Let’s get one thing out of the way. I don’t like rice cookers. You won’t find anything on this site about how to make rice in a rice cooker. I don’t have room for it in my kitchen. I haven’t tasted any rice-cooker-born rice that tastes better than my rice that comes from a saucepan. Not saying it’s not out there – it’s just not for me.
Lots of people have their own way of making rice. Rice cooking varies depending on the type of rice, the elevation, the type of water, presence of a rice cooker, and lots of other things too.
I too, have found my own way to make rice. I’m sure other people make it the same way I do. I don’t claim this to be my own recipe – this is the way my Dad taught me how to make it, though I’m not sure he remembers doing so. I’ve evolved my take on it along the way – adding opportunities for flavoring the rice depending on your taste or your mood.
Medium Saucepan, with a lid
It could be large, or small, depending on how much rice you want to make. I have never tried this with anything but a non-stick or stainless steel saucepan, but I’m sure other types would work
I like the Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup https://amzn.to/3cxyEMr – $13.23 at the time of this writing. There are 1-Cup and 4-Cup versions, or use your own.
2 Cups Long Grain Rice
3 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Salted Butter
The Magic Rice Ratio
This is the key to the whole thing. The recipe should contain two parts rice to three parts water. If you stick with that ratio, the rice should turn out tasty and fluffy.
- Put the saucepan on the cooktop and turn to medium heat
- Add butter. Melt the butter in the bottom of the saucepan
- Before the butter starts to brown (or sizzle), add the rice
- Stir the rice and butter together. You’ll hear the butter start to sizzle. We’re trying to “toast” the rice here so it changes color just a little bit. Not too much though, and not all the rice
- Add the water. I usually just refill the measuring cup with water
- Stir the water and the rice together and bring the water to a super-light boil. Barely showing bubbles. If you go to a rolling boil, you’ve gone a little bit too far. Don’t fret, just move on to the next step
- Lower the burner to simmer. Put the lid on the saucepan, even if it’s boiling like crazy. Turning the heat down will fix that…later
- Ask Siri, or Alexa, or Cortana, to set a timer for 20 minutes. Or use your your microwave, kitchen timer, or sun dial
- When the time is up, turn the burner off. Remove the saucepan from the burner
- Take off the lid and stir the rice making sure to scrape the bottom and sides. Put the lid right back on and let sit for five more minutes
- Boom. Rice is done, Enjoy
Tired of plain white rice? Do you want to spice it up, change the flavor, rock your world? Here are some ideas.
You Love Butter
Butter is tasty. If one tablespoon doesn’t do it for you, up the amount to two or three. But, I would not recommend the number of tablespoons of butter exceeding the number of cups of water.
At the point where you combine the rice with butter, add some spices to the mix. Personally I like to add garlic salt. Bouillon cubes work great too. Don’t go too heavy though – remember that the butter is salted, so that will handled some of the saltiness. Start with small quantities of spice and work your way up.
Alternatives to Water
The recipe calls for three cups of water. But really, it only needs to be a liquid that can properly hydrate the rice. Sometimes I swap out water for Beef or Chicken Stock. When I make Butter Chicken (recipe coming soon), I replace about ¼ cup of water with butter chicken liquid when mixing the water and rice together. If you’re adding something oily or fatty, you’ll want to maybe remove a little less water than a 1:1 ratio.