The rice pilaf method is a method for cooking rice that involves using aromatics (garlic and onion), some oil, and specific steps for cooking the rice to get fluffy, tasty rice.
Essentially, professional chefs cook rice in different ways to achieve different results. This is why you can get things like risotto which is rice that is high in starch, and creaminess, that is rich and saucy. But a pilaf seasoning is not creamy, it is textured, fluffy rice, with distinctive pieces.
What rice to use?
The pilaf method should be used when cooking with long grain rice.
- Start by first cooking garlic and onion in oil. Garlic and onion are your aromatics. They add flavor.
- Then you add your rice to the pan and stir it so each grain is coated with the oil and is shiny. This is called pearling and is part of what helps the rice stay separate once it is cooked. This gives you a nice flavor as you toast the rice. But in this recipe, we do that to the orzo, and just pour the rice in. So easy!
- Add texture: In this recipe, we add some orzo in to give a difference in size and texture.
- Fluff with a fork: Once the rice is cooked in the liquid of your choice, you have to uncover it and fluff it with a fork to allow the steam to escape. This is a critical step because if you don’t do this, the steam will continue to cook the rice, and you will end up with mushy, overcooked rice as a result.