Rice – How to prepare rice in a very real emergency – no boiling (no electricity or alternatives)


Earthquakes and typhoons are as plentiful as rice where I live.

The power distribution system is incredibly sturdy here and power outages tend to be managed well, though they happen.

Many people keep a nice supply of rice on hand, but only have electricity for cooking and have no access to gas. For these people (me included) if there is an extended power outage, the main source for calories (rice) can not be cooked.

In the very unlikely situation where no way to boil water is available, is there any possible, known way one could prepare dried rice so that it could be safely eaten for its nutritional value?

note: I understand that one could build a fire, but really that's impractical in large apartment buildings.

Best Answer

Do not eat raw rice, you might get very ill. From LiveStrong:

Lectin is a protein that serves as a natural insecticide with a strong affinity for carbohydrates. Found on uncooked rice and beans, this protein is one of the top 10 causes of food poisoning and can lead to nausea, diarrhea and vomiting when eaten in abundance.

There are also Bacillus Cereus which is a bacteria that can be poisonous in a similar way and cellulose which is indigestible fiber. All of these make cooking rice a very important step for consumption.

Even if you wanted to ferment it, you'd still have to cook or steam it first. So I'd say you either pack pre-cooked rice or choose something else to eat.

On another hand, if you have access to electricity you can cook your rice in the microwave almost the same way as with conventional heat. Add rice and water to cover in a microwave-safe container, put a lid on it (leave a small opening so steam can escape) and turn it on for 10 or 15 minutes.