Great Camping Food - Rice
With the ability to cook quickly and accompany any other style of food rice is a great inclusion to any camping pantry.
A true space saver, rice is rare in that it actually expands with cooking rather than shrinks. Served cold in a salad, stir-fried with vegetables or used as a filler with stews and casseroles, versatility is this nutritious foods greatest asset.
Western cultures tend to boil rice in vast quantities of water requiring large pots and draining but by adopting the methods of South Asian cooking, cooking rice can be simplified and produce a better result.
In countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka rice is simmered in a similar quantity of liquid until it has been absorbed. Water can be substituted with stock or bullion to increase flavour and root vegetables like onions and garlic added for taste and variety.
Packaged rice has a thin layer of starch over it. Starch is essentially what we use to thicken stews and sauces in the form of cornflour etc. Rinsing the rice in several changes of water and then allowing it to dry before cooking helps separate the individual grains. If time or abundant water are scarce then this step can be eliminated.
- /Rice should be cooked in water at a ratio of 1 to 1.25 for example - for each cup of rice use 1¼ cups of liquid.
- Stir rice with a metal spoon. Wooden and plastic spoons with rounded edges crush the grains as the rice cooks.
- Heat pan on medium and lightly oil with butter, olive oil or vegetable oil about a teaspoon per cup of rice.
- Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until each grain becomes coated with oil and the rice begins to lose its transparency.
- Add water, a pinch of salt and bring to an immediate boil stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat until barely simmering. Very low heat is all that is required at this stage as the rice takes up the liquid.
- Cook for 10 minutes and stir frequently and gently while cooking.
- Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let rice stand for 5 minutes.
- Fluff up rice with a fork and serve.
Things to do with rice.
- -Mix with seasonings and stuff vegetables like capsicum, zucchini or eggplant. Wrap in alfoil and cook in the coals.
- -Mix cooked rice with beans, corn kernels, chopped celery and carrot etc. for a complete salad.
- -Add to any soup 20 minutes prior to serving.
- -Mix cooked rice with a beaten egg and a handful of mince to make a quick hamburger or rissole.
- -Sauté some onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick and cook in chicken stock.
- -Make simple sushi with lettuce leaves.
- -Fry onion, egg, and whatever you like. Toss in leftover rice with a splash of soy sauce for quick fried rice.
- -Simmer with milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and lemon rind and make rice pudding
- -Mix cooked rice with beaten egg, cheese and some flour and fry rice cakes until golden brown.
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