Rice Washing ?

I always hear this joke since childhood.

Some said, Filipinos are very clean. They wash their pandesal bread in hot coffee. But eventually they also drink the coffee even if it suppose to be dirty.

This situation also happens with rice. We always wash rice to remove the dirt before we cook it. But we save the rice washing to use it for our favorite chicken tinola recipe.
Why do we need to wash rice? We wash rice for two main reasons:
1. In order to remove dirt and foreign objects. We are also afraid that it might be contaminated with dangerous chemicals like pesticides. Rice sack is readily permeable with water and dusts.
2. We remove the powdered starch clinging to rice grain. This makes cooked rice clumpy.
In case of of iron fortified rice or the American enriched rice, washing should be avoided. If you really insist on doing so, use the washing for chicken tinola. I hope you know the reason why!
As a general rule, wash rice several times until the cloudiness disappears.

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.

2 Replies to “Rice Washing ?”

  1. “As a general rule, wash rice several times until the cloudiness disappears”
    I think above is not a general rule. From what i have learned from my mother, school teacher (health & Home economics subjects) and nutritionist, rice should be washed only once not to wash away vitamins and mineral contents of rice. Unless the rice is dirty, appearing dark caused by low quality and have foul smell.

    1. Yes! washing too much removed nutrients. I too normally wash my rice once or not if I see it pretty clean. The repetitive washing until the cloudiness disappear is meant to remove the white dust (result of polishing) from grains. It reduces cooked rice stickiness making it loose (buhaghag). It is preferred by by restaurant customers.

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