A guide to making foolproof rice

September 13, 2023
Guide to making foolproof rice

Rice is a  versatile grain that graces the tables of homes across the globe and considered a simple household staple. Achieving perfectly cooked rice every time can be a culinary challenge. Whether you’re preparing a fluffy bed of basmati, a creamy risotto, or sticky sushi rice, mastering the art of foolproof rice is essential. 

Get a guide to making foolproof rice with these easy tips:

Choosing the right rice

Begin your rice journey by selecting the right type of rice for your desired dish. Each variety has unique characteristics, so understanding them is key. Long-grain rice, like Basmati or Jasmine, is prized for its separate, fluffy grains and is ideal for dishes such as biryani or pilaf. Short-grain rice, like Arborio or sushi rice, is starchier and results in creamier, stickier rice, perfect for risotto and sushi rolls. The key is to match the rice variety to your recipe.

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Rinsing and soaking

Rinsing rice under cold water is a crucial step to remove excess surface starch, preventing it from becoming gummy during cooking. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, and for some dishes like risotto, consider soaking it for 15-30 minutes to improve texture and reduce cooking time.

The perfect water-to-rice ratio

Achieving the right water-to-rice ratio is essential. Generally, it’s a 1:2 ratio for most long-grain and medium-grain rice varieties (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water) but always refer to the packaging instructions for specific guidelines. Remember, the ratio may vary slightly based on the rice’s age and type, so don’t hesitate to adjust as needed.

Read more: Make perfect sushi rice

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Precise cooking methods

For stove-top cooking, bring your water and rice to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover tightly. Let it cook undisturbed until all the water is absorbed, typically 15-20 minutes for most varieties. For fluffy rice, fluff it with a fork after removing it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for a few minutes to allow any residual moisture to escape.

Avoiding the temptation to peek

One common mistake when making rice is lifting the lid to check on it frequently. Doing so allows steam to escape and disrupts the cooking process. Trust the process and resist the urge to peek – patience pays off!


Rice is a kitchen staple that, when cooked to perfection, can elevate any meal. With the right rice choice, proper rinsing and soaking, precise water-to-rice ratios, and patience in the cooking process, you’ll soon be on your way to mastering foolproof rice every time.


ALSO SEE: Know your rice

Know your rice

Feature image: Unsplash

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