Tips on How to Store Rice (Before and After Cooking)

Today, we will be diving into how to properly store rice so that it can stay as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. There are several ways to do this, for both uncooked and cooked rice, to keep your rice moist, delicious, and safe to eat for later consumption. Plus, with proper rice storage, you can even save precious money and time by being able to reheat your rice whenever you need it!

How to Store Uncooked Rice

Did you know that rice can deteriorate, even when uncooked? When rice comes into contact with moisture (its worst enemy), heat, dust, or any other contaminants, it will, in fact, go bad. Moisture can also introduce bacteria, which of course, can cause serious issues. So, how do you make sure that your uncooked rice stays as fresh as possible?

  • Buy your rice in small quantities. The less rice you have on hand, the less likely it will be for you to have extra uncooked rice on hand.
  • If you do have extra rice on hand, no need to worry! Choose an airtight container that is made from plastic, glass, or metal. You can even use plastic bags – just make sure to press the air out of the bag before sealing.
  • Extend the life of your raw rice by refrigerating or freezing it. Hot temperatures can damage your rice grains, and high levels of humidity can introduce moisture. Even if you store your rice in a cool and dark place, high temps in the summer can unknowingly damage your rice. So, when in doubt, refrigerate!

Pro tip: The shelf life of raw rice differs for brown rice. White rice tends to have a longer shelf life, up to 2 years, while brown rice still contains oils that deduct the shelf life to about 6-12 months. One way to know that your brown rice has gone bad is by checking for an unpleasant, almost rancid, smell.

How to Store Cooked RiceSome of you might believe that you can “store” your cooked rice in your rice cooker, as long as it is in “keep warm” mode. This is both true and untrue. We do not recommend that you store your rice in your rice cooker for longer than 12 hours, or 24 hours if your Zojirushi rice cooker has the “Extended Keep Warm” feature. We’ve heard of some people storing rice in their rice cooker for days at a time. Don’t do that! Not only will the flavor of the rice become less pleasant, but moisture will eventually evaporate, leaving you with dry, hard rice. We want you to always be able to enjoy delicious rice, and recommend the following:

  • Refrigerate or freeze your leftover rice. Yes, the same trick for storing dry rice applies to cooked rice too! Put your cooked rice in a storage container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The USDA recommends cooling rice to 70°F within two hours, then from 70°F to 40°F within the next four hours, and to store rice at 41°F or below.
  • Use frozen rice within 6 months. Refrigerated rice should be enjoyed within 5 days. You can use your microwave to reheat rice and dress up your leftover rice in a fried rice dish or salad. Just remember, if you plan to reheat rice, choose a microwave-safe rice storage container to store it in.

Pro tip: Add a tiny bit of water to your leftover rice to reintroduce some moisture and to prevent your rice from drying out when reheating.

Delicious Leftover Rice Recipes

Some recipes are in fact tastier when you use leftover rice, partly because leftover rice tends to be a little drier, and easier to toss in a pan with other ingredients. In fact, did you know that fried rice dishes are often made with leftover rice? Here are some rice dish recipes you can make the next time you find yourself with some leftover rice on hand:

Did you learn anything new about how to store rice today? How do you plan on using your leftover rice? Make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

How Is Rice Grown? A Complete Guide

The first step in how to grow rice is to prep the rice fields or rice paddy. Rice is planted anywhere between February and May, as it requires constant irrigation all season long. Unlike other crops, rice grows in heavy clay and silt loam soils because they can retain water. It’s widely grown throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and the southern United States.

To prepare the field, farmers will level the ground with GPS or laser-guided grading equipment, which helps the farmers conserve water. Then, fertilizer is added, and a few weeks later, the field will be ready for planting.

Planting

While the fields are irrigated with consistent levels of water, rice seeds will be soaked and planted into the fields. Sometimes, planes that are flying at up to 100 miles per hour will shoot out seeds into the fields, and other times, they will be planted by a grain drill.

Growing

Rice plants will quickly grow up to three feet within a few months of being planted. Farmers will continue to flood their fields to maintain water retention, and also punch holes into the fields for even and efficient watering. The key here is to conserve water while maintaining constant levels of irrigation to keep the rice plants fed and thriving. After a few months, you will be able to see the rice plants show grains on top of the plant, which means that they are maturing and will be ready for harvest.

Harvest, Milling, and Storage

Once the rice is mature, the water from the field is drained and the plants get harvested. The plants are then moved to drying facilities to reduce moisture content, so they are ready to be stored and milled.

Once dried, the hull is removed, which results in brown rice. Then, further removing of the bran layers, or “polishing,” leaves the inner grain, which is white rice. White rice is often enriched with vitamins to replace some of the nutrients lost during milling.

The Best Way to Prep Rice: Rice Cookers

Using a rice cooker is the best way to cook your rice. It’s easy, and most importantly, it will always be cooked perfectly every single time. At Zojirushi, we have dedicated ourselves to the art of perfect rice for many decades, and test thousands of pounds of rice every year! Learn more about our rice cookers by viewing our selection.

Isn’t it an amazing journey that rice takes to make it all the way to our tables? We are thinking we should cook a batch and enjoy it with greater appreciation. Don’t forget to share how you like to enjoy rice by using #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! We would love to see all your tasty rice dishes.

A Guide to Different Types of Rice

You might be familiar with white and brown rice, and perhaps even a few others, but did you know there are thousands of types of rice found around all corners of the world? From basmati, wild, long-grain, and short-grain rice, there are countless families of rice that you can explore to broaden your culinary horizons. Today, we’ll be looking at the main families of rice that you should know about, as well as the types of rice you can cook in our Zojirushi rice cookers. So, are you ready to become a rice expert? Then, let’s get to it!

Rice Types
Though rice comes in many unique shapes, colors, and flavors, there are two main families of rice that you should familiarize yourself with: Indica and Japonica. Indica is long-grained and aromatic rice that grows near the equator, so you’ll see them in countries like India, Indonesia, Southern China, and Africa. Japonica rice is short to medium-grained, which, unlike Indica, has little to no aromas. They also tend to stick together, whereas Indica grains will remain separated. You can find this type of rice in East Asia, like Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam. Fun fact: Indica is more widely consumed than Japonica!

Here are some of the most popular rice varieties that we recommend you try if you haven’t already:

  1. Arborio Rice: This short to medium-grain rice from Italy has a high starch content and becomes firm yet creamy when cooked. They are often used for risottos and can be easily identified by their short and round grains.
  2. Basmati Rice: this rice is known for its pandan leaf-like aromatics and soft and fluffy texture.
  3. Black Rice: Commonly referred to as “forbidden rice,” this purple to black-hued rice boasts a wide range of health benefits and antioxidants. It has a mild nutty flavor and is harder to grow than other rice varieties.
  4. GABA rice: The brown rice version of sushi rice is “GABA,” which means that the rice has been germinated to increase its nutritional value. Look for this labeling on your rice if you are looking for this particular type of rice. Or if your Zojirushi rice cooker has the GABA brown rice setting you can use that instead of buying it!
  5. Jasmine Rice:this rice is widely consumed in Thailand and is beautifully aromatic. It is slightly shorter and plumper than Basmati.
  6. Sticky/Glutinous Rice: Also known as “sticky rice,” sweet rice has a sweeter flavor because of its higher starch content. As the name suggests, it also becomes very sticky when cooked. You cannot cook sweet rice like regular white rice and must use less water and controlled temperatures to get it to its ideal texture.
  7. Sushi rice: polished short to medium-grain Japanese rice that is highly desired for its stickiness and fluffiness. It is almost always consumed as a white rice variety.
  8. Wild Rice: Wild rice is long-grain rice native to North America and is almost always brown or black in color. It is high in nutritional value and has a distinctly earthy and smoky flavor when cooked.

How to Cook Rice in Your Zojirushi Rice Cooker

If you read this month’s Product of the Month blog, you’ll see that the Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NS-TSC10A/18A can cook up to five different rice categories (white/sushi, mixed, quick, long grain white, and brown). Now that you understand the difference between Indica and Japonica rice, can you guess why these different types of rice cooking settings matter? Here are some Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NS-TSC10A/18A settings, explained:

  • Mixed – though this setting doesn’t specify a type of rice, it is useful for cooking Takikomi-Gohan, a popular menu item in Japan. These “mixed rice” one-pot meals are made by adding seasonal ingredients and rice into the rice cooker and pressing start.
  • Long grain white – this rice setting will make sure that your long grain white rice is always loose and fluffy. You can also add a few seasonings to level it up like this “Buttered Lobster Rice” recipe.
  • Brown rice – we tested tons and tons of brown rice to carefully fine tune the cooking flow for this setting to ensure that the brown rice is always perfectly cooked. Here are some great and easy recipes that you’ll want to try with your brown rice.

To learn more about how to cook different types of rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker, take a look at our “Know Your Rice” guide. You can also find tips and tricks to cook perfect rice by visiting our “About Rice” page.
Do you learn anything about rice varieties today? Is there a new type of rice you’re looking forward to trying? Let us know on social media by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Everything You Need to Know about Rice Flour

Rice is by far one of the most versatile foods on the planet, feeding over half of the world every day. But did you know that when it’s ground into a fine powder, rice is a gluten-free, silky smooth, and nutrient-rich flour alternative for home bakers? It’s easy to make, easy to use, and easy to incorporate into your favorite Zojirushi breadmaker recipes. Let us show you why.

What is Rice Flour?

Simply put, rice flour is a fine flour made by grinding rice grains of all types. You can buy pre-ground rice flour at the store but grinding rice flour at home gives you more room to experiment with different rice varieties and to find the taste and texture you love most.

Different types of rice flour include:

  • Glutinous rice flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Black rice flour
  • White rice flour
  • Wet-milled rice flour: You can also differentiate your rice flour by determining how it was milled. Rice flour can be made from dry rice grains, or alternatively, wet rice grains that were soaked in water prior to milling. Wet-milled rice is a traditional Korean milling technique and a more expensive process for making rice flour which is almost always stored frozen. Some people prefer wet-milled rice flour for making moist foods, like Korean tteok or Korean rice cakes.

You can easily make rice flour at home in a grain mill, blender, coffee grinder, or even food processor. If you plan on making your own rice flour, make sure to start with small amounts so that the rice can blend into a finer powder consistency. Adding too much rice at once can result in large chunks or an uneven consistency. The finer your rice flour, the better it will be for baking.

Brown rice vs. white rice: Different types of rice will result in different flavors, which adds to the beauty of baking with rice flours. White rice tends to be the most neutral tasting, but brown rice flour will have a more earthy taste. Brown rice also has a higher source of fiber, so it can be easier to digest.

After you’ve made your homemade rice flour, make sure to label and date it and store in in the fridge or freezer for up to a year.

What are the benefits of Rice Flour?

You might be wondering, is rice flour healthy? The short answer is yes! Rice flour made from white or brown rice is naturally gluten-free and a great alternative for anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. It’s also low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, and because it is enriched with vitamins and minerals, it gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. Because rice has high amounts of fiber, it’s easy on the stomach as well. Lastly, rice is also affordable and has a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about your rice flour going bad anytime soon.

Our Favorite Zojirushi Rice Flour Recipes

Now that you’ve learned all you need to know about rice flour, are you ready to start baking? Here are some of our top rice flour recipe recommendations that you can make in your Zojirushi breadmaker for a sweet or savory snack the whole family will enjoy.

You can make any of these below recipes using the “gluten free course” on your Zojirushi Breadmaker or using the Home Made feature on the Home Bakery Supreme® Breadmaker BB-CEC20. For our friends with the Home Bakery Mini BB-HAC10, find gluten free recipes in the instruction manual or try the Butter Mochi recipe below.

Gluten Free Brown Rice Bread: In this recipe, we mix brown rice flour with eggs to add flavor, protein, and moisture to the bread. Potato starch and xanthan gum are used to replace the gluten. Perfect for sandwiches, toast, or your favorite jams and butters.

 

Butter Mochi: A savory dessert that uses sweet rice flour for a soft and chewy cake. You may see these around Hawaii, where it’s a local gluten-free favorite.

 

Gluten & Guilt Free Donuts: Fluffy and delicious, you won’t notice the difference with regular donuts. These sweet treats are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and sharing with friends and family.

 

 

For more rice flour or gluten-free bread recipes, visit our breadmaker recipe page on our website.

Do you have any special rice flour recipes or tips to share with us? Let us know on social media by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Tips to Cook Rice Perfectly

At Zojirushi, we test enormous amounts of rice every year to perfect our rice cooking technology. Cooking rice is a true art, and even a couple of minutes over or under can make a huge difference in your rice’s taste and quality. Today, we’ll be diving into the fundamentals of how to cook rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Let’s dive in!

The Basics

Simply put, rice is prepared by boiling or steaming the rice grains in water over an extended period of time. Think of a rice cooker as essentially a precise rice steamer that helps your rice absorb water evenly throughout. Here are a few steps to keep in mind every time you cook your rice:

  1. First, choose what kind of rice you will be cooking. This will help you select the best cooking setting and the water to rice ratio, so your rice is not undercooked or overcooked. Long-grain rice tends to remain separate after cooking, while short and medium-grain rice will tend to stick together more.
  2. Make use of your Zojirushi rice measuring cup. When we are in a hurry, it might seem easier to just eyeball your rice instead of using the rice measuring cup, but this will always make for poorly cooked rice. Measuring the rice is crucial when cooking rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Always use the rice measuring cup included since it’s designed to work in conjunction with the water measuring lines in the cooking pan to produce delicious rice. Fill the rice measuring cup to overflow and then level it off.

    Zojirushi’s “How to Rinse Rice” Video

  3. Wash your rice to remove excess starch, which prevents your rice from becoming gummy. Sometimes, open bags of rice can even be exposed to dust as well, so it’s important to take this step to prepare a clean dish. Because dry rice will start to absorb moisture the moment it comes in contact with water, it’s essential to work quickly when washing so it doesn’t absorb too much starchy water. We recommend washing your rice by rinsing it 3 to 4 times while making 30 circular motions in your pot. Or watch our rice rinsing tutorial!
  4. Use the right amount of water. Rice comes in all shapes and sizes that require different amounts of water when cooking. Here at Zojirushi, we want to make sure that every batch of rice is cooked to perfection. The cooking pans come with water measuring lines corresponding to each of the settings included in the rice cookers. We recommend always following the water measuring lines for perfectly cooked rice. If you are cooking other grains like wild rice, check out our “Know your Rice” page that has all the information you need to cook other grains in your Zojirushi rice cooker.

With Zojirushi rice cookers, cooking rice is as easy as pressing a button. Our Micom rice cookers are preprogrammed to soak the rice, cook, and steam it so you can enjoy the tastiest rice every single time.

For our friends who use Zojirushi’s conventional rice cookers, don’t fret. You can also have perfectly cooked rice; just follow these two important steps.

  1. Soak your rice. For the best tasting rice, always soak the rice before cooking. By allowing the rice to absorb some of the water before cooking, the texture of the rice will be improved, and you will enjoy more flavorful rice. Before switching the rice cooker to cook, soak white rice for 15 to 30 minutes and brown rice for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Let it steam. Our journey to perfectly cooked rice is not quite over once the switch goes to keep warm. Let the rice steam for about 10 minutes before opening the lid allowing the rice to finish cooking. Once the 10 minutes have elapsed, fluff the rice and enjoy!

Helpful Tips:

• Once your rice is cooked, always fluff your rice to allow excess steam to escape, preventing excess accumulation of moisture inside.
• Get the best out of the automatic keep warm feature in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Don’t keep rice over the recommended time (12 hours on most Micom rice cookers). This will ensure that you always enjoy fresh and tasty rice.
• Refrigerated rice is excellent for making fried rice! Here are some of our fried rice recipes for some inspiration.

Did you learn anything new about how to cook rice today? Let us know on social media by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan