Rinse. Drain. Repeat. One night, I found myself in this loop as I was preparing Southern dry rice, a dish originating in the Coastal South that has roots in West Africa. The recipe requires rinsing the rice several times—until the water runs clear—to achieve perfectly cooked, separated grains.
Around the third or fourth rinse, I began asking myself if this step was really necessary—and if I was doing it efficiently. To get to the bottom of it, I reached out to culinary scientist Matt Slem of Lundberg Family Farms to answer all of my rice-related questions. Read his (lightly edited) responses below.