How to Cook Rice

  • Rice has been cultivated for thousands of years across the world, and there are thousands of varieties. Technically a type of grass, rice is classified according to the size of the grain (short, medium or long).
  • Brown rice is a whole grain, which means it includes the entire grain -- bran, germ and endosperm. It has more fibre than white rice, and requires a slightly longer cooking time. Enjoy brown rice for its nutty flavour and somewhat chewy texture.

  • White rice has had the bran and germ removed, and is often polished and enriched with vitamins. Its soft texture makes it widely adaptable to many cuisines, flavours and cooking methods.
  • Soaking the rice is recommended for some types of rice, but is generally unnecessary for most white rice. It will reduce the total cooking time and produce a softer texture. Soaking also washes away some of the starch and will create a finished product that does not stick together. Basmati is one type of rice that must be soaked before using.
  • Rinsing rice is necessary only for wild rice and basmati rice. Rice grown outside the United States and Canada should also be rinsed to remove dirt and debris. Most rice grown in the U.S. and Canada has been enriched with vitamins and minerals which could be washed away when rinsed.
  • Basmati is a fragrant long-grain rice preferred in Indian cuisine.
  • Instant rice has been precooked and then dried. It is available in both white and brown and is generally ready in just 5 minutes.
  • Wild rice has a chewy-crisp texture and nutty flavour. Its dark colour makes a lovely contrast to white rice, so it is often included in packaged rice mixes. Always rinse wild rice before using.
  • The basic preparation of rice includes 2 parts water and 1 part rice , but this will depend on the type of rice and the desired texture. Follow the guidelines below for perfectly cooked rice.
  • Basic stovetop preparation: Bring rice and water (see chart) to boil in saucepan; cover. Cook on medium-low heat, without stirring, until all water is absorbed, using the times in the chart below.
TYPE OF RICE RATIO of
WATER to RICE
COOK TIME NOTES
Long-grain white 2 : 1 15 min.  
Long-grain brown 2.5 : 1 45 to 50 min.  
Converted (or parboiled) white or brown 2.5 : 1 20 to 25 min.  
Basmati 1.75 : 1 15 min. Rinse, then soak for 30 min. before cooking.
Wild 3 : 1 35 to 60 min. Rinse before cooking.
  • Avoid stirring rice while cooking. This will prevent it from becoming sticky.
  • For more flavour, prepare using chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Cooked rice is highly perishable. It's best to remove rice from the pan to cool before refrigerating leftovers for up to 2 days.
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