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You don’t need a rice cooker to make perfectly fluffy white rice! Here’s my foolproof method to cook simple, yet deliciously fluffy white rice on stovetop and answering all your questions on how to cook rice on stovetop.
The most important tool you need is a nice pot with a fitted lid. And a little bit of patience.
Should I rinse rice before cooking?
It depends on what kind of rice you’re cooking. If you’re cooking regular long grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati, you don’t need to rinse it. However, you need to rinse short grain rice, like Japanese sushi rice, thoroughly until the water runs clean. Because short grain rice is starchier and rinsing removes that excess starch and makes it nice and plump.
Soak or no soak?
You don’t need to soak long-grain rice. In fact, I find that soaked long-grain rice comes out mushy. So skip this if you’re cooking long grain rice. But if you’re working with short grain rice, you can soak for about 30 minutes. In that case, make sure to drain it for at least 5 minutes, so that you don’t end up using too much water.
Does what type of pot make a difference?
In my opinion, any pot with heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid will do the job. Also choosing the right size for the amount of rice you’re cooking is very important. Because rice expands 3 times its original size, you need bigger pan to accommodate that. For 1 cup of rice use 1-1.5qt saucepan, for 2 cups of rice use 2-2.5qt saucepan, etc. Also, I love using non-stick saucepan for cooking rice. It never sticks to the bottom, and I can east every last grain! Then again, in some cultures, like in Korean cuisine, the hard bits of rice on the bottom is actually much appreciated.
How much water should I use to cook rice?
If you browse through internet, you’ll find different answers ranging from 1:1.5 to 1:2 rice to water ratios. To be honest, I rarely measure rice and water by cups. I basically eye-ball it. My mom taught me a little trick early on. Put the rice in a saucepan and add water until it covers the rice and comes about two fingers above the rice, so about an inch of water above the rice. It’s a little hard to explain, but hope it makes sense. You don’t need to dip your fingers or put a ruler in, just eyeball it. I’ve used many different pots through years and this method never fails. But if you want to stick to measuring cups, my go-to ratio is close to 1:2 rice to water. What I noticed is that when more cups of rice I cook, a little less water I need. What I mean is that 2 cups of water works great for 1 cup of rice. But for 2 cups of rice I need about 3.5 cups of water instead of full 4 cups, as 1:2 ratio dictates. Make sense?
How much rice to cook per person?
Rule of thumb is 1/4 cup of uncooked rice per person as a side dish, or 3/4 cup of cooked rice.
How to serve plain white rice:
White rice is quite versatile and pairs perfectly with pretty much anything. Here’re my favorite dishes to serve with white rice:
You can also use the leftovers to make amazing fried rice:
How to Cook Fluffy White Rice on Stovetop
- 2 cups long grain rice, such as jasmine, basmati
- 3 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional, but highly recommended
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- In 2.5qt heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, combine rice, water, olive oil and salt.
- Cover and bring it to a slow boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, covered.
- Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes, covered. Don’t be tempted to open the lid, because steam is what finishes the cooking.
- If you tried this recipe, I’d love to read your feedback. Please leave your comment and rating below, or share on Instagram with #busycooks and tag us @busy_cooks. Thank you!!