If there is one side dish that is more finicky than a four-year-old, it's rice. While it only requires three ingredients to cook, (water, salt, and the rice), it always seems to have a mind of its own when cooking on the stovetop. Sometimes the bottom crisps on the white rice, the pot overflows getting starchy liquid all over your just-cleaned stove, and if over-cooked, it is mushy and unenjoyable to eat. Thankfully there are different ways to prepare rice without using a stove top. While a rice cooker is hands-down the easiest, the second foolproof way is cooking rice on a cookie sheet in the oven.
How To Cook Rice on a Cookie Sheet
Not only does it free up your stovetop, but this cooking method also lets you flavor your rice easily while you cook it. And not only that, you can actually cook an entire meal with this method. This includes meals like Hoisin Chicken and Rice from The Kitchn.
To begin, measure out a cup of long grain white rice or quick-cooking brown rice and add it to the sheet pan. (And it should be noted, this only works for baking sheets with a large lip). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350℉ and boil two cups of water. Once the oven is heated, pour the boiling water over the uncooked rice and season with kosher salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes then fluff with a fork. The cooking time can differ, so at the 15-minute mark make sure to take a look to see if your perfect rice is ready.
How To Make Sheet Pan Fried Rice
Not only is it possible to cook rice on a sheet pan, but you can actually fry rice on it too. Last night's cooked rice recipe gets a second wind if you fry it up in the oven. Simply toss all of your fried rice goodies (scallions, veggies like diced carrots, peas and garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil) in a large bowl with the leftover rice and spread on a sheet pan. After 15 minutes the edges will begin to brown, which means it's time to toss the rice with a spatula. Drizzle on some beaten eggs and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and serve this easiest of weeknight dinners.
This article was originally published on Jul 5, 2019.