I have a bunch of recipes which use leftover cold rice: rice salads, fried rice, rice cakes, and similar. However, I rarely have large quantities of rice left over in the fridge when I want them, since we don't eat rice with dinner most nights.
I've tried making some of these things with freshly cooked rice, but the recipes don't turn out well. Rice which has been cold for hours has a different texture and reacts differently to seasonings, oil and liquids than warm rice. The starches on the outside of the rice change somehow, and it becomes less absorbent and drier.
Is there any way I can quickly (as in, in less than 2 hours) produce rice which has the texture and starch structure of long-cold rice, at least approximately? Cool it down in an ice bath? Soak minute rice in cold water?
I've just done a bit of research and apparently the point of cooling it (as partly explained by you above) is to let the grains of rice separate from each other and the whole mixture isn't so glutinous and flavours react differently to it.
The best way I can think of doing is by laying the hot rice on a lined baking tray that's been put in the freezer, then put it (with the rice on) in the freezer for just 5 minutes say as not to freeze the rice and ruin the texture. This seems the most logical way as it means the rice has the largest surface area to cool down.
Another way if the first is not possible (although not as good) is by putting the hot rice in a thin metal bowl above some ice water but of course you cant stir it or the gluten will come out and you'll end up with a sticky ricey mess!
Remember to use the rice up quickly and not to leave it at room temperature for long as this website shows, as it can cause food poisoning.
Hope this helps!
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