Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Cook Rice in a Pot

Calrose Rice/White Medium Grain
Growing up in Hawaii we cooked rice every night.  The basics were to use the plastic measuring cup that came with our rice cooker (which actually measures to 3/4 cup not a full cup) and fill the water to the designated line then press the button and you would have fresh hot rice in about 30 minutes.

The actual measure is 3/4 cups of rice when using the plastic measure.
That's all fine and dandy if you have a rice cooker, which I do.  But what if you don't? You need to learn how to cook rice in a pot.

You can cook 1 cup of rice or 40 cups as long as you have the right size pot.  So when choosing a pot, make sure you only fill the pot 1/3 of the way with rice. Because it will double in volume and once fluffed it will expand even more.
I use this pot to cook 3cups of rice (actually 2 1/4 cups)
I brought rice to a potluck and everyone wanted to know how I cooked it.  I found it to be such an odd question, because I cook rice almost every night and never thought it to be a secret.  However, the comments were... mine is always soggy or pasty or hard.  And I thought... I need to write this post for everyone who loves rice.

Rice has become so universal and every type of rice needs a different amount of water to make it perfect.

So this is how I would cook almost any rice.  I say almost because I'm sure there are more rice in the world that I have not cooked.  But, most of the usual suspects can be cooked this way.  Calrose, Long Grain, Brown, Jasmine, Basmati...

WASH rice about 3-6 times (I'm a 6er myself)
Some might argue that rice doesn't need to be rinsed/washed.  For me... I prefer to wash my rice and think that it makes a huge difference in the finished product.

How much water/liquid should I add?
Read the package!
Back in the day... rice (Calrose/white medium grain) would be 1 to 1.  However, that has changed - I'm not sure why, but it is now 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cups of water.

SOAK the rice for at least 30 min.
This is a very important step.
I often wash my rice in the morning and let it sit until dinner time.


  • Cook on HIGH (uncovered) until it comes to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down to MED-high and let almost all of the liquid evaporate.
  • Place the cover on and turn down to low.
  • Time this for 15 min
  • Turn off the heat- but leave the pot on the stove for another 15 min.
  • Tilt cover to vent and time this for another 15 min.
  • At this point - you can fluff your rice and it should remove itself from the pot without any of it sticking to the bottom.
Some refer to this type of rice as sticky rice.  Simply because it sticks together. Where as a long grain rice will stay loose.  However, it's not.  Sticky rice is a whole nother thing.  But call it what you like - just remember to buy the right type of rice (Calrose/ white medium grain) to get the best results.

FINGER TRICK - once you get used to cooking rice in a pot, you can use your finger to measure how much water to add without a measuring cup.

  • Practice makes perfect.  With that said... when you are cooking rice with a measuring cup.  Do the finger trick to visualize the rice to water ratio.  Before you know it.  You will not need the measuring cup.

Spread the rice out evenly in the pot.  
Use your finger to measure the height of the rice.

You will need 1 1/4 amount of water for this rice.
Use your thumb to mark where an additional 1/4 would be.
The same rule would be true if it was 2 to 1, just move your marker to double the water.

Then place your finger above the rice and add water to your marked line on your finger.

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