Cooking Basics

How to cook rice

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Bowl of rice
Learn how to make rice like a pro
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Knowing how to cook rice is easy with the right recipe

Throughout the world, rice is a staple ingredient in every meal of the day.  But in the U.S., many people are so unsure about how to cook rice that they resort to pre-cooked boxes of rice or even heat-in-the microwave rice.  Enough!  It's time to learn just how easy it is to cook real rice.

Basic White Rice

If you're new to cooking rice, you may want to start with plain white rice.  Skip the boxes of "instant rice", and grab a bag of long grain white rice.


    4 cups water
    2 cups uncooked white rice (not "Minute" or "Instant")


Bring the water to boil in a saucepan
Add the rice AFTER the water comes to a full boil
Stir once with a fork
Cover and reduce heat to low
Allow the rice to simmer for about 20 minutes
Fluff with a fork, and serve

White rice is good with Asian food, as a side dish with meat or fish, or as a base for roasted vegetables. If you're making sushi or Thai food, you may want to use sticky rice instead.

Healthy Brown Rice

Brown rice has been called the perfect food.  Rich in nutrients and fiber, some have even claimed that it's possible to live a healthy like on brown rice alone. While I wouldn't recommend that diet, I would suggest that you learn how to make rice that's not only filling but also healthy.

Great brown rice is a little more complicated than white rice, but the recipe is still something even a beginner can do well.

As a note, fresher brown rice cooks faster and tastes better.  Instead of the bags on your grocery store shelf, consider buying your brown rice from a store with bulk food bins, where the turnover keeps it fresher.

2 cups brown rice (short or long grain)
8 cups of water
Salt, to taste (I would use about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe, but you may prefer more or less)


Large strainer with small holes


  • Pour the rice into a strainer with small holes (you don't want the rice to end up down the sink!)
  • Rinse the rice in the strainer under cold running water for 1 minute, stirring the rice with your hands as you rinse
  • Put the water into a large pot with a good lid, and bring to a boil
  • Add the rice to the boiling water and give it a good stir
  • Reduce heat to medium, and allow rice to cook uncovered for 30 minutes
  • Strain the rice briefly (about 5-10 seconds) then put it back in the pot
  • Cover the pot with a very well fitted lid and set aside (off the heat) for 10 minutes (if your pot's lid does not fit tightly, cover the top well with foil and then put the kid on top of it
  • After the 10-minute rest, remove cover, fluff with fork and serve

Aromatic Jasmine or Basmati Rice


1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt


Large strainer with small holes


Pour rice into a large bowl.  Cover with cold water, and stir.
Strain rice and repeat until water runs clear
Put 1.1/2 cups of water, and washed rice into pot. Add salt
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low
Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and rice is soft
Fluff with a fork and serve

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