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This is a complete guide for how to cook rice. Cooking white rice is one of the first skills I was determined to master when I learned to cook from my mom. We serve white rice a few times a month with Lebanese food. It’s a versatile side dish that complements so many different recipes. Now you’ll learn the perfect way to make it for your family!
Does your heart sink when you see the words “serve with rice” at the end of a recipe? Does this supposedly simple component – rice- (!) never live up to the rest of the meal? Memorize the simple steps below for how to cook rice, and you’ll be on your way to cooking perfect rice on your stove. No rice cooker or pressure cooker needed.
Different types of white rice
For this tutorial on how to cook rice, I am using long grain white rice, the country’s most popular variety. It is called long grain because its length of each grain is about five times its width. Other varieties of white rice include:
- Instant or quick rice – which has been processed for a faster cook time but falls short in the taste department.
- Jasmine rice – originally from Thailand, which is fragrant and almost sweet tasting.
- Basmati rice – originally from India, which has nutty undertones.
Step by step stove cooking instructions
Measure one cup of long grain white rice into a cup and level it off. One cup of dry rice will make enough cooked rice for two to three adult servings. (Or two adults and two small children.) The cool thing about this recipe is it is proportional. Always use one part rice to two parts water. Adjust accordingly for the number of people you are feeding.
Pick through to remove any tiny stones or debris, Then, using cold water, rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch from the rice which can make it gummy – the first key tip for how to cook perfect rice.
Put the rice in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add a little less than twice as much cold water as rice. In this case, it’s a little less than two cups. I also recommend adding salt in this step. I use half a teaspoon of salt per cup of rice. But feel free to adjust to your taste preference.
Now, without covering the pan, bring the water to a boil. Next, stir the rice in order to evenly distribute but don’t over do it.
Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 18 minutes. Do not lift the cover to check on the rice. If you do, heat and steam will escape, and this can affect the rice’s texture.
When the time is up though, take the pan off the heat. Again, without removing the cover, let the rice sit and steam for at least five minutes. This step is my second important tip for how to cook perfect rice
Remove the cover and fluff with a fork. And just like that, now you know how to cook rice!
Recipes to serve with white rice
- Almond Chicken Cutlets
- Cauliflower Curry
- Quick Butter Chicken
- Harissa Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Chicken Burrito Bowl
- West African Peanut Soup
- Lemon Herb Shrimp Stir Fry
- Red Lentil Curry
- Panko Crusted Salmon
- Beef Stuffed Peppers
Frequently asked questions
Unprocessed white rice needs 15 to 25 minutes on the stove top and at least five additional minutes to steam off heat after done cooking.
The short answer is it depends on the variety you are making. When in doubt, refer to the package directions.
Long grained rice and Indian basmati rice: 1 part rice: 2 parts water
Jasmine rice: 1 part rice: 1 ½ parts water
Sushi rice: 1 part rice: 1 part water
Cover tightly in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to five days. Reheat with a little water until warmed through.
After cooking the rice, it will last for up to 5 days as long as it is stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes, you can freeze rice for up to 6 months. For easy storage and quick defrosting, package thin – easily defrosted portions – in ziplock freezer bags that can be stacked in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or stovetop with a splash of water
Remember the two important steps that will make huge difference in how your stove-top rice comes out: Rinse before cooking and allow to steam off the heat. Like quality bread, lovely rice takes good food to the next level. People have been cooking rice for 8,000 years. Now you also know how to cook white rice!
For more cooking resources, check out:
- How to Cook Brown Rice
- How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly
- How to Cook Chickpeas
- How to Cook Oatmeal
- How to Make Broccoli Rice
If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Cook Rice helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
How to Cook White Rice
- 1 cup white rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup water
- Measure the rice into a cup and level the top.
- Rinse the rice in a fine mesh sieve thoroughly in cold water until the water is clear.
- Pour the rice into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt, then add the water and bring mixture to a simmer uncovered, about 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice in the pan to evenly distribute it, but don’t over stir.
- Lower the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 18 minutes without opening the lid. Then turn the heat off.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the rice to rest covered for 5 minutes in order to absorb all the liquid and steam.
- Fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains, and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen
Excellent receipe! Clear, easy steps to follow…very well written!
Thankyou! Just what I was looking for!!
Thank you so much! I’m glad you found this tutorial easy to follow and helpful. You’re welcome!
I am searching for a rice recipe that nets fluffy rice. Followed this recipe precisely and ended up with rice that was done and decent flavor but sticky and gummy and was just clumps of rice. What am I doing wrong??
You might’ve needed to rinse the rice more. Did the water run clear when you rinsed the rice?
I usually make basmati rice in the microwave, it’s ok, but not always fluffy, I did it your way and it is so fluffy, will definitely be making it your way in future thank you. X
So glad this method helped the rice get fluffy! You’re so welcome!
white rice has been “enriched,” meaning that some of the vitamins and minerals which were lost when the outer layer of the rice was removed (to make it white instead of brown) have been replaced with manufactured vitamins/minerals. when white rice is rinsed, the added “enrichment” rinses off and is lost down the drain.
i suggest using brown rice which can be rinsed, if you like, because it doesn’t need to be enriched – it has the outer layer intact with all the vitamins/minerals that grew with it. also, brown rice tastes good, whereas white rice tastes like what it is – starch.
I also have a post on my website called How to Cook Brown Rice! https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/how-to-cook-brown-rice/
I also did the oven baked chicken breast with the rice, it was delicious, my husband and daughter both liked it, so I will be making it again, thank you so much for the chicken recipe.
That’s amazing! Yay!!
I USED to wash the rice before cooking it, then my daughter said not a good idea. I’m Cuban, she’s Puerto Rico, as well as hubby. I’ve watched him cook, never washes the rice. Rice comes out awesome, no gooey, or sticky. Maybe it’s the type of rice he uses, I just thought that rice is rice. !!!
There are definitely a few factors to consider!
After years and years of avoiding making certain dishes because it had to be served with rice, this recipe finally solved my problem 😂😂 thank you thank you thank you!!
I’m so glad you found this useful! You’re so welcome!!
Thanks for posting this. I’m going to try your method!
Hope you like it!
Hi! I just followed your instructions on how to make rice and using white basmati rice and it came out perfectly. It was honestly the first time I ever made white rice this way without it coming out too mushy or too hard! Thank you!
Yay, I’m so glad to hear it and this is one of the best things to learn to cook!!
Hands down , this is the best way to make rice than my usual way of making it. Thanks for the recipe! I will forever use it. 🤗
You’re so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!
I’m sorry to tell you this but it is not always a 2 to 1 on the rice to water. If I use the same size container and I double the rice I do not double the water because it becomes mushy I would need to use a larger pan to use the 2 to 1 ratio. Less water is evaporated when you double the batch.