The following recipe yields perfect results every time: fluffy rice that's dry and a little chewy -- just like in Chinese restaurants.
1 cup long-grain rice, unwashed if young
11/2 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Place the rice in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the water and salt. Place the pan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, but continue to boil until the water is just about evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Bring heat down as low as you can. Cover pan, and cook rice until tender, about 15 minutes. Place a clean tea towel (or dish cloth) on top of rice, cover again, remove pan from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.
Note: If you don't use a heat-tamer, you may get a crusty layer of rice on the bottom of the pan. This is prized in many cultures - it even gets its own name, depending on what country you're in. In Thailand, they let the crusty rice dry in the sun, cut it into circles, deep-fry the circles, and use them as a pick-up for dips. So do not scrape the crusty layer at the bottom of the saucepan into your fluffy rice. Instead, dry it for a few minutes, in the saucepan, in a 300° oven. Then, scrape it out, break it up, and deep-fry the clumps for a great snack.
The following recipe yields perfect results every time: fluffy rice that's dry and a little chewy-just like in Chinese restaurants. It's very important that during the second step of the recipe you get the heat as low as possible; you might want to use a heat-tamer on your burner (a metal pad that lowers the amount of heat under the pot). Makes about 3 cups.