Most home chefs are aware that you need to rinse your rice before cooking and consuming it. However, you may have heard some rice enthusiasts claim that rinsing isn’t enough – that rice should be soaked overnight. But can you really soak rice overnight, and what are the benefits?
You can successfully soak certain types of rice overnight. Soaking overnight will remove toxins such as:
- Phytic acid
- Surface starches.
The result is a healthier, fluffier, and an overall better-tasting bowl of rice.
If you’re wondering whether or not you can soak your rice overnight, this article will help. Below, you will find essential information, such as why you should soak your rice overnight and which types of rice should engage in an overnight soaking session.
Can You Soak Rice Overnight?
You can soak most types of rice overnight.
Soaking overnight is not advantageous for all kinds of rice. So, before leaving your rice in a bowl of water on the counter or in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, you need to discover if it’s essential for the type of rice you’re cooking.
Types of Rice That Need to Soak Overnight
Although they may look and feel similar, not all rice is created equally. Some will benefit from an overnight soak, while others can essentially get ruined from a prolonged soak.
The types of rice that should be soaked overnight include:
- Unmilled/unhusked whole-grain brown, black, or red rice
- Unmilled/unhusked wild rice
- Unpolished rice
- Polished brown rice
- Sticky rice
If you don’t have enough time to soak your rice overnight, don’t worry. The goal is to soak the rice for as long as possible. So, whether you let it sit for four hours or 12, you will still reap some of the benefits of soaking.
Types of Rice That Need to Soak for a Short Time
Other types of rice do not need to soak for an extensive period. In fact, you can limit soaking these types of rice for around 15 minutes and reap the benefits.
- Basmati rice
- Jasmine rice
- Polished white rice
Do not soak short-grain starchy or glutinous rice varieties. Soaking these types of rice is unnecessary and can render negative results.
Benefits of Soaking Rice Overnight
If your rice falls under one of the “overnight soak” varieties, you shouldn’t skip this step. Soaking these types of rice overnight can be highly beneficial. Here are some of the top reasons why you should soak your rice overnight.
Arsenic is a dangerous, toxic component found at high levels in rice. Excessive consumption can lead to adverse side effects such as cancer, heart disease, and decreased brain function
Needless to say, arsenic is not something you want to ingest, especially on a regular basis. The good news is that soaking rice overnight removes up to 80% of this harmful component, rendering your rice far safer to consume.
Removes Phytic Acid
Phytic acid is another substance that is removed during the soaking process. This is essential, as phytic acid impairs the body’s ability to absorb crucial nutrients such as iron, zinc, and calcium.
By soaking your rice overnight, you’re ensuring your body is able to absorb all of the nutrients that rice has to offer, which can improve your overall health immensely.
Rice is covered in a thick layer of starch, which is why the water turns a cloudy hue while soaking. These high levels of starches are not necessary, and removing them will be highly advantageous.
Not only will removing excess starches make your rice taste better and less “grainy,” but it will also ensure the rice pieces don’t stick together. The result? Fluffier rice that tastes leaps and bounds better than ever before.
Cleans the Rice
No matter how well you store your rice, some lingering dirt or debris may still be hiding within the grains. The best way to ensure your rice is clean and ready for consumption is to soak it overnight.
Although rice is a delicious side dish or main course, some people avoid it due to the long cooking time. If you’re tired of waiting endlessly for your rice to cook, consider soaking it overnight. It will cut down on cooking time immensely.
How to Soak Rice Overnight
Now that you know all the tremendous benefits of soaking rice overnight, you’re probably eager to start. Soaking rice overnight is a cinch and can be accomplished with a large bowl or pot, your favorite type of rice, and some lukewarm water.
Here’s how to do it.
Fill a Large Bowl or Pot with Rice
Find a large bowl or pot that’s big enough to accommodate your required amount of rice and water. Then, fill the container with as much rice as desired.
Cover the Rice with Lukewarm Water
There should be double the amount of water compared to the rice. For example, if you place two cups of rice in the container, it should be covered with four cups of water. This is because the rice will absorb some water, and you need to have enough for a proper soak.
Let Sit Overnight
You can leave the container of rice and water on the counter at room temperature or in the
refrigerator. Make sure the container is covered, either with a lid or a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Rinse and Cook
When ready to use your rice, you’ll want to give it a good rinse before cooking. Then, you can move on to cooking your rice using your preferred method.
Soaking Rice Overnight is a Great Idea!
If you haven’t been soaking your rice overnight, it’s time to start. Soaking certain types of rice overnight will remove harmful toxins, such as arsenic and phytic acid, which impairs nutrient absorption. Aside from that, soaked rice cooks faster and has a fluffier texture and tastier flavor. You can’t go wrong – so go ahead, fill a bowl with water and rice, and let it soak overnight!