How to Cook Perfect Rice on the Stove
A foolproof recipe for perfect rice, every time.Print
Serving Size: 4
This is it – the foolproof recipe for how to cook perfect rice on the stove. If cooking rice makes you nervous, know that you are not alone. Even really accomplished cooks get intimidated by plain old rice. My mother had a friend who made extravagant, authentic Chinese meals, and then sent her husband to go pick up rice from the local Chinese restaurant. Another friend of mine works in one of the best test kitchens in the country, and when she has a chili party she asks one of the guests to bring the rice.
But we’re going to solve the rice-phobic issue today. Rice is too awesome not to know how to make easily. And if you have kids, you probably know how much kids like rice. I serve rice at least a couple of times a week, with dinner — it’s so easy to make, it’s perfect for soaking up sauces, balancing out a slightly spicy main dish, and when all else fails, it’s what a picky eater will eat. Often I make brown rice….more often I make white.
The basic recipe is 2 to 1, in terms of water and rice. You can easily, double and even triple the recipe; just make sure you are using a pot large enough to hold the rice as it cooks and expands. Other rice varieties, like brown and Arborio, can be a little different in terms or proportions and timing, but this is how you’ll get perfect white rice every time.
Cooked rice keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make extra to serve later in the week, or to use in different dishes. To reheat cooked rice in the microwave, you could sprinkle a bit of water on top, and drape a damp paper towel over the top before heating it, to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional)
- 1 cup long grain white rice
1. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and butter and allow the butter to melt.
2. When the water has returned to a boil, stir in the rice. Let the water return to a light simmer. Stir again, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Keep the rice simmering slightly, and keep the pot covered (you may have to peek after a few minutes to make sure the heat is at the correct temperature, but then let it cook, covered). Start checking to see if the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed at about 17 minutes. It may take up to 25, especially if you are making a larger quantity of rice.
3. When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and let it sit for another couple of minutes to finish absorbing any liquid. Take off the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and let it sit for another 2 minutes or so, so that some of the excess moisture in the rice dries off.