Perfect rice


To prepare a simple boiled rice all you need is a medium-sized saucepan with a well fitting lid, a sieve, a fork, a teaspoon, and measuring cups. White rice is usually clean and does not need washing to remove dust or husk bits like brown rice does. This extra step rinses off excess starch and ensures that the cooked rice is not sticky.


1 c rice (long grain white rice such as Basmati or Jazmine)
2 c water
1 t salt


  1. Measure the rice and wash.
  2. Shake off the water and tip the rice into a medium-sized saucepan. Add half a teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil, then give the rice a stir.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook for:
      10-12 minutes, uncovered, for long grain rice
      15-18 minutes, uncovered, for short grain rice
      25-30 minutes, covered, for brown long grain rice
      40-45 minutes, covered, for brown short grain rice.
  4. Take a look at the rice. The water should have been absorbed. If it is not, cover and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes. This will drive off any excess moisture to ensure the grains are fluffy and separate.
  6. Alternatively, you can tip again the cooked rice into a sieve so the excess moisture will drip of, and give it a quick wash with boiling water to drive away any remaining starch.
  7. If wished, add, oil, butter or chopped herbs to the rice before serving.
  8. Fluff up the rice with a fork before serving.


Microwave cooked rice

Follow step 1, then tip the rice, salt and water into a microwave-proof bowl - a Pyrex bowl is fine- with a lid that will allow steam to pass. Alternatively, cover the bowl tightly with microwavable film and pierce this three or four times with a sharp pointed knife. Cook on high for 5 minutes; then on defrost for 10-12 minutes. The rice will stay hot for up to 15 minutes if you keep it covered. I recommend this procedure only for white rice.

Oven cooked rice

Rice can be also cooked in the oven, which is good if the oven was already warm or you are cooking something else at the same time. Wash the rice as in step 1, then tip it into an oven pan. Pour over the boiling water with the salt. Stir, cover, and cook 40 minutes in the center of a medium-hot (350°F) oven. This method is only good for white rice as brown rice would take too long to cook.

Steamed rice

Have you wonder how Chinese prepare such a perfect rice? It is not a mystery. The rice is first blanched for 5 minutes, then steamed for 45 minutes. Steamed rice is never dry or overcooked. This method is good for white long grain rice, and if you cook more than 2 cups raw rice this way, the rice will not be evenly cooked.

Pressure cooker

Use only 1 1/4 cups of water. Place rice, water, and salt in the pressure cooker. Cook for 8 minutes. Cool down the pressure cooker under running water and open. Leave the rice for 10 minutes before serving.

Hot water, or broth

Flavor and season the liquid. Take it to the boil. Add the rice. Don't stir. Keep heat high until the liquid boils again. Cook for 5 minutes, reduce to low and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or more depending on the type of rice. Cover. Let it rest 5 minutes. Serve.

Brown rice

Is prepared much the same way, but it will need to cook, very slowly, for 45 minutes, and this you should not skip the washing step at all. It may need 1/2 cup more water at the start, or the the addition of some more boiling water in the middle if it is brown short grain rice.

Keeping the rice warm

Transfer to a heat resistant bowl and fluff. Add butter, 1 or 2 tsp, and cover. Set over a pan half filled with hot water in the center of a very low oven (110°C - 235°F), and the rice will keep still perfect for 30 minutes maximum.

Rice for salads

Dress the rice when it is still warm. Let it cool down, pour into a bowl and cover. Keep in the fridge until needed. Don't dress the rice if you are planning to use a mold, it wouldn't stick together.

4 servings
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
20 minutes