rice_text.jpgMy sister once told me a joke about why we Asians have such squinted eyes: During dinnertime as kids, we would disdainfully say, “Rice again!?” while plopping our eyes on our heads in disgust. This, in turn, would stretch out our eyes over the years until they were long and thin.

It really is half-true … the rice everyday part. Generation upon generation of Asians ate rice as staple food. Because of this, we are connoisseurs on the subject of cooking rice. It runs in our blood. If you need to know anything about rice – how to make a perfect batch, what equipment you need, how to save a bad batch, etc – ask an Asian.

Sad Reality

When I lived in boarding school, I was appalled at how they cooked rice. It was incredulous! Wet rice? Hard rice? Minute rice? Disgusting! Once, during the school year, I cooked for a couple of my friends and someone said, “I never knew rice could be this fluffy!” How painfully sad! My heart went out to these people! From then on, I decided to publicize the secrets of rice. How does one make perfect, fluffy white rice?


If you’re really serious about cooking rice, I suggest you buy an actual rice cooker. And I don’t mean just any rice cooker! Please, don’t buy a rice cooker from you local supercenter. Purchase one from your local Asian Food Market. Search for a rice cooker that an Asian on the other side of the world would be using. They certainly won’t be cooking with “westernized” piece of garbage made by General Electric from Wal-Mart. With an “Asian rice cooker,” rice will not burn or stick. After the rice is done, the cooker can even keep the rice warm for as long as a week! Expect to pay at least $40. Ours cost $100.


Rice and water. These two components are all that’s really necessary. Any water will do, but not any rice. Go all out and purchase a small bag or a couple pounds of Jasmine White Rice otherwise known to the western world as “Fragrant Rice.” For Brown rice, you can buy this anywhere. Purchase the long grain version for best results. Do not get the one that is short and fat. The texture is terrible!

How to Actually Cook Decent Rice

If you actually got this far, after shelling out a couple hundred dollars on quality rice and an Asian rice cooker, the rest is gravy.

  1. Pour (more or less) 4-5 cups of rice in the pan. It doesn’t really matter. The amount of water you add later will be relative to the amount of rice in the pan.
  2. Next, fill the pan with roughly double the amount of water and let the rice settle.
  3. Literally, “muddy the waters” with your hand so that all the rice is wet and the water is opaque. You are trying to get the impurities to float to the top.
  4. Carefully pour the water out while keeping the rice in.
  5. Repeat steps 3-5 one more time if there is still more debris.
  6. Now pour enough water to cover the rice for about an inch.
  7. Pat the rice down to the bottom. Submerge your hand and place the palm side on the mound the rice.
  8. The water should be as high as your wrist. Remove water as needed until it is just right. Remember that it is better to have too little water than too much. You can always add more water but it’s hard to take away excessive moisture.
  9. Place the rice pan in the rice cooker. Close the rice cooker.
  10. Turn the switch to “Cook.” The light color should change to “Warm” when the rice is done.

Techniques on Saving a Bad Batch of Rice

Unfortunately, even experts cook a bad batch of rice now and then. But don’t fret! There are always ways to recover what seems lost!

  • rice_bowl.jpgMy rice is too dry! This is quite easy. Just add about a cup or two of water, whatever suits you. Try to distribute it evenly in the pan. Sometimes I set it back on cook after adding more water. That isn’t necessary though.
  • My rice is too wet! Find a small sauce bowl. Put at least a handful of salt in it and place it in the rice pan on top of the rice (so that the salt won’t touch the rice). The sodium in the bowl will absorb the water after an hour or two.

Good luck on your next batch of rice. Feel free to comment any questions below!

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19 Responses to “Rice Again?! – How to Save a Bad Batch of Rice and Other Tips”

  1. vegetarianqt Says:

    You are the rice king:) great article buddy!

  2. Denise Says:

    Where can I purchase a good asian rice cooker for a reasonable price? In Alaska they are over $100.00. I would much prefer to order out and pay shipping and still be cheaper.


  3. blogger Says:

    Sorry … $100 is a reasonable price for a good one. You’re better off getting it where you live. At least you’ll be able to see it in person before buying it. 🙂

  4. Simon Cann Says:

    That is some of the least noteworthy cooking advice I have ever seen. ‘Turn the switch to “Cook.”’- Inspired.

    Sorry, but the instructions from a rice cooker are not valid cooking advice. Cook your rice in a pan if you think you are a master.

  5. Ofister Says:

    Hehe…look out there Simon! 🙂 There are more than a few who would disagree with your theories about mastering rice cooking. I’m a convert to the rice cooker myself after my Korean in-laws gave me the “what for” about my lacking rice-in-a-pan cooking. Gotta admit, it’s better and I never have forgotten rice pot incidences. Really, I think you should cook rice any way you want. But if you want a rice cooker I completely agree that you’ve gotta get the quality ones and those are pretty much only at asian markets. They are well worth the investment. Oh! And to other converts out there…once you’ve got a rice cooker going…don’t you dare open the lid and stir it! Haha! Thanks for the article!

  6. James Says:

    These recipes are making me so hungry! They all look fantastic. I think I’ll have to get the rice cooker out and try what you suggest to cook decent rice! (such a simple thing, why can it go so wrong?)

  7. No luck with rice Says:

    Nothing like another idiot telling the world how it “really” is. I bet you know how to make the “perfect omelet” too. And where all the “best” restaurants are that serve “real” cuisine.

  8. The Sorceror Says:

    Cooking rice in a Saucepan is easy. The main thing to remember is (DO NOT GET DISTRACTED WHILE THE HEAT IS ON).
    Normally add 1/2 to 1 cup xtra water than rice.
    ie 2 cups of rice 2 1/2 cups water to 3 cups of water.
    Cook for about 8 – 10 mins with lid off (or watch it and when most of water boiled/absorbed)
    Cover with damp paper towell and turn of heat. Place lid on saucepan and leave for at least 10 mins.
    rice is cooked, spoon onto plate and enjoy 😉 Add your favourite Furikake seasoning, or whatever you plan on eating with the rice.

    The key thing is to watch it during the cooking stage. leave the heat on to long and you will burn the bottom.
    burnt rice,
    Dont smell nice.

  9. please Says:

    Seriously, what a racist comment at the beginning. Get educated please and stop spreading ignorance. Have you ever told that joke to an Asian person?

  10. ohcomeon Says:

    Oh come on ! That is not racism it was a joke ! Humour !
    Racism is inbred, deep down hatred, most probably born because one dislikes oneself anyway.

    Great article and great website !! Keep it up

  11. anna Says:

    making jokes about the differences in the races, is racism. the reason that people tell jokes about their own race is because they’re attempting to show that racism doesn’t bother them and can’t hurt them. it’s self defeating actually, no matter how small or harmless the joke may seem. it gives racism power because they are making a joke that they otherwise would not think to make. trying to protect yourself from racism by being racist first, is like hitting yourself to show others “hey you can’t hurt me, i hit myself all the time, it doesn’t hurt!”. at the end of the day you still end up bruised. using another race’s perception of you to describe yourself is harmful. dissect her joke, it assumes that asian’s eyes some how morphed from the “normal” “round” shape to a “weird” “squint”. of course she doesn’t actually believe this, but as the saying goes, there is truth in jest. were she in asia with an all asian audience with no contact with any other race, she would probably have a different opening story. racism, whether intentional or unintentional, is like getting hit by a car, accident or not, it still hurts. i’m sure she didn’t mean to spark a controversy, but the very fact that some people see racism in her story proves a point. if she were caucasian, and told this joke to a roomful of asians, i’m sure not everyone would be chuckling.

  12. freddy freedom Says:

    sock it to them obama

  13. David Says:

    Racism? That comment isn\’t racism. You could say the exact same thing about an african, caucasian, jewish, whatever that grew up in Asia and ate rice everyday. It\’s more about the food product of the region, which is about the climate of the earth and the available vegetation. So, yea, he\’s a vegetearthist!

  14. I love my rice cooker Says:

    I can\’t believe that people have to get so uptight about a rice website – don\’t they have other places to spread their cheer? anyway, I would like some info on storing rice. where is the best place to store it? can I keep it a long time (like stocking up on a good sale or big bags)? can I keep it in my freezer? thanks!

  15. dan Says:


    perhaps you dont know how to read a dictionary. you saying that the definition of racism is this, even though it is actually that, does not make it so. joking about the difference in races is no different than joking about any physical characteristics. so if im understanding your point of view correctly, you think that no more jokes should ever be allowed to be told that deal with any aspect of physical appearance. or is it just the physical attributes that you are particularly sensitive about that should be taboo?

  16. dan Says:

    wow, i did not realise how old that post was. why dont i just keep talking to myself.

  17. dan Says:

    also, this article is ridiculous. you made a page about how to cook rice like a pro, and you instructions are buy a cooker, put rice and water in cooker, cook. thanky ou for this invaluble advice. i will always be indebted to you.

  18. RedBeans Says:

    It is called “progression.” Stoves and metal pans are not authentic and old fashioned any more than a rice cooker. If you want to cook rice the REAl original way, get a large stone. carve/grind it into a bowl shape. figure out how to make fire with the tree debris around you (if it has rained, you are SOL). No fire starters, lint, matches, or fuel allowed! this is AUTHENTIC. After making a fire, place newly carved bowl on some stones to it is appropriate height above fire. add water and pray against dysentery. i’m sure you can take it from here. or, get a rice cooker. If you want to go authentic, go all the way. otherwise, its not authentic and you should accept progression.

  19. Priscilla Says:

    I thought this was recipes!!!!!!!! UHGGGGGG.

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