How to Cook Perfect White Rice

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

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Has perfect white rice ever eluded you? After years, I finally cracked the code on absolutely perfect, fluffy, delicious white rice. I have this exact method memorized and I have a feeling you will, too! Get ready for easy, perfect rice…

White pot with fluffy white rice in it with a silver spoon with a spoonful of rice.

Perfect White Rice

There are 3, very important, steps to perfect white rice and it is HIGH TIME I share them with you here! I’m almost embarrassed it has taken me this long (12 years, good grief) to write this post …but here we are!

Okay, so perfect white rice requires…

  • Rinsed rice. This step is easy! Don’t be intimidated and YES, I do think it’s worth the step.
  • The correct ratio of liquid to rice (1:1 is my standard these days).
  • Fat and salt.

That’s it! Rinsing the rice helps remove excess starch that makes the rice clump together. When you rinse the rice thoroughly (4-5 times in a pot or a solid 2-3 minutes in a strainer under water), you will have individual grains of rice that hang out like close, but not co-dependent, friends.

The correct ratio of liquid will make sure that your rice isn’t dry or soupy at the end and then the fat and salt will really send this all the way to perfect rice home. First, the fat does two things. It will aid in coating each grain of rice with just a touch of butter or olive oil (my favorites, but coconut oil is also great!) making them even fluffier to enjoy but it will also help keep your rice pot from boiling over. Lastly, the salt offers up fabulous seasoning so that your rice actually tastes like a proud member of the plate, rather than an afterthought of a starch.

Ingredients Needed to Make White Rice

Top down view of uncooked rice in a white bowl.
  • 1 cup of white rice (this basmati rice is our go-to!)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

How to Cook Rice on the Stove

Hand pouring rice into a white pot from a measuring cup.
Hand pouring water from a measuring cup into a white pot with rice.
Hand swishing rice in the pot to rinse it.
Rice with water in a white pot.
  1. Rinse your rice – to rinse your rice, you have two options! You can rinse it right in the pot you’ll cook it in (like what we have shown above) or you can rinse it in a mesh strainer under water. If you’re rinsing in the pot, you’ll want to repeat this 4-5 times, or until the water runs clear. If you’re rinsing in a mesh strainer, do this for 2-3 minutes, shaking the strainer vigorously to help shake off the dusty coatings.
  2. Add the water and rice to a pot – once the rice is rinsed and drained, add the cooking water into the pot. 
  3. Add salt and olive oil (or butter) – this step is optional, but if you wish, add a tablespoon of olive oil (or butter) and a ½ teaspoon of salt to the pot.
  4. Bring the water and rice to a boil, then reduce and simmer – bring the water and rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit – once the 15 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice sit (covered) for 5 minutes.
  6. Fluff, serve, and enjoy – use a fork to fluff the rice, then serve and enjoy!

What is the ratio of water to rice?

For the most perfect white rice, you’ll need 1 cup of water for every 1 cup of rice. This ratio is slightly different than what you’ll see on the back of most rice packages, but we’ve found that the slight reduction in water keeps the rice from getting gloopy (is that a word?!).

How Long to Cook White Rice

White rice is the quickest cooking of the rice varieties. It clocks in at 15-20 minutes of simmer time (so about 25 minutes altogether).

How do you know when rice is cooked?

You’ll know that your white rice is cooked when it’s absorbed all of the liquid in the pot and is nice and fluffy.

White pot with fluffy white rice in it with a silver spoon with a spoonful of rice.

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, your rice will keep for up to a week!

How to Freeze Cooked Rice

This is a meal prep GAME CHANGER! To freeze your cooked rice, simply spread the cooked rice out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, pop it in the freezer, and after a couple of hours, portion it out into freezer bags! To reheat from frozen, simply pop it into a microwave-safe container with a tablespoon or two of water, then heat on high in 1-minute increments until warmed through.

How to Reheat Rice

Reheating your refrigerated rice is really similar to the instructions above for reheating from frozen. Add the rice to a microwave-safe bowl, top with a tablespoon or two of water (depending on how dry your rice seems), then microwave in 1-minute increments until warmed through.

White pot with fluffy white rice in it with a silver spoon with a spoonful of rice.

How to Enjoy White Rice

There are a TON of ways to eat white rice! In fact, it’s one of our very favorite starches. Here are our best rice-forward recipes:

Q Do you need to rinse rice before cooking?
A

We do prefer rinsing rice before cooking it. Because rinsing your rice pulls out any extra starches, it makes for the yummiest, fluffiest end product. Rinsing rice also eliminates any residual dirt, chemicals, or bugs present in the rice.

Q Can I substitute the water?
A

You can absolutely sub your water for another liquid! Our absolute favorite way to level-up rice is to use bone broth (particularly FOND bone broth) in place of the water. This is an incredibly simple way to take your rice to the next level both nutritionally and flavor-wise.

Q What is the ratio of white rice to water?
A

We use a 1 cup to 1 cup rice-to-water ratio for white rice. As mentioned above, this is a slightly lower water amount than you’ll typically find, but we find that it yields the fluffiest (read: not goopy) rice!

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How to Cook Perfect White Rice

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil optional
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt optional

Instructions

  • Add the rice to the pot you’re cooking the rice in, then cover the rice with water. Use your hand to swirl around the water and rice. Once the water looks nice and cloudy, use your hand, a spatula, or the lid of the pot to drain off the water. Repeat this step a couple of times, until the water is no longer super cloudy.
  • Once the rice is rinsed and drained, add the cooking water into the pot.
  • This step is optional, but if you wish, add a tablespoon of olive oil (or butter) and/or a ½ teaspoon of salt to the pot.
  • Bring the water and rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Once the 15 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice sit (covered) for 5 minutes.
  • Use a fork to fluff the rice, then serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Perfect White Rice
Amount per Serving
Calories
169
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.3
g
0
%
Sodium
 
5.3
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
37
g
12
%
Sugar
 
0.1
g
0
%
Protein
 
3.3
g
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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