How to cook rice in microwave

Q. I used to have a rice cooker but it has now gone to rice cooker heaven. It’s just me and my husband now that my kids have all flown the nest and I don’t know if I really need to invest in a new one if I can figure out how to cook rice in the microwave.

I have seen special microwave pots for cooking rice that aren’t expensive too but are they necessary? Can I just cook it in a regular dish?


A. The most important thing to get right in cooking rice is to add the correct amount of water. Too much water will give you soggy rice and too little will leave it dry.For this answer, we’ll focus on regular white rice. These directions will work for long-grain white rice, sushi rice and jasmine rice but wild and brown rice have different cooking times.

You don’t need anything special, just a deep microwave safe pot. Some people do opt for a specific rice steamer but any deep microwave proof pot will do.Start by rinsing your rice thoroughly, give it a good rinse under cold water in a sieve or simply swish it around in the pot, empty and repeat until the water is almost completely clear. It won’t ever be crystal clear because of the starch in the rice but two or three good swishes with clean water should do the job. If you don’t do this you will end up with an unpleasant gelatinous texture and it won’t fluff up nicely.

There are several methods to getting the water to rice ratio right, the one we like best is the knuckle method since you don’t need any measuring devices and it works every time.

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Watch How to Cook Rice

How to cook rice on the stove tutorial: It is simple to make Japanese (short grain) rice on a stove. Soak the rice, let it drain, and cook on low heat for 12-13 minutes.

Growing up in Japan, where rice is a staple food and primary source of protein, cooking rice is not only just a basic kitchen task, but an extremely important one.  While a rice cooker (this is the one I have) with all the bells and whistles seem to be an essential kitchen gadget in most Asian kitchens, I know not everyone eats rice on a daily basis and may not own a rice cooker.  It’s also handy to know how to make rice over the stove in case your rice cooker breaks out of the blue or you’re craving for rice while camping.

Japanese short-grain rice is different from long-grain basmati or jasmine rice.  So if you want to cook Japanese rice at home, please follow this simple method to cook a perfect pot of glossy and tender rice!

Cooked white rice in a bowl.

4 Important Tips When Cooking Japanese Short Grain Rice

1. Always soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.  Rice has been sitting in the bag dried after milling, hence it needs moisture to revive the texture.  It’s important that you give it enough time for rice to absorb water so that rice has a nice fluffy texture after it’s cooked.

2. Drain the rice completely, at least for 5 minutes.  Why?  If you don’t drain thoroughly, you’ll be using more water in cooking than you intended.  The rice might come out all mushy.

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3. DO NOT open the lid while cooking!  That’s a big no no when it comes to cooking Japanese rice.  I learned from my experience to catch the indication of “boiling” by the sound.  However, until you do, it’s okay to “quickly peek” inside to see if it’s boiling.  The last 10 minutes of steaming is an extremely important part of cooking rice, so continue to keep the pot covered till the end and do not skip this step!

4. Use a heavy-bottom pot with tight-fitting lid that keeps the steam in.  If your lid fits loosely, put a clean kitchen cloth between the lid and the pot.

And if you wonder how to keep the leftover rice.  And here’s what I do: freeze the rice!  If you already know how much rice you will be using, then pack away the unused rice immediately to seal in the moisture. Be sure to let it cool before freezing.

How To Store Cooked Rice (Keeping your rice moist, fresh, and delicious) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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How To Cook Japanese Rice | Easy Japanese Recipes at

  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    How To Cook Rice Ingredients

  2. Put rice in a large bowl. Rice absorbs water very quickly when you start washing, so don't let the rice absorb the unclear water. Gently wash the rice in a circular motion and discard the water. Repeat this process about 3-4 times.How To Cook Rice 1
  3. Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain completely, at least 15 minutes.How To Cook Rice 2
  4. Combine the rice and water in a heavy-bottom pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.How To Cook Rice 3
  5. Take a quick peek to see if water is boiling (otherwise do not open the lid).How To Cook Rice 4
  6. Once water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook covered for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed (take a quick peek!). If you see there is water left, close the lid and continue cooking for a little longer.How To Cook Rice 5
  7. Remove the pot (with the lid on) from the heat source and let it steam for another 10 minutes.How To Cook Rice 6
  8. Fluff the rice with a rice paddle when it’s done.How To Cook Rice 7

A heavy-bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid is recommended.

Rice to Water Ratio is 1: 1.2

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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