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How to cook rice in a pot |Vietnamese cooking

Updated on September 24, 2014

The previous hub has introduced how to cook rice in an electric rice cooker and advised you to purchase one if you love to cook Asian food because it will be your time saver. Nonetheless, you might not have a rice cooker around so this hub is going to introduce my childhood rice cooking method, rice cooking in a pot.

When I was small, we did not have an electric rice cooker so we cooked rice in a pot on wood fire or electric stove. And I found it much easier than cooking rice on a gas stove because the heat on a gas stove is relative high, even at the lowest level. For that reason, when you cook rice on a gas stove, please mind the heat.

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We used to cook on wood fire, especially, at my grands' place. In fact, they still keep and use it in parallel to the gas stove. Like us when I was smallRice pot from my memory, as was taken at my grands' kitchen.
We used to cook on wood fire, especially, at my grands' place. In fact, they still keep and use it in parallel to the gas stove.
We used to cook on wood fire, especially, at my grands' place. In fact, they still keep and use it in parallel to the gas stove. | Source
Like us when I was small
Like us when I was small | Source
Rice pot from my memory, as was taken at my grands' kitchen.
Rice pot from my memory, as was taken at my grands' kitchen. | Source
Cast your vote for rice cooking in a pot

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: serving one person 3 ounces of rice


  • 3 oz Thai fragrant rice
  • 6 oz water


  1. wash rice (optional)
  2. cook
  3. Vần cơm - reduce heat to the minimum and occasional turn the rice pot so heat will be distributed evenly.

1 wash

Place rice in the cook pot. Run cold water over it, stir and pour out impurity water. Repeat 1-2 times and we're done.

In the old day, we must go further than simply washing rice. We must vo đãi gạo.

Vo: squeeze and rub rice to get rid off dirt
Đãi: separate rice from grits
Gạo: rice

Why? Because rice was obviously dusty and gritty since it, was produced at family scale and sold in local market or from families to families. Farmers dried rice in their yards then brought rice to the mill and separated grain from its skin. The mill was dusty, the yards was gritty .

Addition: It's believed that great amount of vitamins are in the rice's outer layer and if you wash rice till clean clear; you will loose it; It's just the theory. Commercial rice now a day does not cause milky water anymore. I suspect that the good was gone within the producing process.

rá gạo  - bamboo colander for vo đãi gạo
rá gạo - bamboo colander for vo đãi gạo | Source

2 cook

Option 1: Bring water to rolling boil then pour rice in to.
Option 2: Place rice into the pot, add water and bring to rolling boil.
The formal will make tastier and healthier plain rice though the distinct is hard to define.

Let it rolling boil for 1-2 minutes, stir then reduce to medium heat. When the water reduces to the rice surface, turn heat to minimum.

3 vần cơm

Vần means turn so the heat is distributed evenly
Cơm mean rice.
When we was in wood fire era that was popular term. when the rice form shape. You took the rice pot off the stove to cook other dishes. you placed the rice pot beside but not on fire for continuous cook. because the pot was not on the stove but aside and the heat only touched the pot from one side, you must turn it now an again to have evenly cooked rice

When the water level reduces to the rice level, the rice grains stick together, reduce the heat to lowest and maintain for 20-25 minutes. Occasionally, you might want to turn off the heat and leave the rice pot for few minutes (3-5) then turn it on again. The reason behind it is because gas stove's heat is high, it might burn rice or make a thick rice-craker.

If you have a steal plate to place between the stove and the pot it would be better because It reduces and distributes heat more evenly.

rice cracker, we love to eat it actually
rice cracker, we love to eat it actually | Source


Do not open the rice pot when vần cơm, it will lose the steam and rice would not be cooked properly.

Use thick bottom pot and try to distribute the heat evenly. You might consider to put it on a pan, I never did that but why don't give it a try.

Consider to cook with an earthenware pot in the oven. If you could learn to do it, it'll give you the best plain rice because rice is cooked from above and below. The earthen pot would control the heat and distribute it better. I guess it would flavour well too, though someone might argue that earthen pot absorbs more goodness from rice.


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    • huyenchi profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from London - Hanoi

      Thank you shai77

    • shai77 profile image


      5 years ago

      I still love using old fashioned pots and pans. Great advice and tips, rice is always so hit or miss for me.

    • huyenchi profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London - Hanoi

      Thank you for your comment, I am glad that you found it helpful, if you have any particular question, please just let me know.

    • Pamela-anne profile image


      6 years ago from Miller Lake

      Interesting hub this was something I never cooked well thank you for your advice on how to cook rice properly. take care pam.


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