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No-Peek Laurel-Aged Charleston Gold Rice

Charleston Gold rice, love child of two old rice varieties, has a personality all its own.

About 4 cups


1 hour to soak the rice, 15 minutes to cook it, and 10 minutes to let it rest after cooking


This new, aromatic descendant of Charleston Gold cooks up long and separate grain in just 15 minutes (though it does like an hour’s pre-soak to plump itself up). But rather than showing new crop attributes like our Carolina Gold, Charleston Gold is a mature rice, barrel-aged for three years with laurel oils and thus, gently dried.

The best cooks in the South classically prepared rice using this no-peek method. Rice seems to appreciate privacy during its cook time and a bit of repose after. This recipe is super-easy to prepare, but is sensitive in terms of its liquid (which must be weighed, not measured in a liquid measuring cup), and its timing.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a digital kitchen scale, a large fine-mesh strainer, a bowl, a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a fork for fluffing the cooked rice.


    Place the rice in a large fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cool running water, gently stirring it about, until the water runs clear. Shake the strainer to remove excess water, set the strainer over a bowl, and let the rice drain for 5 to 10 minutes. 


    Turn the rice into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the water and swirl the pot to settle the rice into an even layer. Cover the pot and let the rice soak for 1 hour.


    When the 1 hour is up, sprinkle the salt over the rice. Stir to distribute the salt, settle the rice into an even layer again, and scatter the butter over the surface. Cover the pot, set it over medium-high heat, and bring the contents to simmer. Once simmering, immediately reduce the heat to low and cook without disturbing for 15 minutes.


    Turn off the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork and serve.