The Gentle Boil Method for Cooking White Rice

Heather says:

I’ll never make it as a hippie. . . I don’t like brown rice. I’ve tried to like it, but I just don’t.

For whatever reason cooking white rice seems to frustrate some people.

My favorite way to cook rice is to use a 2:1 ratio, water to long grain, white rice. I add a small amount of salt to the water, bring it to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. I then cook it over low heat for 20 minutes, keeping it tightly covered the entire time. *This is key, never lift the lid to stir or check the rice, this lets the steam escape.* The pot is then removed from the heat and allowed to stand for 5 minutes, before the rice fluffed and served. Remember, for this method to work you must use a pot with a thick bottom and a tight fitting lid. If the steam escapes you’ll end up with crunchy rice. The thick bottom helps prevent scorching.

I should note, some people use a 1.75 : 1 water to rice ratio. The theory behind this is that modern rice may not be as dry as it used to be.

Another option is to use a rice cooker or steamer, both of these work well.

Finally, there is the gentle boil or pasta method which is quite easy.  Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add the rice, and adjust the heat to keep the water at a simmer. If you need a quick refresher course, I’ve previously written about the difference between boiling and simmering. Boiling the rice will break some of the grains, changing the texture significantly.

After 12 – 15 minutes, strain the rice through a colander and serve. Higher elevations may need slightly longer.

This method is slightly less nutritious than the standard preparation, but healthier in most cases than the drive through.

Good luck.


The Gentle Boil Method for Cooking White Rice is a post from: Home Ec 101 ©Home Ec 2007 - 2010

Filed in