Each type of rice, having different proportions of starch and
moisture content, absorbs water and swells differently during
cooking, producing various degrees of softness/firmness and
stickiness/separateness. The cooking method influences the
quality of the cooked rice. For optimal results, use of an
electronic rice cooker is recommended, to produce uniformly good
There are 4 basic cooking methods for cooking rice. These are:
The Absorption Method
(optimal stove-top method for most rice) The absorption method
involves bringing 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water to the
boil whilst stirring occasionally. The heat is then lowered to a
medium/low level, the rice is covered (with a lid) and simmered
for 15-20 minutes (white rice) or 25-30 minutes (brown rice).
The rice is then removed from heat, and let to stand covered for
Tip: For firmer rice add a little
less water, for a softer rice, add slightly more. If cooking
large quantities the amount of water to rice ratio will be
The Gentle Boil Method
The gentle boil method (previously known as "rapid boil"
method), involves bringing 1 cup of rice and 6-8 cups of water
to the boil whilst stirring occasionally. The heat is lowered
and the rice is brought to a gentle boil (as opposed to a
vigorous rapid boil), and is cooked uncovered for 12-15 minutes
(white rice) or 25-30 minutes (brown rice). The rice is then
removed from heat and drained well.
Note: If the water is boiling too
vigorously the grains tend to split and the texture of the
cooked rice will not be at its best. As such, a gentle boil is
recommended rather than a vigorous boil.
Microwave Rice Cooker
When using a microwave rice cooker to cook rice, generally the
same water to rice ratio as the absorption method is used.
However, as there are great variances between microwaves, it is
best to refer to microwave oven manual as watts may vary.
Electric rice cooker
A rice measuring cup, that is usually supplied with the rice
cooker measures 180mls. If you happen to lose your measuring cup
supplied with the rice cooker, measure the equivalent amount
(i.e. 180mls) in a regular measuring cup or jug and use that as
the guide. You can then use the marks in the rice cooker, to
fill with the correct level of water.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse Rice?
During the milling process the rice grains are gently rubbed
against each other, leaving a fine powdery coating of starch on
each grain. Rinsing all rice 2 to 3 times prior to cooking is
recommended to remove any loose starch. For optimal cooking
results, soaking (as opposed to rinsing) Basmati rice for 30
minutes prior to cooking is also recommended to soften the rice
General Cooking Hints and Tips
Measure the water and rice accurately, as per pack
Time the cooking accurately, as per pack instructions.
Rinse all rice 2 to 3 times prior to cooking to remove any
excess starch. There is no need to rinse rice after cooking.
You can test whether rice is cooked 'al dente' by pinching a
grain. If there is no hard core (chalky centre), the rice is
Do not rinse rice in a rice cooker especially if the rice
cooker has a non-stick surface, as it may scratch the cooker's
Always let cooked rice stand for 5 to 10 minutes off heat,
with the lid on, to complete the cooking process and
redistribute moisture evenly.
Fluff cooked rice gently with a fork or flat plastic spoon
provided with the rice cooker, for perfect fluffy rice. Slice
through rice rather than stir it, to avoid the grains being
Remember, the moisture content of rice can vary with age and
storage conditions, so adjustments may have to be made to the
amount of water added for cooking.