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Martha Stewart told us how to make the perfect rice in just minutes

INSIDER logoINSIDER 3/25/2020 Anneta Konstantinides
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  • Martha Stewart told Insider her secret for making perfect rice, and said it only takes "minutes."
  • Stewart always tries to find organic rice, and cooks it with "just onions, shallots, and water."
  • After washing her rice to remove the excess starch, Stewart sautés it in the onion mixture until it becomes opaque.
  • Stewart recommends sticking to the standard ratio of 2 cups water to 1 cup of rice. And always fluff the rice with a fork when it's done.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When it comes to pantry staples, a big bag of rice is likely in everyone's cupboard.

And while rice may seem foolproof to make, one wrong tool or missed step can turn it from a fluffy delight to a mushy disaster.

So when Insider sat down with Martha Stewart at the NYC launch of the Beyond Breakfast Sausage - which she is promoting in partnership with Beyond Meat - earlier this month, we asked the lifestyle expert for her secret to making perfect rice.

Martha Stewart preparing food in a kitchen © Cindy Ord/Getty Images Martha Stewart will be the first to say that she cooks 'really good' rice dishes. She told Insider that she always tries to find organic rice, and cooks it with 'just onions, shallots, and water.'

Her first big tip? "Don't crowd the pot."

"I sauté my onions and shallots in olive oil," she said. "And you could add a clove of garlic if you like - I don't like garlic so much."

a bowl of rice on a plate © Amarita/Shutterstock

After washing her rice to remove the excess starch, Stewart said she sautés it in the onion mixture until it becomes "opaque."

While that's happening, Stewart is also boiling water to add to everything.

"It's two parts water to one part rice, that's the ratio," she said.

a woman standing in a kitchen © Martha Stewart/YouTube

Stewart adds half of the boiling water to the rice first, making sure to stir it in.

"Let it cook down," she said. "Then you add the rest of the water, cover the pot, and put it on a pretty high heat until it's done. It's a few minutes, and it's delicious rice."

Want to use the same recipe for brown rice? Not so fast. a bowl of food sitting on top of a wooden table © Donot6_Studio/Shutterstock

As Stewart notes on her lifestyle website, brown rice is different from white rice in more than just taste.

"Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the nutritious bran and germ covering of the rice grain," she writes. "This gives it a chewy texture, a nutty aroma, and plenty of essential nutrients."

Stewart notes that even if the package recommends using 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice, the standard ratio will actually result in mushy brown rice. 

"For long-grain brown rice, use 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice," she writes. "For short-grain, use 1 1/2 cups of water." 

RELATED: 15 surprising things you never knew about Martha Stewart

Stewart also advises going against recipes that call for brown rice to be cooked for 50 minutes.

"We think 30 minutes is plenty," she adds.

Stewart recommends using a "wide, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid" to ensure "evenly cooked grains," and lets the cooked brown rice sit for 10 minutes while covered to "absorb maximum moisture."

Then just remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

a woman preparing food in a kitchen © Martha Stewart/YouTube

If you want to store any leftover cooked rice - no matter the type - Stewart says to refrigerate it in an airtight container "for up to five days."

"If you freeze it in an inch-thick layer in a large resealable plastic bag, you can easily break off individual portions as needed," she adds. "Whether frozen or refrigerated, reheat rice in the microwave - covered - until steaming for one to three minutes."

For those who want to add something a little different to their pantry, Stewart is also a huge fan of quinoa - as are her dogs

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart) on Jan 17, 2020 at 7:56am PST

"I eat a lot of quinoa, and I also feed my dogs a lot of quinoa," she told Insider.

Stewart revealed that she makes dog food from quinoa "every single month." She even credits the grain with keeping both her and her pups so healthy.

"I have four beautiful dogs who have not been to the vet, and I really attribute that to the kinds of food I'm feeding them," she said. "And if my dogs aren't going to the doctor, then I don't think I'm gonna go to the doctor either!" 

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