More Accurate Way to Measure Rice Water

As I learnt from my parents and later from books. The amount of water should be in proportion with volume of rice. For example, one cup water should go with one cup rice before putting it over the flaming stove.
Note: Some need less while others need more. A bit adjustment maybe necessary with every rice batch purchased.
Specifically, this is how my parents thought me how to cook rice. Get rice using the improvised measuring container. Usually an empty medium can of evaporated milk or other thin can of comparable size.
Wash several times with generous water until the last washing is clear and no visible floating dirt.
Then here is how to add the right water volume.
Discard the last washing. Make the washed rice as flat as possible. Measure the depth with straightened palm. Finally, add water equivalent to that depth.
This method is fine for expert cook but too crude for newbie. It is a hit or miss technique that often misses. Before, mine would end up too wet, too dry, raw and rarely nicely done. I often chose the frying jobs to avoid mother’s anger.
The rice flatness when adding water is disturbed. The water measurement will be wrong when the palm is placed in shallow or deeper area.
The cauldron wall is not straight from bottom to rim. Obviously, equal thickness of rice and water above does not mean they are of equal volume.
Here are some tips that I like to share.
If you feel the rice at hand is clean enough. Measuring equal volume rice and water will do the trick.
If washing is necessary. Do the method mentioned above. Stir well. Drain water to separate container. Measure it. Get equivalent amount to be added back. Repeat until satisfied. This way, we have avoided the measurement guess work.  We have measured the right volumes and just replacing the loss water with every washing.
Use electric rice cooker whenever possible. I have never missed once with it. It is fast and energy saving. Contrary to what you have in mind. Yes, it gonna raise electric bill a bit but will save on gas and firewood. In addition, as soon as cooking is started, you can leave it and do other important tasks. Even watching TV and falling asleep is allowable.
If using firewood or LPG. Bear in mind that it should go into running boil as quickly as possible. Set the flame to high at the beginning and lowering gradually toward the end. Easier to do with lpg stove and a lot harder with wood fire. it is kind of erratic. Flame is hard to start. It will become to strong and suddenly to weak and extinguished.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Rice in a Box | Part 2

I can’t remember when was the last time I ate in this food kiosk. Several years ago? Not sure! I got too busy building up my chocolate business lately that my world almost rotates around it. I am visiting the place occossionaly but frequently with my family. You know what I meant. The place is not suited for a family get together.

rice in a box with drink

When I am alone and want affordable quick fix, this place is one of my favorite choice. Light meal that is also light on budget. Average seventy pesos mixed fried rice with drink.

This was a late post and I can’t remember what my order was. What I was sure of, it was mixed fried rice with drink worth 71 pesos.

rice in a box

Doesn’t show exactly what was illustrated on menu. I was hungry when I was looking on board but felt otherwise when it was served. It might be affordable but not an excuse not to make it more pleasant.

My tummy was satified after the meal but my taste buds wanted something lesser. We are using minimal amount of salt at home and I am accustomed to bland foods. I found the mixed fried rice a bit salty.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

And Now, The Fake Pansit!

People seems wary of frequent fake scandals. There are just too many to mention. The latest is the allegedly fake rice immediately by fake pansit. The rice incident as of now is an isolated case, only one in Davao was confirmed. The latter is not proven yet. However, it is scary to know fake foods is growing at an alarming rate. The worst, it is happening to our staple food.

It makes me furious. These people are brilliant and yet they are using their talent to harm others. Why they can’t focus themselves on creating good things, like nutritious snacks.

Health authorities reminded people to be always cautious about the pansit (and other foods) they purchase and eat. Report if the quality is too good to be true and the prepared meal takes too long too spoil.

Now that there are too many fakes roaming around the marketplace, we should be thankful if our buys are not top of the lines. Be happy if:

1) There is one or two holes in fruit and vegetable. Showing sign of wilt and some part is already bad.

2) The rice is not of uniform sizes, dirty white colored and get spoiled after awhile.

If we go back to past a little, forging corn into rice grains is possible, the yellow corn rice. Then making the allegedly fake rice is not far from reality.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

How To Identify Fake versus Real Rice

There were reports saying fake rice have already reached Novaliches Quezon City. According to residents, the alleged fake grains have no powdery thing and the cooked was still in good condition after four days. They have to be suspicious. Rice has powdery coating that makes the water cloudy and it spoils fast. A few hours if not properly stored.

According to National Food Authority (NFA), naturally produce rice has groove on side of the tip. It won’t be present if the rice is extruded. The supposed fake was found real rice.

A case in Davao was found positive. The commodity was contaminated with dibutyl phthalate, a plasticiser. They added, it is possible, the plasticiser is mixed with starch and extruded.

The alleged fake rice crumbles when pinched while the real sticks to fingers.

Other obvious signs of fake are:
– whiter than usual – real are commonly dirty white with uneven shade.
– shiny – rice never shines but plastics do.
– uniform sizes – I think it is the most obvious mark. Natures product are made with uneven sizes and shapes.
– round – though there are round rice varieties
– plastic odor
– a layer of plastic formed on top when cooked. In case it slipped thru your sharp senses.

Authorities are not sure if the allegedly fake rice was imported or locally manufactured. However, most of us already accused someone!

Don’t be afraid. It is harmful only if you eat it everyday for three months. I am sure we are not dumb not to notice for the very first accidental try.


update as of Dec 22, 2016

A friend of ours, living in Dasmarinas Cavite, told us about his fake rice experience. What they bought was not completely fake. It was adulterated with fake styrofoam-like rice. The fake grains floated after  watering while the real sank.

The rice seller was clever enough to price it higher than regular offering so no one would suspect.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Worm in Rice Bin

worm i got from rice binI am thinking where it came from. Considering its size and structure. It is not something that could easily bore through rice grains. If it could open its mouth wide enough, it can swallow a single grain whole. It is too big to be a weevil larvae. Based from what I know, larvae like this, loves fleshy fruit and not hard grains.

Perhaps it came from nearby fruits. The seller might also selling ripening fruits. Or, it was accidentally introduced. My wife is fond of placing fruits on top of rice to hasten ripening.

What I did with the rice? It is not like I am going to be in health trouble due to occurrence of one worm. My favorite quote” if the worm survives the rice, the more will I”. I merely removed the worm and continue cooking….

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.