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How to Make Perfect Steamed Rice

30 March 2011

Rice is a staple food in many cultures, especially in most of Asia and the Middle East. So it is very important to know how to make rice. However a lot of people don’t actually know how to make plain steamed white rice. Hopefully this little tutorial will do the trick. I am using Japanese short-grain rice, but the following instructions can be applied to most Asian varieties of white rice, such as Chinese long-grain rice, glutinous rice, etc. It’s actually quite easy to do.

Here’s what to do:

1. Measure out your rice into an appropriately-sized saucepan or pot. Raw rice will approximately triple in volume when cooked.

2. ‘Wash’ the rice with cold water. Pour water over the rice and swirl it around with your hand. You should notice that the water turns quite cloudy.

3. Drain the rice into a sieve and rinse with water.

4. Transfer the rice back to the pot and repeat the washing and draining 2 or 3 times. You will notice that the water will no longer turn cloudy (it will run clear) after a while.

5. Drain the rice and return to the pot. Cover with water and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably about an hour.

6. Drain the rice well. Return to the pot and add about 1/8 more water than rice (by volume). For example, I used 1 1/2 cups rice and 1 2/3 cups water. Place a lid on the pot and heat on medium-high until the water boils (watch carefully). Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for about 13 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, but don’t remove the lid. Allow the rice to continue to steam for at least another 15 minutes.

7. You may want to fluff up the rice a bit with a fork. Serve!

The initial washing of the rice may seem a bit tedious but it is quite necessary. It removes the outer starch from the grains, allowing the rice to cook more easily and it won’t become sticky. Soaking the rice also helps it become more tender. Skipping either of these steps would result in hard rice. As well, allowing the rice to steam lets the rice settle a bit and tenderizes it further. Of course, if you have a rice cooker you could just use that and not have to worry about the cooking times. But you shouldn’t skip the washing and soaking steps.

I hope this doesn’t seem too bad and you try this yourself. Enjoy your rice!

*Sorry for lack of pictures! I will try to make rice again and add some more!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sophia permalink
    30 March 2011 10:36 am

    I’ve been making it wrong all this time D: LOL good tutorial!

    • 30 March 2011 5:06 pm

      Thanks Sophia! It’s okay, now you know! I used to think you just dumped rice in a pot with water and boiled it LOL

  2. Viv permalink
    9 May 2011 11:23 pm

    omg kids, just get a rice cooker!

  3. 11 May 2011 10:50 pm

    Hi Ryan: At home we use a steamer (not a rice cooker) to steam the rice. We love it that way. We use lesser water because it is the steam that envelops the container. The result is perfect rice with each grains standing up. The steaming process takes longer though. Ben

    • 11 May 2011 11:19 pm

      Thanks Ben! I should really try that but we don’t really have a steamer. Maybe I could improvise.
      I feel so special getting a comment from chowtimes.com! :)
      I’m glad you found my blog.

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