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How-To

Toasting rice in melted butter keeps it from getting mushy

Fine Cooking Issue 26
Photo: Mark Ferri
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The brief step of toasting the rice is very important for perfect risotto. It creates a shell around each grain, allowing the grain to slowly absorb moisture without getting soggy or bursting open like a kernel of popcorn. You’ll end up with a risotto that’s creamy, but where each grain maintains its own shape, rather than being mushy. To toast the rice, melt the butter and add the rice. Turn the heat to high, stirring constantly until the rice just begins to pop, about 1 minute. It should not color. Then add the vegetables.

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