1. To cook long-grained white rice, keep in mind a 2 to 1 ratio. Boil 2 cups of water in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, add 1 cup of rice and reduce heat.
2. Reduce the heat to very low. The rice grains swell as they absorb the water. If the temperature is too high, the bottom of the pan of rice can scorch while the top rice is still undercooked. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
3. When the timer rings, turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat. Let the rice sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes (and no peeking under the lid–the steam will escape).
4. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.
- You can serve the rice immediately, or put the lid back on to keep it warm while you finish cooking the rest of your meal.
- To chill rice for a salad, spread it out on a sheet pan to cool quickly.
- For food safety reasons, rice should never be left out at room temperature longer than two hours.
Other rice cooking ratios:
Follow directions on the package, or use these guidelines:
- To cook brown rice: Use 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.
- To cook basmati or jasmine rice: Follow the instructions for long-grained white rice.
- To cook wild rice: Use 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.
- To cook rice pilaf: For pilaf dishes, rice is sauteed in oil in order to keep the grains separate during cooking. Cook the rice, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the rice becomes translucent before adding the cooking liquid. Pilafs can be made on the stovetop or in the oven.
- To cook in a rice cooker: This traditional tool makes for perfect rice every time, especially if you know the trick for measuring the rice to water ratio using your finger as a guide. Details here.
- To cook sushi rice: Bring short grain rice to a boil and reduce heat, covering for 20 minutes. Once the water has been absorbed, the rice is seasoned with a mixture of sweetened vinegar, which is carefully mixed in as the rice cools. In traditional Japanese kitchens, one cook fans the rice while another stirs. The result is a slightly sticky rice that’s the foundation for raw fish or vegetables.
Popular rice recipes: