Let me get this out of the way right now: I could live on rice.
Some people love pasta (meh). Some people love bread. I love rice. Always have.
I’ve had so many folks ask me about how to cook rice, I figured I’d post my basic method here.
Different ways of cooking rice
There’s a couple of different ways to cook rice on the stove. You can boil it in a big pot of water like pasta, then drain it. That will definitely work, though it takes longer, because you need the water to come up to a boil.
You can steam it, which I’ve never tried. I think some people even make it in the oven.
I use the absorption method on top of the stove, which means that the rice soaks up all the liquid that’s in the pot.
Ratio of rice to water
Most types of rice call for roughly 2 parts water to 1 part dried rice. Too much water, and your rice will be mushy. Not enough, and it will be chewy.
It’s obvious, but when in doubt, check your package of rice. It will almost always have cooking instructions on it.
How much rice should you make?
Count on about 1/2 cup dried rice per person for a side. If the rice is a main part of the dish, increase accordingly.
1 cup of dried rice will yield *about* 3 cups of cooked rice.
Rice cooking chart
Everybody I talk to seems to use slightly different ratios. Here are the basic proportions of rice to water I use when cooking different kinds of rice. (Are yours different? Leave a comment below, let us know how you do it!)
- Long-grain white rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water
- Japanese sushi rice—1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water
- Brown rice (long-grain and short-grain)—1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water
- Wild rice—1 cup rice to 4 cups water
- Red rice—1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cups water
- Jasmine rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water
- Black rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water
If you’re making any kind of par-boiled rice, follow the instructions on the package.
And finally, here’s a step-by-step of how I make Basmati rice.
Perfect, Fluffy White Rice
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water or stock
Pinch of salt
Yields about 3 cups cooked rice
Approximate cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Rinse your rice
People will be arguing about whether to rinse rice until the end of time. Some people swear by it. Some people swear they’d never rinse their rice. It’s up to you.
Rinsing your rice helps takes some of the surface starch off the outside of the grains, which will help keep it from clumping once it’s cooked.
Measure out your rice into a medium-sized pot.
Run cold water into the pot until the rice is covered.
Stir the whole business around with a spoon or a clean hand. See how cloudy the water gets?
Dump the cloudy water out, and keep rinsing until the water is relatively clear. Don’t make yourself crazy with this. A couple of rinses should be just fine.
Bring the pot to a boil
When your rice is clean, measure out your water and add it to the pot.
Toss in the salt.
Set the pot on the stove, uncovered, over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.
Simmer with the lid cracked
When the water comes to a boil, knock the heat down low enough so that it just holds a simmer. Cover the pot and crack the lid. Simmer without stirring for maybe 10 minutes (depending on how hot you have the stove). Keep a good eye on it until you get a sense for timing.
When a lot of the water has been absorbed and you see tiny steam holes appear on the surface of the rice, turn the stove off completely.
I didn’t circle all of them by a long shot, but here’s what I mean by steam holes.
Leave the pot on the burner, and cover completely for maybe 10 more minutes. The rice will absorb the remainder of the water during this time.
When your rice has absorbed all the water, it will look about like this.
Fluff and serve!
Right before serving, fluff the finished rice up by raking it with a fork.
And, voila! You just made rice. Easy, right?
Serve and enjoy!
How do you like your rice?
Leave a comment below, let us know!