Rice is a grain that, just like wheat, is a member of the grass family. The stalks grow anywhere from 60 to 180 cm (2 to 6 feet) tall, and bloom with flowers that produce the grain as its seed.

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In Europe, it is grown in Northern Italy, and in some parts of Spain. It is, of course, also grown throughout Asia.

Contrary to popular belief, rice doesn’t grow only in rice paddies — fields flooded with water. Some varieties of rice also grow on hills.

For the most part, rice is described based on the size of its grain, and the degree of processing it has had.

See also: Grains


Contents hide
2 How to cook rice 3 Cooking rice in a pressure cooker 7 Equivalents 7.2 How much white rice to cook for a single human being 13 Types of rice

Cooking Tips

Whenever a recipe or someone refers to “rice”, unless they specify a type, what is meant is white rice.

See Equivalents section below for how much white rice to cook.

See also the entry on Brown Rice for how much brown rice to cook.

How to cook rice

Here are two standard methods for cooking rice:

Cooking rice in pot by boiling

Per 1 cup ( 8 oz / 200 g) of uncooked rice, bring to a boil in a large saucepan 2 cups (16 oz / 500 ml) of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Don’t dump the rice in all at once; slowly pour it in (don’t stir while pouring.) Then stir lightly, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes

Cooking rice in pot by sautéing before boiling

Heat 1 tablespoon of fat (such as oil or butter) in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour in 1 cup (8 oz / 200 g) of uncooked rice, stir around to coat, and cook until rice turns a bit transparent, about 5 minutes. (Optional: for a nuttier tasting rice, brown the kernels a bit by cooking them a bit longer until they just start to brown.) Slowly pour in 2 cups (16 oz / 500 ml) of already boiling water from the kettle, stir in 1 teaspoon of salt if desired, cover, and then cook for 15 minutes.

For either pot method

if all the water has gone but the rice is not yet tender, add a few tablespoons of boiling water, cover and cook a bit more;if water has remained but the rice is cooked, remove cover and cook a minute or two uncovered to allow water to evaporate until the water is gone.

Cooking rice in a pressure cooker

Laura Pazzaglia, author of Hip Pressure Cooking (affiliate link), is understandably a big advocate for cooking rice in a pressure cooker. She maintains you can get worry free rice faster, and using less energy. Though a pressure cooker is fast, she cautions not to try to rush it any further with a quick release of pressure at the end. She says the slower, natural release is vital for proper cooking of the rice.

“Opening the pressure cooker with the 10-Minute Natural Release is an essential part of most grain recipes because during this release, the steam in the cooker continues to cook the grains. Even after the pressure has gone down and the cooker is closed, the steam is continuing to cook the grains. If the pressure cooker is opened right after pressure cooking, the grains will be underdone. But letting the steam do its work without any additional heat, which might cause scorching or overcooking, ensures perfectly steamed, piping hot grains. Stovetop cookers: This applies to you, too; leave the cooker closed until the full 10 minutes have elapsed even if the signal shows that all of the pressure has gone down.” <1>Pazzaglia, Laura. Hip Pressure Cooking. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. 2014. Page 139.

For all of the following directions, put rice and other ingredients straight into pressure cooker base. Ingredients may be doubled or tripled provided that, for safety, you do not exceed half the volume capacity of your pressure cooker.

The following rice cooking advice is from Laura Pazzaglia. (To pressure cook other types of rice, consult the Hip Pressure Cooking website or book.)

 White rice in pressure cooker (unsoaked)

1 cup (8 oz / 200 g) uncooked, unsoaked white rice, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz / 325 ml) water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon oil.

Bring pressure cooker to high pressure. Cook on high for 4 minutes whether stovetop or electric machine. Natural release. Fluff rice with a fork.

White rice in pressure cooker (soaked)

Take rice, rinse in a strainer, set strainer with rice in a large bowl of water and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then lift strainer to drain rice, and proceed with the following directions:

1 cup (8 oz / 200 g) uncooked, soaked white rice, 1 cup (8 oz / 250 ml) water, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Bring pressure cooker to high pressure. Cook on high for 3 minutes whether stovetop or electric machine. Natural release. Fluff rice with a fork.

Brown rice in pressure cooker (unsoaked)

1 cup (8 oz / 200 g) uncooked, unsoaked brown rice, 1 1/4 cups (10 oz / 300 ml) water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon oil.

Bring pressure cooker to high pressure. Cook on high for 18 minutes stovetop pressure cooker; 20 minutes if electric or non-standard stovetop one. Natural release. Fluff rice with a fork.

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Miscellaneous rice cooking tips

The wider the mouth on your pot, the better your rice will cook;If you have storage space for a rice steamer, they are inexpensive, and for some people can take some stress out of cooking rice;When reheating leftover rice in a microwave, add 1 teaspoon of water per cup (150 g / 4 oz) of cooked, leftover rice. Put covered in microwave and zap for 3–4 minutes, or until uniformly piping hot;To make a soup thicker, throw in a few handfuls of leftover cooked rice towards the end.