Steaming rice

A lot of westerners get rice wrong, and a lot of non-westerners notice. And a lot of people give in and buy a rice cooker to get it right for them… or just cook crappy rice.

Here’s how I was brought up cooking rice, and it’s foolproof…


  1. Measure out desired quantity of rice into a bowl, and half fill with water
  2. Wash rice thoroughly  to remove excess starch, and then drain (use a sieve so you don’t lose rice down the plughole) – this will prevent your rice from becoming sticky
  3. Place in large saucepan with a teaspoon of salt, and cover with required amount of water (see below for measurements for different kinds of rice), and place lid on top
  4. Bring to boil on high heat
  5. Turn heat to low once rice is boiling, tilt lid, and steam for 15 minutes
  6. Switch off heat, replace lid, and leave rice to finish steaming for a further 5 minutes
  7. Serve piping hot

Ratio of rice to water:

2 cups of rice serves 6 people

  • White long-grain rice: 2 cups rice | 3 cups water
  • Brown long-grain rice: 2 cups rice | 4 cups water
  • Basmati rice: 2 cups rice | 3 cups water
  • Jasmine rice: 2 cups rice | 3 cups water
  • Sushi rice: 2 cups rice | 2 and a half cups water
  • Sticky rice: 2 cups rice | 2 cups water
  • Arborio (risotto) rice: 2 cups rice | 4 cups water

Kitchenhand confession:

To be honest, I don’t actually often wash rice before I cook it. If you get the quantities and the timing right you shouldn’t have to worry about your rice going sticky – washing it just makes the process foolproof 😉

9 thoughts on “Steaming rice

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