The same technique that turns regular pasta into one with the flavour and texture of fresh ramen can upgrade rice dishes as well and even help you cook chewy, perfect risotto in three minutes. Well, technically, three minutes plus an hour and a half of (hands off) soaking time.
The key is to soak the rice in a bath of bicarb soda and salt dissolved in water, Lucky Peach explains. After an hour and a half, drain and rinse the rice, stick it in a pot of boiling water, and three minutes later you have a tender and chewy “Ramen-ised” rice.
Taking it a step further, take that rice soaked in bicarb soda, but this time cook it as you would risotto — in a broth until the stock evaporated:
We put one part rice and approximately five parts hot, pressure-cooked smoked turkey broth into a pot and brought the mixture to a boil. We cooked it at a rolling boil. The stock evaporated. The rice thickened. The grains of rice retained their shape and structure; they did not break apart. As the rice and stock cooked together, they gained the texture of risotto. We finished the rice with a knob of butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. We had a creamy, chewy, perfect risotto in three minutes. And remember, the rice had been soaked in baking soda water the day before and still performed beautifully, perfectly, after resting overnight.
This might be a great way to make risotto without having to stand in front of the stove for hours constantly adding broth.
For more ramen reading than you probably have time for, visit Lucky Peach.
How to Ramen-ize Dried Pasta & Rice [Lucky Peach]