It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Why do your rice recipes use so much water?

I've been checking out your website and I'm a little confused about the rice recipes. They all seem to use twice as much liquid as rice usually needs and you don't seem to be following the "cook it in a lot of water and then drain the excess off" method either. Examples: Dirty Rice has 1/2 cup of brown rice and 2 1/2 cups of water and your Spanish Rice/Rice-A-Roni has 1 cup of brown rice and 4 1/2 cups of water.

Am I missing something?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Dr. Gourmet's Spanish Rice, Rice-A-Roni style - click for the recipe!

There are a lot of ways to cook rice. One method is to use more water and cook the rice to the desired degree of doneness and then drain the excess water. I prefer to use less water and simmer the rice slowly, letting the rice absorb the liquid (some evaporates away). The ratio for white rice is about 1 1/2 cups liquid for each 1/2 cup rice (two servings).

Most of the recipes on the Dr. Gourmet website call for brown rice and you will need more water for it. The ratio is about 2 1/2 cups of liquid for each 1/2 cup of rice (also two servings).

In the Spanish Rice ("Rice-A-Roni") dish there is some additional liquid in the canned tomatoes, so the recipe calls for a little less water (4 1/2 cups instead of 5 cups).

Thanks for writing.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet