How to cook rice

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  • Learn how to cook rice with this simple step-by-step picture recipe. This easy skill will transform dinner times. Make sure you cook your rice properly with this guide.

    Learning how to cook rice may seem simple, but it can sometimes be a tricky thing to get right.

    When finished, enjoy your rice alongside a delicious chickpea and potato curry, or a Caribbean chicken curry

    Rice is very easy to cook but to ensure light, fluffy results every time, good quality rice is essential. Cheaper rice will be disappointing, soggy and lacking in flavour – however carefully you cook it.

    Which type of rice should I buy?

    There are many different varieties of rice when it comes to learning how to cook rice, the most common being American long grain, a good all rounder which holds its shape well.

    Basmati is a more expensive aromatic delicate rice and is the classic accompaniment to curries and for making pilaf (rice flavoured with spices).

    Both these types of rice can be cooked in the same way ie in plenty of boiling water for 10-15 mins until tender and then drained, or by the absorption method where the water is measured and completely absorbed by the rice.

    Brown rice contains more fibre, vitamins and minerals than white because the bran and germ have not been removed. It takes a lot longer to cook (about 40 minutes) and has a chewier texture. It keeps you feeling fuller for longer so is the healthier choice – especially if you’re on a diet.

    Black, red Carmargue and wild rice are less common and more expensive, speciality rices. They have a nuttier flavour than white rice and take 20-40mins to cook but their firm, chewy texture and colour makes them ideal for salads.

    Risotto (Arborio) rice is a short plump grain, which when cooked softens on the outside to give a creamy texture to risottos but still remains slightly firm in the centre.

    How much rice do I need?

    The holy grail when it comes to how to cook rice – portions! We say allow 50-75g of uncooked rice per serving. This equates to 50-75ml per person if using a measuring jug which is often quicker than weighing it. Any leftover rice should be chilled quickly and can be stored in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 1 month.

    Reheat thoroughly and all the way through in the microwave, or in a little boiling water until piping hot.

    Now, we’ll show you how to cook American long-grain or basmati rice using the absorption method.


    • 200-300g (or 200-300ml if using a measuring jug) good quality
    • American long grain or basmati rice

    How to cook rice:

    Step 1: Measure twice the amount of water to rice ie 400-600ml water for 200-300ml rice.

    Step 2: Place in a saucepan, season with a little salt and bring to the boil.

    Step 3: Cover with a tightly fitting lid, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 mins until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, American long grain rice will take a little longer to cook than basmati. Try not to lift the lid too often to keep as much steam in the pan as possible.

    Step 4: Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 mins before fluffing up with a fork and serving.


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