Rice is a favorite side dish the world over…but it’s not the easiest pantry item to cook. And the minute stuff, which actually takes longer than a minute, tastes pretty blah. Here are a few tips to make rice making easier (without sacrificing flavor)…

Brown rice in half the time: We love brown rice, but it can take almost an hour to cook.

To save time and still have great texture, cook your brown rice like pasta. Bring about one quart of water in a medium-size pot to boil. Add a heaping half cup of brown rice and about one-half teaspoon of salt…and that’s pretty much it. Taste your rice after about 15 minutes or so to see if it’s done. Our brown rice usually takes about 25 minutes…we like the rice cooked through with still a little chew. Drain your cooked rice through a colander or mesh strainer like pasta. Delicious!

Stop your rice from sticking: We also love plain old long-grain white rice…the most versatile side dish ever. But we hate it when cooked rice sticks to the pot bottom. Here’s what to do…

Before cooking rice, first rinse it using a fine-mesh strainer under cool running water. Top the rice into a pot, and bring it to a boil in your usual increment of water. After the rice is finished cooking, let it sit (covered) for at least five minutes (up to a half-hour). No stuck rice! Anything that rests is always more cooperative.

Thanks to FoodNetwork.com and TheKitchn.com for help with these tips.

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