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How do you make rice?

I make rice very infrequently, but whenever I do it always comes out wet and mushy. Since I don't make it often I don't want to invest in a rice cooker, so I need a fool-proof method for making fluffy rice on the stovetop.

Here's what I'm doing now for regular long grain white rice: The package says 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. I use a tad less than 2 cups (maybe 1 3/4). I bring the water to a boil, add some salt and the rice, give it one stir and cover it. I drop the heat to low and let it cook for 20 minutes.

Any suggestions??

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  1. When you drop the heat to low, I hope the contents of the pan remain at a quick simmer (not as furious as a boil) when you put the cover on. Check it after 20 minutes; if it's still wet, let it go for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

    I cook long grain white rice using the 2:1 ratio, with no problems.

    Another method would be to cook the rice in a large pot of boiling, salted water as you would pasta (cover off). Drain the rice when it's done. This is the method that's used in industrial kitchens. It's a lot easier than measuring and waiting for the absorption of the water to be completed, and there's less chance of overcooking and mushiness.

    1. 1. Consider soaking your rice first.

      2. The key part of long rice cookery occurs *after* the water has cooked off. After the water has cooked off, you remove the rice from heat, tease it up with a fork (a spoon will more likely break the grains), and cover for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking via steam.

      1. The rice-water ratio is OK, maybe a tad less than 1:2 would be good. Bring rice to a boil, turn down to simmer for 20 minutes--without lifting the lid, adding salt, or stirring. Turn stove off, but let the pot sit for 10 minutes, again without lifting the lid. Fluff only after the resting/finishing period. Japanese (short grain) rice is cooked the same, but with a 1:1 rice to water ratio. Works everytime. I cook rice almost every day--so trust me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I would say that, for Western culinary uses, it is normal to salt long grain rice for cooking. In Eastern uses, the rice (more usually short or medium grain) is not typically salted.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            this is basically what i do (15 min on low heat after it comes to a boil, then 5 minutes with no heat/no peeking). one more tip though---if i need to hold it until the rest of the meal is finished, after i fluff it, i cover it with a clean dish towel, then the lid...that keeps the condensation that builds up on the bottom of the lid from dripping down onto the rice and making it clumpy.

          2. Thank you for your replies. I'm noticing a common theme here - you all let the rice stand after cooking. I've never tried that before. Maybe that's my problem!

            I'm making rice tonight so I'll try cooking it and then letting it stand for 5-10 minutes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SarahEats

              What I noticed in your original post: your practice is to bring the water to a boil and then put the rice into the boiling water.

              You'll have much better results if you measure the rice into the pot, add cold water (and salt, if you like) and bring the whole thing to a full rolling boil. Then turn the flame to low, cover the rice, and simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure the rice is really simmering after you cover it--if it's just sitting there, it won't cook in 20 minutes and will be wet and mushy, just as you described.

              1. re: cristina

                This is the way I did it beforeIi purchased a rice cooker. It always turned out great. If your doing 2 cups of rice use 3 1/2 cups water. You only need 1 1/2 cups water for each extra cup of rice

            2. I make rice every week--if you have a microwave it's even easier than on the stove. I use Uncle Ben's and follow the guide for amounts of rice/water. Into the microwave on High for about 7 minutes (depends on the amount you are making) then 50% power for 22 minutes or so. Perfect! I also started cooking Jasmine Rice (love the fragrance) in the microwave. It is supposed to be sticky--now I don't burn it!

              1 Reply
              1. re: medford

                I have a microwave rice cooker (a plastic pot with a three-piece lid). Wash the rice put in 2x water, cook for 28 minutes at 40%. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve. Also works every time.