinch a grain of rice against your fingertips if the rice is firm and rubbery the rice is ready.
  4. Bring the rice off the heat and run some cold water over it to discontinue the cooking process.
  5. Pour the rice out into a colander or sieve to drain out the starchy water, add cold water, and rinse again. Repeat the process until the liquid turns out clear.
  6.  The parboiled rice is ready for use, leave it in the sieve to drain on the countertop. you can use the parboiled rice in any of your favorite rice recipes.