Essential tips for cooking rice

Essential tips for cooking rice

  • 8 September 2020
Rice is a staple ingredient in so many of our favourite recipes. Many cuisines use rice as a base in their dishes - from sushi to curry, paella to risotto, fried rice and more, rice is versatile and great pantry staple to always keep on hand.

When you know how to cook it properly, rice is incredibly easy to make. However, it can be equally easy to mess up - we’ve all made rice that has ended up mushy and stuck together before!

Knowing how to make rice properly is an important skill for a home cook. Here are a few key tips to follow to make sure you end up with perfect rice every time.

Use the right rice for the dish

There are many different types of rice, with different tastes and characteristics. Some of the most commonly used varieties include white rice, brown rice, black rice, wild rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, sushi rice and arborio rice.

Rinse before cooking

Quickly rinsing your rice makes a big difference to the final product and helps to stop the grains from clumping together. Rinsing with water removes dust and other impurities in the rice, and it removes the starch on the outside of the rice that makes the grains gluey and stuck together

Use the correct rice/water ratio

There is no magic number of rice to water ratio, because each type of rice will need a slightly different amount of water to cook to perfection. It’s a good idea to read the instructions on the packaging or recipe to know how much water you should add to the rice you’re using

Don’t stir it

When rice is cooking, you should just leave it alone - stirring rice as it cooks will release starch and may make your rice sticky and mushy. The major exception to this rule is when making risotto - stirring is what helps release the starch from the rice to give risotto its creamy texture.

Let it rest after cooking

If you’re hungry you might be tempted to tuck in right away, but resting is an important step. After cooking the grains may have an uneven texture, being firmer on the top and mushy on the bottom. Leaving your rice to rest for 10 minutes will help redistribute the moisture and achieve optimum texture

Some of our top rice-based recipes

Jewel rice
Fluffy rice topped with beef mince, herbs, roasted butternut and aubergine wedges, cranberries, flaked almonds and crispy fried onions

Thai-Style Choi Veggie Rice
Flavour-packed palm and soy fried jasmine rice with crispy tofu, crunchy peanuts, pak choi and edamame.

Chicken Biryani with Coconut Riata
Seared chicken breast with a spiced button mushroom and lentil cheats biryani basmati rice finished with coconut and cucumber raita.

Mushroom Risotto
A rich and creamy, easy mushroom risotto.

Roast Chicken Green Rice and Lemongrass
Roast chicken with green rice and a zingy lemongrass and scallion sauce