White Rice is a staple! Fluffy white rice can be yours in just a few simple steps. Follow the steps below for the perfect stovetop white rice recipe that you can pair with stir fries, grain bowls, simple proteins, and more.
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Cooking white rice can seem like a simple task, but getting it just right can sometimes be a challenge.
This post will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to cook white rice on the stove perfectly!
White rice is a staple food in many cultures and is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.
It’s great to have on hand and is a fast and easy food to prepare, making it a great option for busy weeknights or when you need a quick side dish.
White rice is a mild-tasting grain that has a slightly nutty and earthy flavor, perfect as a base to many of my recipes like Turmeric Rice, Homemade Fried Rice, and Korean Beef Bowl. It’s carby and comforting.
Because it’s so versatile, feel free to swap this stovetop white rice for when recipes call for cooked brown rice, depending on your preference!
Health Benefits of White Rice
Although sometimes vilified in comparison to brown rice, white rice does have its health benefits.
- White rice is a healthy source of carbohydrates that provides energy to the body.
- It is a low-fat, low-sugar, and low-sodium food that can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote digestive health.*
- It is also a good source of thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6, which help maintain healthy nerves, skin, and red blood cells.*
- White rice is a gluten-free grain that is easy to digest and does not contain any allergens or irritants.
Overall, white rice is a healthy and versatile food that can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.
How to Cook White Rice on the Stove
Cooking white rice on the stove is easier than you think.
Save space in your cabinet—no rice cooker needed to make good rice!
- White Rice. You can use short or long grain white rice. A shorter grain rice may result in a stickier final product.
- Water. The rice to water ratio is critical.
- Salt and Butter. The addition of salt and butter is optional, but enhances the flavor and helps season rice evenly. Additionally, salt can help prevent the rice from sticking together.
- Rinse rice with cold water until water runs clear. Don’t skip this step!
- Add rice, salt and butter (optional), to a pot of boiling water.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow the rice to simmer for about 18-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid still on.
- After 10 minutes, fluff with fork and top with herbs as desired.
Why is My White Rice Sticky?
If your white rice is coming out stickier than you would like, there could be a few reasons for this:
- Shorter Grain Rice. Some varieties, such as short-grain rice, are naturally more starchy and tend to be stickier when cooked. If you’re looking for fluffy rice, opt for a long-grain variety like Basmati or Jasmine rice.
- Too Much Water. The ratio of water to rice is important when cooking rice. If you add too much water, the excess moisture can make for sticky rice.
- Stirring Too Much. When cooking rice, it’s important not to over-stir it. Too much stirring can break up the grains of rice, causing them to release excess starch and become sticky.
- Cooking Too Long. Overcooking rice can also cause it to become sticky. Once the rice has absorbed all the water and is fully cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit to allow the grains to separate.
- Lid Fitting. If the lid of your pot doesn’t fit tightly, steam can escape and the rice can become sticky. Make sure to use a pot with a well-fitting lid to keep the steam inside while the rice cooks.
- To Store. Let the white rice cool before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked white rice for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Add the white rice and a small amount of water or broth (or an ice cube!) to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until reheated.
- To Freeze. Spread the white rice on a baking sheet, freezing until solid. Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Ways to Use White Rice
For many recipes, you can swap white rice for brown rice.
- Fried Rice. Fried rice is best with leftover cooked rice. Try Pork Fried Rice or Chicken Fried Rice.
- Bowls. Use white rice as the base for a Chipotle Bowl, Egg Roll in a Bowl, or Teriyaki Chicken or Sesame Chicken.
- Burritos. White rice is a delicious addition to a Vegetarian Burrito or Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas.
- Casseroles. You can use this white rice in Chicken and Rice Casserole or Stuffed Peppers.
- Curry. White rice is the perfect base for a bowl of curry like Chickpea Curry, Green Curry, or Japanese Curry.
- Stir Fries. Serve white rice with Tofu Stir Fry, Broccoli Tofu Stir Fry, Bourbon Chicken, or any of these other stir fry recipes.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Mesh Strainer. Perfect for rinsing your rice and other grains.
- Wooden Spoons. The best wooden spoons.
- Measuring Cups. Perfect for getting the rice to water ratio.
This stovetop white rice recipe will deliver the perfect fluffy white rice every time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Rinsing rice is an essential step that can improve texture and remove any unwanted debris. Rinsing white rice removes excess starch, resulting in less sticky and more fluffy rice. Rinsing also removes the small amounts of arsenic that may be found on grains like white rice. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference in the quality of your rice and the overall flavor of your dish.
One cup of uncooked white rice yields roughly 3 cups cooked.
Swapping water for broth is a great option to deepen the flavor of white rice. Additionally, top your rice with butter, fresh herbs, and salt to taste.
How to Make White Rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white rice long or short grain
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt optional
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter optional
- Chopped fresh cilantro parsley or herbs of choice optional
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Rinse the rice. Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
- Once the water is boiling, add rice, salt, and butter (if using). Stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow the rice to simmer, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain that simmer, for about 18-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Avoid lifting the lid or stirring the rice during this time, as it can disrupt the cooking process.
- Once the rice is fully cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid still on. This will allow the rice to absorb any remaining moisture and become fluffy.
- After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Top with herbs as desired.
- TO STORE: Let the white rice cool before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked white rice for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Add the white rice and a small amount of water or broth (or an ice cube!) to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until reheated.
- TO FREEZE: Spread the white rice on a baking sheet, freezing until solid. Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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*Health benefits of white rice found on healthline.com.