Video | How To Cook Rice {without the fancy stuff}

Place me in a cookware store, and I’m like a kid in a candy store. I could spend hours marveling over juicers and tart pans, or nifty gadgets that serve one single solitary purpose (you know, like that pasta measurer you have gathering dust in…

Video | How To Cook Rice {without the fancy stuff}

Place me in a cookware store, and I’m like a kid in a candy store. I could spend hours marveling over juicers and tart pans, or nifty gadgets that serve one single solitary purpose (you know, like that pasta measurer you have gathering dust in the back of your drawer?). When it comes to kitchen equipment, I am definitely one to drool all over the latest and greatest.

So you will probably be surprised to learn that I actually don’t own a rice cooker.

What? No rice cooker? Sacrilege, you might say, especially considering my heritage!

Don’t get me wrong: rice is a staple for me. It was practically its own food group growing up, and while I do not eat rice every day anymore, I still love my rice. Rice is basic, it’s no frills, it’s what many people around the world rely on for sustenance. And it doesn’t take fancy equipment to make good rice.

Heck, it doesn’t even require a measuring cup.

Let me show you in the best way I know how — I put together a quick little video (with silly goofs and all):

So, do you make rice this way? I would love to know! And also, for those of you who are lucky enough to have one of those fancy schmancy rice cookers, do you love it? Do tell!

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How to Make Rice

If you have never “measured” or made rice in the manner I demonstrate in the video, I completely understand if you are skeptical whether or not it will work. I assure you it will. Unless if you have gargantuan hands with oddly placed knuckles (if you’re confused, be sure you watch the video), it will work.

I use this method on standard white rice, my preference being Jasmine. I have yet to fully test it on wild rice or other varieties.

And for those of you who still want to play it safe and measure, just remember, the ratio of rice to water is generally 1 part rice to 1 1/2 to 2 parts water. I prefer stickier rice, so I generally stay closer to the lower end of the water spectrum. [/framed_box]


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  1. Rose Gerard

    Thank you very much for this tutorial!
    I’m a newbie in cooking, we’re just married with my husband, and to tell the truth, I’ve never cooked that much before. So I need to learn all the secrets from the basic ones. That’s why I appreciate this video and tutorial! Thanks a lot!

  2. Lily

    Nice post .. I cant live without my measuring cup all this long. Will try your method =)

  3. kita

    I can seriously use this tutorial. I can not cook rice… and its even gotten to the point where our fail safe microwave rice cooker thingy no longer cooks rice either… This video will be watched and studied – I promise.

  4. Sara @CaffeIna

    I don’t use a rice cooker either and I don’t use measuring cups. I usually measure it with a spoon (I mean a real spoon, not a measuring spoon) or I weight it and I cook it like you. I measure water by eye….not a very scientific method but with practice it works for me :)
    Great post!

  5. Trish

    Love your video. It’s so nice to hear your lovely voice. What a great tip. Although I have a rice cooker, it’s so nice to have a trick like this under my belt because I often don’t cook rice while on vacation or cooking in other people’s kitchens. Thanks for sharing, Liren :-)

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    So, yes… I do own a rice cooker and I’m so glad we got one. BUT I do enjoy making things without the fancy equipment as well and we should ALL know how to do it just in case we don’t have that cooker available.

    I love the video, Liren… you did a wonderful job. Please make more!

  7. The Travelling Chopsticks

    This is exactly how my mother taught me to make rice too – and it really does work every time! Although I do have a rice cooker which I use alot and find it really convinient – but that came with the package when I moved in with my boyfriend :) before that it was the old fashioned way! Love this post!

  8. sarah

    I don’t have a fancy rice cooker either but to be honest, I don’t really cook rice all that much which is a huge shame because my husband could live on the stuff. Your video was just what I needed to get my rice cooking butt into gear!

  9. Celina

    Love this post, Liren. I guess all Filipino children are taught a use-your-hands-to-measure-water-for-cooking-rice method! My mom’s way was to lay your fingers (not your palm or thumb) flat over the highest point of the rice in the rice cooker. Your “measuring point” is when the water reaches your knuckles. Hope that makes sense! Anyhow, I like your method better – and I won’t need to buy a new rice cooker, which just broke! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Belinda @zomppa

    I love cookware stores, too! I have a rice cooker, but admit, I haven’t used it in ages! It’s the “rule of thumb” with rice, right?

  11. Barbara | Creative Culinary

    I’m with Isabelle; someone gave me a rice cooker which I ‘think’ is stored in the basement; I have never used it! I favor basmati…is that considered the same as Jasmine? I admit I use a measuring scoop; 1 cup rice to 2 cups water; works every time.

  12. Isabelle @ Crumb

    Great tutorial!
    I’ve never seen the point of rice cookers – they’re bulky, and they’re a pain in the butt to clean. One of the first things I taught The Boy when we started dating was how to cook rice in a pot, so that we’d never have to scrub his rice cooker clean again. :)
    I have to say, though, I’ve never been daring enough to cook rice by measuring using my fingertips… my measuring cups are like a security blanket!

  13. Sandra Stuart

    Its so ironic that you posted this! I was recently considering getting a rice cooker because I feel like my rice always boils over, or maybe I am using the wrong pan. But I can see in the video that I have the same pot and stove that you do, so I’ll try your trick next time I’m cooking rice. :)

  14. Jean

    Raising my hand! I also use the finger joint method with the very same little pot you have. :-) I bought a cheap-o $20 rice cooker years ago–it’s stowed away and gets used maybe once a year if I need to cook a large amount of rice for company, but that usually means 10+ cups.

    Great job, Liren. :-)

  15. Margaret

    I make my rice the same way. I was taught I think by my mom or grandmother? I use my index finger and it works every time. I showed it to my culinary instructor once and he got a kick out of it. Great video and I think a lot of people will find this useful.

  16. Apron Appeal

    I share your mentality when it comes to cooking rice. I’m always looking for a new/easy way to cook rice. I don’t think this will work for brown rice though as I generally use more water. I keep looking at my fingers and I think my 1st and fourth finger lines would be too much water if I used it to gage how much…maybe 1/2 way between the line of the middle and the line on the pointer… :)

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