We’ve answered 3 commonly Googled cooking questionsOctober 3, 2023
You’ve got burning cooking questions, and we’ve got the answers! Have you ever wondered how to get perfectly fluffy rice without a rice cooker? Or maybe you need a hand picking the right oil for your salad. Buckle in because you’re about to learn all that and more.
Cooking question #1: How do I make fluffy rice?
Nobody likes gluggy rice. Sadly, most home cooks wind up with just that, no matter what method they use. Most don’t realise that the most important part of making great rice happens before you even get your pan on the stove: the washing.
All you have to do is put your rice in a strainer and pop that in a salad or mixing bowl inside your sink. Run your tap until the bowl fills, then swirl the rice in the water with your hand. When the water turns a milky colour, you can lift the strainer up and tip the water out of the bowl and into your sink. Repeat this process at least two to three times, or until the water runs translucent.
The process of washing rice removes the starches that cling onto each grain. With less starch in your rice, you get a fluffier end result that isn’t sticky or clumpy, perfect for eating with your favourite Asian dishes.
Cooking question #2: What oil should I put on my salad?
These days, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to oil. There are flavoured oils, seed oils, nut oils, cheap oils, expensive oils and everything in-between. It can be overwhelming to navigate your way to the perfect salad oil.
Cooking oil vs seasoning oil
Cooking oils, like olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil, have higher smoke points and are therefore meant to be used in high-heat situations. They’re great for grilling steaks and searing veggies, but they won’t taste so good in your salad.
Instead, opt for a seasoning oil, like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or walnut oil. These oils are made to taste great without the heat from cooking. Good quality oils can have deeper flavour profiles, adding an extra layer of complexity to your salads.
So, which oil to pick?
Extra virgin olive oil is a solid choice because it’s easy to find within your budget and generally has a mild flavour profile that pairs well with most salads. If you want to try something a bit different, you could choose:
- Walnut oil: With its rich, nutty flavour and light texture, walnut oil can transform your salads into something truly special.
- Avocado oil: Unusually, avocado oil works great in high-heat applications, as well as on salads. It has a mild nutty taste, best for letting the flavours of your other salad ingredients shine through.
- Sesame oil: This oil has a rich, nutty, and uniquely earthy taste that generally pairs well with Asian flavours, like soy.
- Coconut oil: When used carefully in salads, coconut oil can add a whole new world of tropical flavour. With its distinctly coconutty flavour, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Cooking question #3: How do I keep herbs fresh?
Storing herbs in the fridge can be tricky business. It’s tempting to throw them into the fridge in their original packaging. But, herbs are very delicate and sensitive, so they’re likely to wilt and turn yellow after a few days. This is fine if you’re planning on cooking and eating them all immediately, but you need a better solution for longer periods of time.
Herb storage tips
- Wash and dry your herbs as soon as possible
- Store them in the fridge in an airtight container
- Put a piece of paper towel in the container to absorb excess moisture, and replace the towel once soaked through
- Place your herb-filled container in the crisper of your fridge as it has a higher humidity than the shelf area
Bonus tip: Label your containers with the herb name and date of storage. This will help you keep track of how long they’ve been in the fridge.
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