Perfectly Cooked Rice
Yield: 1 cup dry rice = 3 cups cooked
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 gummy rice and instead ensures fluffy, separate grains each and every time.


  • 1 cup (180g) white rice (short, medium, or long grain; see notes for brown rice and white basmati rice)
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) water (may substitute broth or stock)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste, and 1 tablespoon butter (cut into small cubes or softened) or olive oil (these additions make plain rice taste really good when served without other sauces)


  1. Add the water, rice, and optional salt to a large saucepan or pot with a tight-fitting lid, and set over medium high heat. When the water is bubbling gently but evenly and the surface is a bit foamy, stir once to loosen, and then turn the heat to low and cover with the lid.
  2. Cook on low for 13 minutes without stirring or removing the lid, after which time the water should all be absorbed (tilt the pot to check) and the rice should be tender.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in optional butter or olive oil. Serve hot.


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. If leftover rice seems dry, sprinkle lightly with water before reheating and/or cover with a damp paper towel when warming in the microwave.

You may double the recipe, but I do find that the deeper the rice is in the pot, the more difficult it is to cook perfectly.

For brown rice, increase the water to 1¾ cups and cook for 35 minutes. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.
For white basmati rice, follow the directions for regular white rice (using the same 1½ cups of water) and cook the rice for 12 minutes.


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