Perfectly Cooked Rice
Although most instructions for cooking rice use a ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water, I prefer a little less liquid. “Starving” the grains, as I like to say, prevents overcooked, sticky rice.


  • 1 cup rice (see notes below for different varieties)
  • 1 3/4 cups water (may substitute broth or stock, omitting salt if using a canned version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional, but I like to use olive or avocado oil and think it adds to the overall flavor)


  1. Rinse the rice in a strainer and drain very well. This step is not 100% necessary, but it will rinse off any dusty starch on the surface of the rice along with any stray particles. (Some rices have more starchy coating than others.)
  2. Bring the water to boil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Rice expands as it cooks, so the rice will cook better if it has sufficient room. A 2-quart saucepan is what I typically use.
  3. Once the water boils, stir in the rice, salt, and butter or oil. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. You want the liquid to just barely simmer. Don’t remove the lid while the rice is cooking (until the very end when you do need to peek).
  4. Start checking the rice around 15 minutes for white rice and 30 minutes for brown rice. When done, the rice will be firm but tender. It’s fine if the rice is slightly sticky, but it shouldn’t be gummy. If the rice is done but there is still a bit of water in the pan, carefully pour it off.
  5. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork, and let it sit for 4-5 minutes, uncovered, to dry out a little more. (If the rice still seems wetter than you would like, you can turn the burner back on, and carefully stir and fluff the rice for a few seconds The heat of the burner will quickly evaporate any extra liquid.)
  6. Cooked rice will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, so you can prepare it in advance and reheat or make extra for leftovers. Cooked and refrigerated rice is also perfect for making fried rice.


  • Measure a quarter cup of uncooked rice per person, or a half cup per person for more generous servings. One cup of uncooked rice will yield approximately 3 cups cooked. You can double the recipe, but I do find that the deeper the rice is in the pot, the more difficult it is to cook perfectly.

Approximate cooking times

  • • White Rice: 15 to 20 minutes
  • • Brown Rice: 30 to 40 minutes
  • • Wild Rice: 45 to 55 minutes
  • You may find subtle differences among cooking times of short, medium and long grain varieties. However, if you follow the basic directions, checking a little early and so on, you should have perfectly cooked rice no matter which variety you choose.

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