Rice varies very much in quality and in the shape of the grain. Louisiana and Chinese rice are among those that have a firm and large grain keeping its shape well when cooked. Inferior varieties become too soft, and the finished product is pasty and poor in color and flavor. Much is said at present about the harmful effect of the polishing process upon the quality of the rice. An unpolished rice may sometimes be found on the market, brownish in color and with a good flavor.
The second stage need not be continued so long, from three quarters of an hour to an hour being sufficient. The flavor is improved by the use of milk in place of half of the water. By this method the nutritive value is much increased.
Another method used by the Chinese continues the boiling throughout the whole process. A very large amount of water is used, several quarts for one cup of rice, and when the water is boiling violently the rice is scattered in very slowly. The boiling continues from twenty minutes to half an hour, or until the grains are tender, and then the water is drained off, through a colander. The rice in the colander should then be placed where the remaining moisture will steam off. By this method nutrients are lost, but the grains of the rice stand out distinctly and are light and dry. It is a difficult method for the novice, because its success depends upon the removal of the rice from the water just at the moment it is tender, but not too soft. The grains should be tested in twenty minutes.