Most people cook rice in a pot or a rice cooker. If you don’t have either available, or if you’re just looking for an efficient way to cook a small serving of rice, consider using a microwave. You can even make rice in a mug!
Before cooking, optionally rinse or soak the rice. This is necessary for some types of rice (especially brown rice, which is much harder than white rice), but it improves the flavor and texture of most types.
- U.S. rice tends to be fortified with vitamins, which can come off in the process of rinsing and soaking. However, these may not be necessary if you already eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- To rinse, put the desired amount of dry rice in a container and fill it up with cold water. Use clean hands to sift the rice in the water. Drain and repeat.
- To soak, put the desired amount of dry rice in a container and fill it up with cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes, and then drain.
- Mix rice and water in a microwave-safe container. A good place to start is two parts water for every part of rice (e.g., 2 cups rice to 4 cups water). You can adjust the ratio through experimentation, depending on how dry or moist you prefer your rice, the power of your microwave, the size/shape of the container, etc.
- You can use chicken stock instead of water to enhance the flavor of the rice.
- Make sure the container is big enough to hold the rice after it expands as well as the boiling water. This means the container should be at least 4 times the combined volume of rice and water.
- There are also microwavable containers specifically designed for cooking rice; see the next section for instructions.
- 3To optionally enhance the rice with flavor, add salt, vegetable oil, olive oil or butter before cooking. A teaspoon of salt/vegetable oil or half a tablespoon of butter should do the trick per cup of rice.
- You can continue to season the rice after it has already been cooked.
- 4Stir the rice mixture slowly with a wooden spoon, combining the ingredients thoroughly. This is especially important if you have added other ingredients for flavoring.
- 5Cover, place in the microwave and set the time. Here are some suggested guidelines for a 700 watt microwave and white rice:
- 1/2 cup rice, 9 minutes
- 3/4 cup rice, 12 minutes
- 1 cup rice, 16 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups rice, 20 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups rice, 23 minutes
- For brown rice, start with three cups of boiling water per cup of rice and cook it for 25 minutes. Adjust through trial and error.
- Let the rice sit in the microwave for five minutes after it turns off. Don’t open the door. This will use the steam to complete the cooking process. You might observe that the rice grains start to orient themselves vertically (like they’re “saluting”).
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Microwave Rice Cooker Method
Follow the instructions that come with your microwave rice cooker; these steps provide an overview of the process, assuming you have the type with two bowls and a lid.
- Put dry rice in the inner bowl.
- Put the inner bowl in the outer bowl and fill with water.
- Cover with the lid.
- Microwave for the specified amount of time.