Tuesday, August 9, 2011

90 Seconds: Uncle Ben sets new record in rice!

“Perfect Every Time” ®… Yeah right! I think that is Uncle Ben's way of saying I’m doing something wrong.

I wouldn’t exactly call cooking rice rocket science but I have been coming up mushy every time. I just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, and although I’ve not shied away from trying I have been feeling somewhat less enthusiastic.

I’ve used more and less water. I’ve used more and less heat. I’ve cooked it for a longer and shorter time. Nope! Mushy every time.

In South Africa I’m a big fan of Tastic rice. “Perfect. Every time .“® Now that I can vouch for!

(Isn’t it interesting how they have the exact same slogan except for the full stop after ‘perfect’?)

I have a feeling that finally Uncle Ben might just have solved my dilemma! I’ve discovered Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice and thought I’d give it a try. So last night I cooked rice in a pouch in the microwave in 90 seconds flat! Vuala! No mushy. What a pleasure!

I tried the Long Grain and Wild flavour to start off with but it is also available in Basmati, Jasmine, Original long grain, Whole grain brown, Roasted chicken, Spanish, Garden vegetable, Rice pilaf, Chicken whole grain brown, Butter and garlic, Teriyaki, Creamy four cheese and Cajun. Sjoe! No lack of choice there if you ask me.

I was quite impressed, I have to say. I wouldn’t say it beat my attempts on taste (even though I thought the flavours were well balanced) but it certainly kicked my but with regard to texture. And of course I’ve never been able to cook rice in 90 seconds -anywhere in the world. Plus, it aligned perfectly with our attempts at keeping the house cool. (No, the heat has not let up yet, except for some rain the past few nights. Today however is the first day that we’ve not had such high humidity. Ah, joy!)

At under $2 is it easy to throw a few different packets in the trolley. After all, variety is the spice of life ;)

Some notes on the back of the packet that makes me excited:

No preservatives, No saturated fat, No trans fat, Cholesterol free, Vegetarian… I think I’m picking up a few more of these on my next visit to the grocer!

I don’t know if I would call it a downside, but each packet serves about two people only – reasonable portions, but not large. It might mean no second helpings. Then again, you could always make two packets.

The upside is that it is also perfectly proportioned for a single person. Heaven knows it can be hard to shop for one at some stores, especially the ones where they cater mostly for families. If the portions are too big I find the food spoil faster than you’re able to eat it. I do not look favorably on wasteful living. In this case an unused portion can be refrigerated. Cool! (any pun is definitely intended ;)

Well, we still have stew left from last night but we definitely need more rice! Off to the store I go ;)


  1. It sounds a winner, I had misgivings before I read your notes off the back of the packet, but it really seems to be just the thing!

  2. Oh, so did I, Cindy - especially after the hydrogenated insight from the flapjacks/pancakes. I was rather pleased that it reads "natural ingredients" and from what I read it does look like it's true. I'll try a few more flavors.

  3. Lee, perhaps I am a little spoiled......(but I doubt it)....anyway, I've been using a rice cooker for YEARS.....and it cooks my rice PERFECT every TIME!. It only cost me about $25 bucks.....it's a black & decker....but I have NEVER had an issue with my rice being cooked improperly. Keep in mind....there are other brands that are upwards of $150+ dollars......don't waste your money.....a good 'ol Black 7 Decker will solve your "stick rice" problem instantly. Here's a link!

  4. I've been cooking in a pot for all my life. Maybe I've been good at it because I've done it for so long :) (Proof that practice makes perfect, yes?) Once you figure out what works you can only get better at it; clearly I have not figured it out yet ;)

  5. Hi Yada...I bring the rice up to boil and then turn it off and leave it.
    Seems to work.

  6. Aren't you then left with surplus water, granny? Or do you use very little water (i.e. not even above the rice level)? How long do you leave it?

  7. I cook rice in a steamer. Could never get it quite right in a pot.

  8. Suddenly I feel much less alone, Tracy! I have to work my way back to a well equipped kitchen in the US - sounds like a rice cooker-steamer-'thingymagic' needs to be added to my list. In the meantime I have to keep trying the conventional way or Uncle Ben's 90 second wonder ;) You never know: I might just conquer American rice!