Cooking rice: the ultimate guide to the perfect preparation

Rice cooker
Updated on 03 Jan 2024
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Cooking rice: it doesn’t seem that difficult, yet it often goes wrong. In practice, it is difficult to determine exactly how long to cook rice and how much water you need. Do you often have to deal with burned-on rice? With this guide to the perfect preparation, burned rice will be a thing of the past.

How should you cook rice?

Cooking rice is done with a pan on fire, in a rice cooker or by steaming. For all methods use the following steps:

  1. Wash rice
  2. Add correct amount of water (more on this later)
  3. Add pinch of salt

How much rice per person?

Per person, you need about 75 – 100 grams of rice, which is about half a cup. In this case, you will be left with about 200 grams of cooked rice per person.

Manier van rijst koken: hoeveel water?

Way of cooking rice: how much water?

  1. Cooking rice in a pan
  2. Rice cooker
  3. Steaming rice

A rice cooker is by far the easiest method. You fill the inner pan with rice, water and a pinch of salt and have nothing else to worry about.

How do you cook rice in a pan?

Most Dutch people still cook rice in a pan on the stove. Fine, because it works. There are two methods of cooking rice in a pan:

Cook rice in a pan with plenty of water

This is the easiest way. The amount of water is less important with this method; as long as the pan is well filled with water. When finished, you drain the rice with a strainer. In this method, you let the water boil well.

Amount of water:Ample amount of water
How long to cook?8 minutes
Based on white rice

Cooking rice dry

With this method, the flavors, vitamins and minerals remain better; because you cook with little water and a low temperature. When finished, you leave the lid on the pan for a while so the rice will soften a bit more.

Amount of water:1.5 times as much water as rice
How long to cook?10 – 15 minutes
Based for white rice

How to cook rice in a rice cooker?

If you regularly cook rice dishes, consider a rice cooker. With a rice cooker, you only need to get the ratio of rice to water right: otherwise, you don’t have to worry about it. The big advantage: you don’t have to worry about burnt rice.

Amount of water: 1.5 times as much water as rice
How long to cook?The rice cooker automatically jumps to the warming function when the rice is ready. This takes about 20 minutes.
Based for white rice

How should you steam rice?

Steaming rice can be done in a steamer, steam pan or simply by placing an iron colander on top of a pan with the lid on.

Amount of water:Fill the (inner pan) pan with plenty of water
How long to cook?20 – 30 minutes
Based for white rice

How much water with the rice?

The key to perfect rice – and where it also often goes wrong – is the ratio of water to rice. The right ratio is especially important when dry-cooking with a pan or using a rice cooker. The rule is simple: for every cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water.

How do you keep rice from overcooking?

When cooking starches such as rice, pasta and noodles, large bubbles form that can cause the water to boil over. To prevent this, turn down the heat or place a heavy object such as a spoon in the pan.

The ultimate tips for perfect rice

Let the rice stand for a while after cooking with the lid on the pan or on the heat function (rice cooker). The steam creates a fluffy result. This method is definitely recommended when cooking brown rice.

Tips for washing rice

The rice you buy in the supermarket has already been cleaned, so you don’t have to wash it. However, there is still a layer of starch around it. This layer makes the grains stick together after cooking. Don’t want to make sticky rice, but fluffy rice? For fluffy rice, you will have to wash the rice first.

Tips for rice weighing

For the right ratio, it is important to weigh the rice. Not everyone will have a scale, but the following tips will help you ensure the right ratio:

  • The cup coffee method: often one cup of rice per person is enough. The amount of water you then add varies by type of rice (see the exact proportions for each type of rice below).
  • The finger method: if you cook white rice in a pan or rice cooker make sure the water is 1 cm higher from the rice surface. This is comparable to 1 fingertip.

Cooking tips by type of rice

The amount of water and cooking time vary by type of rice. For example, brown or whole grain rice with the husk still around it requires more water and a longer cooking time. Below we discuss three types of rice: unpolished rice, jasmine or pandan rice and basmati rice.

How to cook brown rice?

Unpolished rice is the same as brown rice or whole grain rice. It is actually white rice with the husk still around it. The husk is high in fiber, which is why unpolished rice / brown rice / whole grain rice is considered a healthier option.

Amount of water:2 times as much water as rice
How long to cook?20 – 30 minutes
This is based for unpolished rice (brown rice, whole grain rice)

How to cook jasmine or pandan rice?

Jasmine rice, also called pandan rice, comes from Thailand. It has more flavor than white rice, but needs less water. It is called pandan rice because this type of rice is often cooked with pandan leaves.

Amount of water1.25 times as much water as rice
How long to cook?10 – 15 minutes
Based for jasmine or pandan rice

How to cook basmati rice?

With basmati rice, you have a choice of two different types: white basmati and whole grain basmati rice. For whole grain basmati rice, use twice as much water as rice. Below is the ideal ratio for white basmati rice.

Amount of water:1.75 times as much water as rice
How long to cook?10 – 15 minutes
Based for basmati rice

Cooking rice in the microwave, how does it work?

  1. Fill a large bowl with rice and water (follow the instructions for water to rice ratios we gave earlier in this article)
  2. Set the microwave to 600 – 700 watts
  3. Let it cook for 8 – 9 minutes
  4. When finished, place the lid on the bowl and let the rice continue to cook for a while

I’m in a hurry: how to cook rice quickly?

Are you in a hurry and want to prepare rice quickly. Then choose precooked rice. This rice is pre-cooked, so it only needs to be on the stove for 8 – 10 minutes. Keep in mind to add less water than usual. In this case: check the package for the instructions for pressure cooker rice.

Conclusion: the best way to cook rice?

The easiest way to cook rice is with a rice cooker. The big advantage is that the device automatically shuts off as soon as the rice is cooked. This way you have nothing else to worry about. When finished, leave the rice to warm for a while and you will achieve the perfect rice!

Also read: how does a rice cooker work?
Also read: the benefits of a rice cooker
Also read: the ultimate guide to storing rice
Also read: test results with the Best Rice Cookers of 2021

Don’t feel like buying a rice cooker? Dry-cooking in a pan provides the best results in terms of taste, flavors and preservation of nutrients. After all, you don’t throw away any water afterwards. With this method of cooking, however, it is important to get the ratio of water to rice right. You can always add some boiling water during cooking, but it is not ideal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you drain rice without a colander?

In this case, use the lid with a cloth to pour off the rice. Be careful not to burn your hands. This works pretty well since rice is heavier than water. So it stays on the bottom.

Why do you need to wash rice before cooking?

Thanks to modern production processes, today you buy clean rice without dirt and small stones. Still, it is important to wash rice again with cold water. This removes the layer of starch that naturally surrounds rice. This layer of starch makes rice stick together. If the recipe calls for sticky rice, do not wash the rice.

Why leave the rice after cooking?

For the perfect rice, let the rice stand for a while after cooking. The steam makes the rice even softer. Especially for whole grain rice, this is a must.

Can you steam rice?

Yes, this process takes a little longer. For steaming, use a steamer, a steamer pan or just a pan with an iron colander with the lid on.

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