Learn How To Cook Rice on the stove perfectly. I will show you my tips and techniques for achieving perfectly tender and fluffy rice every time!
I will also share with you the perfect rice to water ratio to make white rice, brown rice, Jasmine rice, Basmati rice and sushi rice.
I grew up in a country that serves rice with almost every meal. I learned how to make rice at a very young age as it was such a daily staple. White rice is like a blank canvas and the perfect side dish to serve with dishes like this chicken stew recipe, baked salmon, and Korean Beef among many others.
So What is Rice? Rice is a cereal grain. It is the edible seed of a grass from two main species, Oryza Sativa which is native to Asia and Oryza Glaberrima, from West Africa. Although there are thousands of varieties of rice, most of them come from two sub-species of the Oryza Sativa variety. These two sub-species are:
- Japonica: Grains are short and round. When cooked, the rice is sticky and moist. Sushi rice and arborio rice are of this variety.
- Indica: Grains are from long to short in size, slender, thinner and drier. Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are of this variety.
There are many different ways to classify rice. To make it super simple, I like to think of rice in terms of length. Long-grain rice, medium-grain rice and short-grain rice.
Types Of Rice
There are many types of rice but I am going to focus on some of the most common types found in most supermarkets.
Long Grain White Rice: Cooks to tender perfection. Fluffy, grains separate nicely. It is usually enriched with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. White rice also comes in medium-grain and short-grain.
Jasmine Rice: This long grain rice is highly aromatic with some floral notes. Grains are a bit shorter and rounder than Basmati rice. Jasmine rice comes from Thailand. It’s name “Jasmine” refers to the color of a jasmine flower.
Brown Rice: This rice comes in long and short grain. Rich in nutrients and fiber. It takes longer to cook than white rice. Cooked brown rice has a chewy texture and nutty flavor.
Basmati Rice: Long grain rice and aromatic. This rice comes from India. Basmati means fragrant in Hindi, the most prominent language in India. When cooked, it is soft and fluffy.
Black Rice: Also known as Forbidden Rice. Although the raw grains look black, when cooked this rice looks more purple in color. Rich in nutrients, it gets its color from the same antioxidant pigment that gives blueberries and eggplants their hue.
Sushi Rice: Short grain and sticky due to its high starch content. For this reason, it can be molded easily for sushi and sashimi recipes. Sometimes it is referred to as Japanese rice. Sushi rice comes in white and brown varieties.
Arborio Rice: The grains are short and oval in shape with a starchy coating. This Italian rice is mostly used for making risotto. When cooking this rice, it is best to add liquid slowly in intervals. This produces a creamy texture.
How To Cook Rice Perfectly
Cooking rice is a basic technique easy to master, however I get a lot of questions about how I cook rice perfectly every time. Here are my best tips to prevent mushy, sticky, too al dente or just completely over cooked rice.
- Rinse The Rice: It is important to rinse the rice to remove excess starch. This also prevents the grains from clumping together. I try to rinse the rice (almost) until the water runs clear.
- Use A Pot With A Tight-Fitted Lid: It is important to use a good lid that will seal the steam and moisture inside the pot.
- Use The Correct Rice To Water Ratio: This is an absolute must for perfectly tender fluffy rice. Generally, for white rice I use the 1:2 ratio – 1 part of rice to 2 parts of water.
- Cook Rice Over Low Heat: Cooking rice over low heat guarantees properly steamed rice. If you cook the rice over high or medium-high heat, the water will evaporate before the rice has time to get tender. High heat will most likely burn the bottom of the rice.
- Fluff With A Fork: Don’t use a spoon to turn or mix the rice. Fluffing with a fork is a must!
What is the Ratio of Water To Rice?
Knowing the perfect rice to water ratio is the difference between a perfect pot of fluffy rice and rice that is sticky, mushy, overcooked or hard.
Water Ratios For Cooking Rice On The Stove
- LONG- GRAIN WHITE RICE: 1 cup rice – 2 cups water
- MEDIUM-GRAIN WHITE RICE: 1 cup rice – 1 1/2 cups water
- SHORT- GRAIN WHITE RICE: 1 cup rice – 1 1/4 cups water
- JASMINE RICE: 1 cup rice – 1 1/2 cups water
- BASMATI RICE: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
- BROWN RICE: 1 cup rice – 2 cups water
- SUSHI RICE: 1 cup rice – 1 cup water
What Is The Best Way To Cook Rice?
Everyone has a favorite method for cooking white rice. You can cook rice on the stove using the recipe below. It is easy and you don’t need any special equipment.
My grandmother ended up buying a rice cooker when I was already grown up. She bought me a rice cooker as one of my wedding gifts. I love cooking rice in the rice maker if I am making a big batch. For one or two cups, I usually use the stove method.
How Long Will Rice Keep?
You can keep rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. My absolute favorite method of reheating small amounts of rice, is by placing the rice in a resealable bag and warming it up in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals until the rice is warm through.
If you reheat the rice in a dish or bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of water, then reheat covered, in the microwave.
Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?
Yes, cooked rice freezes well. You can freeze rice for up to 6 months.
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How To Cook Rice
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, oil, salt and garlic (if using) and stir. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Add the rice and stir. Cover and lower the heat to low.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. During the cooking time, don't open the lid. If you cannot resist peeking, only check towards the end of the cooking time. You will see lots of steam holes. The steam is what allows the rice to cook and get tender.
- Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Serve.
- I always use oil when making rice. I like using olive oil but any mild oil or butter can be used.
- Salt is added for flavor. Some people prefer not adding any salt but to me salt when cooking rice is a must.
- A little bit of minced garlic adds a great flavor to the rice. This is an optional ingredient but I encourage you to try it at least once. Start with 1/8 teaspoon and increase it up to a whole clove of garlic, about 1/2 teaspoon.
- Broth can be used instead of water. Use less salt if using broth.
- For this recipe I use long grain white rice. Check the rice to water ratios above (on the post) for other types of rice.
- Try not to uncover the pot while the rice is cooking.