Tried and tested, best and easiest way to cook the perfect rice every time! No more guessing game!
There is a joke in the Philippines as I was growing up in the province that a girl is not allowed to marry until she can prove that she knows how to cook rice!! I think I must have been reminded about this many times that it stuck in my head!
Thankfully, this is no longer the litmus test before one can marry or many would have flunked right away.
But perhaps you are wondering, what’s the big deal with cooking rice?
Well, it is indeed a big deal when you live in a country that eats rice at least 3 times a day! Breakfast begins with rice and certainly any viand for lunch or dinner is never complete without a hot bowl of rice. In fact some even have cold rice for snack (“merienda” or “bahaw”) and we do have many rice desserts, too.
It is indeed the main staple in the Philippines.
So, you can understand why it is absolutely necessary to learn how to cook rice. We simply cannot live without it.
While I now possess a slow cooker where I regularly make my rice, there are still times when I need to cook rice in a saucepan on the stovetop and for those times this is my tried and tested formula.
Now let me say first that this formula works best with Jasmine and Basmati rice – the only types of rice I use for cooking in my household.
This won’t work for sticky rice or wild rice or even brown rice (all of them requiring a bit more water). If you wish to cook with the regular American rice, I suggest using just the ratio of 1:1 – 1 cup of water per 1 cup of rice because in my experience regular American rice has the tendency to be mushy and doesn’t require that much water.
This rice will result in the cooked rice that you will usually find in a typical Chinese restaurant. It would be dry and not moist or watery. Just like how we Asians love it! So it is certainly perfect for your favorite Asian dish.
SHOULD I RINSE THE RICE BEFORE COOKING IT?
To rinse or not to rinse? It all depends on you.
Rinse, if you don’t like rice grains with all the starch in them or when you prefer the grains a bit more separate rather than clumpy. I don’t always rinse especially if pressed for time but I rinse when I can.
Also, some people say that when you rinse you wash away the nutrients in the rice – I am not particularly certain about this and I haven’t researched this thoroughly though. I just know that we rinse twice in the Philippines because some rice husks and chaff still remain with the grains and we rinse to wash these out.
On the other hand, the packed rice you see in the stores here in the US has been cleaned (no more husks or chaff) thereby eliminating the need for any extra rinsing unless you want to remove the starch. So it’s up to you. The key is, should you decide to rinse, to ensure that the rice is thoroughly drained after rinsing.
The basic formula is 1:1 1/2 cups — 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of rice and for a maximum of 3 cups of uncooked rice for best results. You can use this measurement both for stovetop and rice cooker. It works either way. And if you use Jasmine and Basmati – you’ll have the perfect rice every time. Now, this recipe simply covers the basic rice — plain rice and water — no flavoring added. This is how we cook rice.
We cook without any flavoring because as you know, Asian main dishes are already quite loaded and strong in flavors so there’s no need to dress up the side too much. We certainly prefer it plain. But certainly, you can jazz up your rice but using chicken broth instead or even some butter and citruses, too!
Anyway, hope this formula helps!
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FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW.
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS FOR How to Cook the Perfect Rice Every Time!
- Rice – preferably Basmati or Jasmine. For this measurement and recipe to work best use the recommended rice. Jasmine (what you get from your local Thai or Asian restaurant) is wonderfully aromatic and is my favorite. Basmati (from India) is a very reliable rice variety for cooking and actually more wholesome and healthier than other types of rice. Other types of rice may be used but you may need to adjust the amount of water because certain types of rice like more water while others do not.
- Water – yes, this is all that you need for typical Asian rice. We don’t add any flavors to our regular rice because the main dishes that accompany rice, whether it be pork, beef, chicken or vegetarian, are always full of flavor already and plain rice works best with them.
HOW TO MAKE the Perfect Rice Every Time!
- Rinse the rice twice (or leave unrinsed if you’re not bothered with the starch). Use your hand as a rake as you rinse it. Use a fine strainer and dry thoroughly. Return the rice into the saucepan.
- Add the measured water. Heat uncovered using medium to high heat. Allow to boil. Once its vigorously boiling adjust the heat to the lowest setting. Cover and cook until water has dried up between
- Turn off the heat. Do not remove the cover but let it stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve in a platter immediately. If there are left-overs, chill in the fridge and use it for fried rice the next day!
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 20 mins.
Tags: Rice, Asian Food, Recipe, Gluten-free, Side Dish
How to Cook the Perfect Rice Every Time!
- 2 cups Rice, preferably Basmati or Jasmine
- 3 cups Water
Rinse the rice twice (or leave unrinsed if you’re not bothered with the starch). Use your hand as a rake as you rinse it. Use a fine strainer and dry thoroughly. Return the rice into the saucepan.
Add the measured water. Heat uncovered using medium to high heat. Allow to boil. Once it's vigorously boiling adjust the heat to the lowest setting. Cover and cook until water has dried up between 15-17 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Do not remove the cover but let it stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve in a platter immediately. If there are left-overs, chill in the fridge and use it for fried rice the next day!
TIPS & TRICKS
Do you have any left-over rice? This is the easiest way to make fried rice.
Fancy making your favorite takeaway Chinese fried rice? Get the recipe here.