Back to Basics: Rice

Back to Basics: Rice

Rice is the staple of Asians.

Every cook and housewife has their own way of measuring the water level to cook rice; such as “just up to the knuckles if spreading the palm out on the raw rice” or “the finger’s depth more water than the rice” and other kind of guesstimation. I hope to highlight a more measurable and accurate method of cooking fluffy old crop, long-grained rice – the main staple of Asia.

Steamed Rice©BondingTool

Long grain Jasmine Rice from Thailand.

How To Cook Rice
Long-grained Rice (Basmati, Thai Jasmine or Persian).
Water (Broth).

Prep Up Your Rice:
1. Use any cup or bowl to measure the rice (level measure no heaping).

2. Wash rice until the water runs clear and drain away excess water.

3. Use the same cup or bowl that you used to measure the rice earlier and this time measure 1¾ cup/bowl water or flavoured broth and add to the rice.

4. Let rice sit and soak in the liquid for half an hour up to an hour. This ensures even cooking later. This is the trick to good fluffy rice. Keep this under a food net or colander, away from possible contamination as we will not be rinsing anymore. If using the electric rice cooker (amount of water is different, see Electric Rice Cooker Method below), put it into the pot and cover with lid. Turn on “cook” after stipulated soaking time. If using broth, try not to exceed one hour.

Whether cooking in rice cooker or using other methods, the rice/water ratio are usually one cup of rice and one cup water for white/long-grained, slightly more water for brown and short-grained even more for black rice.

Electric Rice Cooker Method:
1. Put the washed rice and amount of water according to the instructions on the raw rice’s packaging. Electric rice cooker usually comes with a measuring cup and per every cup you use, you add water according to the water level markings in the pot.

2. Let the rice sit in the measured amount of water (in the electric rice cooker) for 30 minutes and press the “cook” button when ready.

3. Do not open the lid but let rice sit in pot for a further 5 minutes before serving.

Stove Methods:
Method 1 (measured water)
1. Put everything in a pot and bring the water to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring once or twice during this process to ensure even cooking.

2. Simmer rice in pot until all the water is absorbed and steam holes appear on the surface.

3. Cover the pot with a lid or plate.

4. Continue simmering until dry about 15-18 minutes on very very low heat until rice is dry and fluffy.

5. Keep rice in pot for a further 5 minutes before serving.

Method 2 (no measurement of water – like cooking pasta)
1. Bring a huge pot of water to a fast boil over high heat.

2. Boil rice in pot until rice becomes translucent. Stirring a few times during this process.

3. Pour the pot over a big colander to drain the water away.

4. Put rice back into the pot.

5. Cover the pot with a lid or plate and continue simmering until dry about 15-18 minutes on very very low heat until rice is dry and fluffy.

6. Keep rice in pot for a further 5 minutes before serving.

Method 3 (needs no measurement of water but is another way to cook rice especially when cooking Nasi Lemak).
A Steamer can have multiple tiers but we only need the lower pot (for water) and one of those tiers (with steaming holes) to cook rice.

1. Fill a huge 2-tiered steamer with lots of water and bring to a fast boil.

2. Put rice on a muslin cloth and lay onto the upper tier (pot with steam holes) of the pot. Make some steam holes in the rice, cover with lid and steam for 30-45 minutes until the rice is cooked. Gently stir to mix the rice (for even distribution of heat) halfway during the steaming process. Remember to make steam holes in rice again before covering the lid.

Buttered Rice©BondingTool

To make simple rice more fragrant (experiment with the suggestions below):
Pandan Leaves.
Fried Shallots.
Fried Onions.
Fried Garlic.
Rose Water/Essence.
Using broth/stock instead of water.
Tomato Juice (or add tomato puree/paste with stock).
Vegetable Juice (canned, sodium free).

Steamed Rice©BondingTool

Steamed Thai Jasmine Rice

Flavoured Rice

Flavoured Rice

Chap Chye Png©BondingTool

We eat plain rice topped with eggs, vegetables and meat.

Leftover rice can be fried with all your other leftover vegetables and meat so there’s no wastage


We eat plain rice topped with vegetables and meat. Leftover rice can be fried with all your other leftover vegetables and meat so there's no wastage :D

Rice And Everything Nice!

Happy eating and bonding 🙂

See how to make Basic Rice Congee click here.

Fried Rice Recipe

Biryani Chicken Recipe

One-dish Rice Meal Recipe

7 Responses to “Back to Basics: Rice”
  1. Nice recipe. We will try it.Thank you for sharing.,and thank you for liking my post (Sharing is the pinnacle of friendship..)

  2. Joel Parker says:

    Let the rice soak! Done and done. 🙂

  3. Jessica says:

    I needed this! Alas, I am a Western girl who did not grow up eating rice every meal nor learn how to properly cook it. Thank you for this lesson!

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