Easy guide on how to cook rice

Let’s not sugarcoat this: rice is a bit of a diva. So you look for information, but the way people talk about how complicated rice is, can make everything even more intimidating. I promise not to do that: today’s conversation is about how simple rice can be, once you understand it a little!

Dry to cooked ratio

How much rice to add to the pot can be a paralysing issue if you are afraid of waste (or of ending up with less rice than you wanted…) Rather than an exact science, rice will yield more or less depending on how much liquid is added to a recipe, which will also influence the texture and consistency of your rice. Some rice dishes, like risotto, are supposed to be “al dente”—meaning they will yield a bit less—whereas some sturdier rices (like brown and red, wild rice) can absorb more liquid without losing their shape, yielding a higher volume. 

As a reference, a portion of cooked rice is somewhere between ½ cup per person as a side and 1 cup as a main.

• white long grains (basmati, jasmine): 1 cup dry : 2-2.5 cups cooked

• arborio (for risotto), sushi rice: 1:2.5-3

• brown and red rices, wild rice: 1:3-4


Again, recipes can vary (please follow specific methods and steps, especially if you are cooking from a traditional recipe!), but for general daily preparation, I would suggest washing your rice 2 or 3 times, soaking it for 2 hours (or more for brown/red/wild rice), and discarding the soaking water.

As for rice to water ratio, I like two very similar methods—one Brazilian, one Korean. Place your washed and soaked rice flat on the pot you are going to use; place either your index finger vertically over the rice (as if you were “pointing down” to the rice) or your open, flat hand, palm down. The correct quantity of water, in both methods, is to pour water until it covers your first knuckle(s). Cook with the lid on until the liquid is completely absorbed and voilà:​ you made rice!

Have any bulletproof rice secrets to share? Let us know in the comments!