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Classic Separate-Grain Carolina Gold Rice

Carolina Gold Rice, separate grain. Fluffy doesn’t begin to cover it.

About 3¼ cups


15 minutes to cook and 10 minutes in the oven to dry


Left to its own devices, new-crop rice like ours—rice that is milled and cooked within four months of harvest—will cook to a sticky finish. But it doesn’t have to. This recipe method, a deep-water parboil and chill-down, produces pearly grains of great delicacy and superior mouthfeel. It’s the rice Uncle Ben’s longs to be. When it comes to cooking, however, translate “delicate” as “fragile.” Don’t beat this rice up in the colander or the pot, and take care not to overcook it. You will be rewarded with a dish of such simple refinement, it is known as “Charleston ice cream” around here.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, a heavy-bottomed 3½-quart saucepan, a wooden spoon, a fine-holed footed colander, and a spatula.

    • 6
      cups spring or filtered water
    • Fine sea salt
    • 7
    • 2 to 3
      tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • ½
      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


    In a heavy-bottomed 3½-quart saucepan, bring the water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, stir once, and as soon as the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just tender with no hard starch at its center, about 15 minutes. Drain the rice in a fine-holed footed colander and rinse well with cool water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water.


    Distribute the rice evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the rice to dry for about 5 minutes, gently turning the grains from time to time with a spatula. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with the pepper and salt to taste. Return the baking sheet to the oven and allow the rice to warm through, occasionally turning the grains, until the butter has melted and the rice is hot, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.