The Internet Is Confused by This Gadget That Helps You Drain a Pot of Rice. But Could It Actually Be Useful?
“If you have to drain your pot of rice, you don’t know how to make rice correctly,” said Twitter user “The Professor” this week, posting an infomercial-like video ad for a plastic piece that fits into a pot to help cooks drain rice. Their point was driven home by thousands of people responding with utter confusion about why anyone is cooking rice in so much water that it needs to be drained afterwards.
The video, from viral video-based e-commerce site Hygo, is a low production value number simply showing folks draining rice using the little, brightly colored “leaf” tool. “Stop wasting food,” it admonishes, as if people have been losing rice in their effort to drain water off it. The Twitter-verse began endlessly mocking the idea of draining rice immediately.
Some responders theorized that the tool was actually for when you wash rice before cooking it, a common technique that rinses some of the starch off, and which might make it a useful tool. But the video pretty clearly shows people draining hot, just-cooked rice — the steam is visible in some shots, and it comes straight from the stove.
Even as enormous numbers of people responded, talking about how they cook their rice — using rice cookers, with the proper ratio, and most importantly not like that — a few brave souls spoke up to point out that some people did grow up cooking rice by draining it. “Can you guys please Google ‘parboiled rice’ I’m begging you,” one Twitter user pleaded. (If you do so, you see one food blogger mention that they use that method because it looks better in photos.)
Another user explained that this was a common method in Iran and South Asia (both, they note, major rice-eating areas of the world), where “rice (generally basmati) is traditionally boiled in a lot of water which is drained off before the rice is completely cooked. The rice then finishes cooking on very low heat. This makes the grains fluffy.”
And so, it turns out, to paraphrase the adage, there’s more than one way to cook a pot of rice. Maybe this tool is useful after all!