Cooking Disasters In Amsterdam

Cooking Disasters

I lived with my parents until I moved to Holland. This made moving out a double shock. Not only was I going out into the world by myself for the first time but I was also doing it in a completely different country. I had to learn to cook for myself (or choose from less appealing options such as McDonalds or starving) but at the time I could hardly even boil an egg.

My early cooking attempts met with varying levels of success, including giving myself food poisoning from under cooking chicken. Since then my need for a stomach pump has reduced as my kitchen skills have improved. However there is one simple food item that I have not yet been able to master. Many of my attempts have met with bitter failure both figuratively and literally. For some unknown reason I am unable to cook rice properly. The mysteries of this simple ingredient continue to elude me and something always goes wrong.

During my first attempt I discovered that rice expands as it boils. Unfortunately this revelation came when it was too late to do anything about the oozing volcano of rice that was slowly pouring out over the kitchen.

One of my more recent attempts was awarded the title of worst tasting rice ever. At the time this statement seemed like an unfair over reaction. How bad can rice possibly taste? When I sampled it for myself I found nothing wrong. In fact it was light, fluffy and all the other things that rice should be. At least it was for the first few seconds before the hidden after taste kicked in. Suddenly it tasted as if a sickly rat with bad breath had decided to end its life by jumping into the boiling pot of rice when I had not been looking. Luckily it was only because I had accidentally let all the water boil away.

Rice is my kitchen nemesis and the source of much amusement for my friends (as long as they don’t have to eat it). The sound of rice boiling in water might as well be the sound of mocking laughter.

However, there can only be so many ways to get rice wrong. One day I will get it right even if I have to burn the kitchen down doing so. Then I’ll eventually be able to move onto the next challenge, boiling an egg.

32 responses to “Cooking Disasters In Amsterdam”

  1. Charlemagne Stavanger says:

    lol, buy those micro-wavable stuff, that’s what I do, some suppose to be healthy for you as well. Otherwise, stick to the raw vegetable & fruits :)

  2. ellen says:

    Okay, Stu, we’re gonna solve your problem right now….

    We love Jasmine rice, for its wonderful fragrance and savoury taste, but this will work with any rice: It’s called the stove-top absorption method and it’s foolproof…

    Bring 1 c (200 g) rice and 1 1/2 c water (375 ml) to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.


  3. Matt says:

    Lol! my 2 pence wort – just for the record I always cock rice up but only because I can never be bothered to do it properly!:

    Get a quantity of rice (1 cup for arguments sake) and put it in a hot frying pan with a splash of oil and stir around until the rice has a light coating of oil (you only need a very small amount of oil). Add twice as much boiling water as there is rice – add any veg or whatever you may want (or not). cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Then take it off the heat, stir it a bit and cover witha tea towel for another 5 inutes or so.

    Or just cook so much curry/chili that it masks the poorly made rice. this is my usual method. – you are not alone!

  4. ChickyBabe says:

    In that case, don’t try boiling an egg in a microwave!

  5. James says:

    I can’t make rice either use the foolproof method of Charlemagne thats how we always do it you usually can’t tell the difference anyway.

  6. Rose says:

    Okay, Stu, that is it. I’m getting you a cookbook.

  7. Invader_Stu says:

    Thanks everybody. I’ll have to try a few of these tips and it’s great to know I’m not alone.

    I have to go and clean the microwave now because of an egg related accident

    *whistles innocently*

  8. vallyP says:

    Hi Stu, I’m afraid I can’t give you any rice cooking tips. My offerings tend to be either congealed lumps of sticky goo, and miniature bullets, but I can warn you that boiling an egg is even trickier…well you’ve already discovered the microwave test..;-)

  9. vallyP says:

    Sorry…meant OR mini bullets..;-)

  10. Dragon lady says:

    You can actually boil an egg in the microwave. I used to have a little container that you broke the egg into. You then put this container inside another one that had water in it and popped it in the microwave.I don’t know where it is now though. I prefer the saucepan method.
    I never have problems with rice except when I forget it and burn the bottom of the pan. I did that with chicken once and had to call the fire brigade.

  11. Tenakalaz says:

    Oh dear this is funny……

    And yes I christened the worst tasting rice ever, I have tasted under cooked rice, over cooked rice, but never rice that actually tasted like someone had died in the pan.

    And yes don’t worry stu, I will save your messed up rice again despite explaining every time you want to make it.

    How anyone can ruin rice is beyond me.

    1. Boil water (adding salt does nothing but add salty flavour to water people not make it boil faster)

    2. once boiled add rice

    3. Turn fire down let simmer for 10-12 minutes and stir once or twice during.

    4. After 10-12 minutes, drain off all water and place a lid over the pan but not totally closed allowing the rice to steam for about 8 – 10 minutes.

    Perfect rice everytime, oh yeh and use Basmati, its the best :)

  12. marycub says:

    God sake man buy a rice cooker, you bung the rice in bung some water in switch it on and forget about it for half an hour. I use mine so often i’ve forgotten how to cook rice the real way. If it’s good enough for the chinese (rice monsters) it’s good enough for you :-D

  13. BlondebutBright says:

    Did you really give yourself food poisoning with undercooked chicken? My god!

    I am not very good at rice either, but I hardly eat it. I’d agree that cooking at home is definitely a handy skill!

  14. Tamara says:

    Yes I agree, you can´t really go wrong after all these tips. (or can you…?)
    Although as a part-Indonesian-so I know rice-, I must say the best and safest tip is the rice cooker. Definately
    (not that I have one)

  15. marycub says:

    You know, if those are some of your cooking accidents you should count yourself lucky, most of mine involve incredibly sharp knives, graters and very hot things. i lost some of the feeling in my left index finger because i cut so deep that i severed nerves :,( many tears were shed that morning!

  16. Invader_Stu says:

    I was joking about not being able boiling an egg :p

    The strange thing is I’m not a bad cook (not great either but I can cook a few things quite well) but rice goes wrong every time somehow.

    The first time I made Dutch uitsmitters was an experiment though. I think invented scrambled uitsmitters.

  17. marycub says:

    i kept mine in my uni room for 4 years – mainly because of lack of space but also because my skanky housemates kept using it but never washed it up afterwards :-@

  18. Invader_Stu says:

    It was my first attempt at cooking chicken and I had no idea what I was doing. I was very ill afterwards.

  19. Invader_Stu says:

    If I get rice wrong again after the amount of tips I have had now I’ll have to turn in my wok in shame.

  20. Keith says:

    The easiest way to boil and egg is to put in in a bowl of water and put it into the microwave for about 1 minute. It’s great! Try it, and let me know what happens…..

  21. Wendy Ascham says:

    Take no notice of ChickyBabe, she obviously has never boiled an egg in the microwave. I have, and afterwards I had great fun cleaning out the microwave. Took me about an hour!

  22. in-ah says:

    I (half korean nontheless) agree with tamara. get a rice cooker (I have one too… no shame in that ;) makes life soooo easy).

  23. Tenakalaz says:

    If he gets a rice cooker he will have to keep it in his room, the kitchen is a bit small :)

  24. Tracy says:

    go get yourself a rice cooker. you can buy one for below 30 euros in a chinese store

  25. Invader_Stu says:

    A rice cooker would fill our whole kitchen. Even the cat can fill our whole kitchen. It’s very, very small.

    I really can boil an egg. Honest. That was just a joke :p

    But I have had a few kitchen related knife accidents as well.

  26. roxanne says:

    This might be a rocord breaking number of comments for one post. Hey everyone, let’s keep commenting on rice or whatever! (I’m in a weird mood and I also need to go to bed…can you tell?)

    I think I’m gonna buy a rice cooker. And I’m going to avoid boiling eggs in the microwave.

  27. Invader_Stu says:

    “This might be a record breaking number of comments”

    … and yet. Not one Vanilla Ice ‘Rice, Rice baby’ joke.

  28. krusty says:

    thats the secret:1 cup rice + 2 cups water = one person . If you can remember that, your rice will be perfect.

  29. Suzi says:

    My Madagascan friend cooks the best rice in the world – light, fluffy, the pieces don’t even stick together. She washes the rice first (soaks it for 10 mins or so and swills it a few times). She then puts it in a saucepan with boiling water, brings it to the boil and simmers for 12 – 15 mins. The trick is NOT to stir it as this breaks it up, causing it to get sticky and mushy. Just stir once when boiling, then leave it. My friend changes the water a few times which seems to really help. Then when it’s done, just drain it but then leave it for 10 mins with a paper towl under the lid, this will help the rice separate and not be so soggy.
    I can never get it like her’s though, she is a magician with food.

  30. Victoria says:

    Or you can do it the really easy way and buy the rice in bags- it’ll say ‘bultjes’ or something like that somewhere on the box. Boil water, add a dash of salt, throw in bag, boil for 10 mins, empty bag of rice onto plate. It’s foolproof, and a lot cheaper and quicker than rice cookers.

  31. Victoria says:

    ugh, that should say “builtjes”

  32. Iooryz says:

    If you happen to cook rice for 40 or more persons: Cook the water, add the rice, drain the water after 5 minutes.

    Seriously, i never had any trouble with rice. You know there are instructions on the package?

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