How to cook rice

How to cook rice

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to cook rice

Rice is one of the most consumed crops in the world with China being the largest producer and consumer. It has been around for many thousands of years, originating in Asia and being introduced to Africa and America as travel developed.

The type of rice preferred varies between countries; in India they use the long grain Basmati rice, Japan uses a medium grain sushi rice and Italy is famous for Arborio used in risotto.

It is often recommended that rice be rinsed before cooking however this is not mandatory.

How to cook long grain rice

Rinse the rice in cold water
Weigh the rice and calculate the amount of water needed using a ratio of 1:1.5 rice to water
Put the rice into a saucepan and cover with the water (the rice will expand as it cooks so ensure you use a large enough pan)
Bring to the boil over a medium heat then cover with a lid and reduce to a gentle simmer
Cook for 12–15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed
Fluff with a fork and serve immediately


Try adding spices such as cinnamon or cardamom to the rice as it cooks for a lovely perfumed flavour.

Cooking times for brown rice will be significantly longer as the rice is less processed. If cooking sushi or sticky rice the amount of water and the cooking time will be less so always follow the instructions on the packet.

Serving suggestions

Many people think of rice as an accompaniment to a curry like in Alfred Prasad’s Mushroom pulao recipe or Andy Waters’ Sweet potato and chicken curry but it can be the main ingredient too – Risotto, pilaf and paella are common rice recipes where rice takes centre stage. Try Paul Heathcote’s Mushroom risotto with Parmesan and truffle oil or Simon Hulstones’s Crab risotto with crème fraîche and chives. Rice goes with almost anything from curry to chilli con carne and kedgeree to rice pudding.

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