How to Cook Steamed Rice Perfectly Every Time
How to cook steamed rice perfectly if the subject of more than one argument. It seems that everyone has a different opinion on how to create the perfect version of this versatile side dish. Some people prefer using a special electric rice cooker while others feel that the top of the stove is the way to go. Some prefer to rinse the rice first while others sauté it a little before steaming.
Ultimately the best way to steam rice is the one that works for you and allows you to create a dish with the texture and flavor that you like. Here are a few tips for making steamed rice that isn't sticky, undercooked, or mushy.
Stove-top Steamed Rice Recipe
Cooking steamed rice without a rice cooker is easy. It is important to have the heaviest pan possible - Le Creuset is my favorite because it is enamel overcast iron. The pan heats evenly, resists scorching, and is just better for rice in my opinion.
If you don't have a Le Creuset use any heavy saucepan that you may have.
- 1 cup white rice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, optional
- 1 3/4 cup water or broth
Instructions for Perfect Rice
- Wash the rice by placing it in a bowl of cold water. Swish the rice grains around with your hands and pour the water out through a colander. Repeat three to four times until the water is clear and not cloudy.
- Put the rice back in the bowl and cover with water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Place the rice in a heavy pan. Add the water, salt, and butter. Turn the heat to medium and allow the water to come to a full, rolling boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and cover for 20 minutes. Don't lift the lid of the pot during this time.
- Add the end of 20 minutes remove the rice from the heat and let rest, covered, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid carefully, watching that the steam doesn't burn you. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve or use as directed in any recipe.
How to Make Perfect Steamed Rice in a Rice Cooker
Cooking rice in a rice cooker is probably the easiest way to go. It will tend to be sticky if you forgo rinsing the rice, however.
Always cook the rice according the the instructions that come with your rice steamer but as a general rule you will put 1 cup of rice and 1 3/4 cups of water, plus a 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt into the cooker. Turn it on, cover it and continue fixing the rest of your meal. The rice will be finished in 25 minutes - but be sure to allow it to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Other Types of Rice
White rice comes in many varieties but there is also other types to choose from. Consider a few of the possibilities:
- Forbidden or Black rice
- Wild rice
- Brown rice
- Jasmine rice
- Short grain
- Long grain
Each of these offers unique flavor, color, or aroma that will help you create interesting and unique dishes.
Each of these types can be cooked using the same method but the ratio of liquid to rice may be different.
Ratios of Rice to Liquid
Type of Rice
Amount of Rice
Amount of Water
White (all types)
1 3/4 cup
2 1/2 cups
40 to 50 minutes
45 to 55 minutes
1 3/4 cups
35 to 40