How to cook perfect rice: The 3 best ways

I understand cooking rice can be a daunting task especially when you want to cook perfect rice on the stove. Hell, I even remember the first time I was tasked with cooking rice for a 200pax conference that was happening at one of the 5-star hotels back in Kenya. At that time I was so green and had no idea where to start since I was just another broke campus student who was doing a part-time job as an assistant cook just to make ends meet. Long story short… I ended up OVERCOOKING the rice, and as if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I was chased out of the kitchen with no pay for that weekend!

Not to worry, that experience set me on a path to deciphering the best methods for cooking rice perfectly every time (even for 200pax). I will be sharing the 3 best ways to cook perfect rice even on the stove. If you follow these exact steps/methods shared, you will be set for life when it comes to rice cookery.

Rice can be cooked in three distinct ways, each requiring a different amount of water. Boiling, which uses 12 times the amount of water as rice, the Japanese method, which uses 5 times the amount, and steaming, which uses 2-1/2 times the amount. Regardless of which method is used, keep in mind that properly cooked rice grains must be fluffy and retain their individuality. To give them this shape and avoid the rice from becoming mushy, don’t overcook it or stir it too much while it’s cooking.

perfectly boiled rice

The Perfect Boiled Rice on a Stove Top

Boiling is maybe the easiest way. Perfectly boiled rice shapes a significant dish itself as well as a great side for other dishes that can be served in any other meal. The water in which rice is boiled should not be discarded, as it has a lot of nutrients. This water can be used to prepare soups or sauces, or it may even be used in the making of yeast bread.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 people
Calories 194.34 kcal


  • 1 c Rice
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 3 qt Boiling water


  • Wash 1 Cup of rice carefully and add it to 3 quarts of boiling salted water over a stove top.
  • Boil rapidly until the water begins to appear milky because of the starch coming out of the rice into the water or until a grain can be easily crushed between the fingers.
  • Drain the cooked rice through a colander, and then pour cold water over the rice in the colander, so as to wash out the loose starch and leave each grain distinct.
  • Reheat the rice by shaking it over the fire, and serve hot with butter, gravy, or cream or milk and sugar.


Calories: 194.34kcal
Keyword boiled rice, cooking rice, perfect rice, rice, stove top rice
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Japanese rice cooking method

The Japanese Method of Cooking Rice

Knowing how to cook Japanese rice, which is a cornerstone of the Japanese diet, is a vital first step in becoming a master Japanese cook. Rice that is cooked using the Japanese method can actually be used in the same ways as boiled rice. When cooked, properly made Japanese rice should be light, fluffy, and somewhat sticky. Unless the liquid from boiling rice is to be used, the Japanese method offers the advantage of being a more cost-effective manner of cooking this grain.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soak Rice 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 3 people
Calories 298 kcal


  • Oven-Proof Saucepan


  • 1 c Japanese rice
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 5 c Boiling Water


  • Wash your rice in a saucepan or a mixing bowl. Fill the pan/bowl halfway with water, then gently swirl and stir the rice with your hands. Pour the water out when the water becomes hazy with starch, retaining the rice in the pan/bowl with your hand. Rep this step 3-5 times more, or until the water is clear. After cleaning the rice, soak it for at least 30 minutes and then drain the rice.
  • Add it to the boiling salted water and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  • Cover the rice and transfer it to the oven for another 15 minutes to allow the water to evaporate entirely and soften the grains without becoming mushy.
  • Serve and enjoy it however you like!




Calories: 298kcal
Keyword boiling japanese rice, how to cook japanese rice, japanese rice, japonica rice, perfect japanese rice, perfect rice, sushi rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Bowl of Rice

Perfectly Steamed Rice

Steaming rice takes longer than either of the other cooking methods, but it results in no food waste. Unless the rice is over stirred while it is steaming, it tends to have a better appearance than rice prepared by the other two ways. Steamed rice, like boiled rice, can be used as a base for a wide range of recipes and served at any meal.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people
Calories 200 kcal


  • 1 c Thai jasmine rice
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2-1/2 c Water


  • Rinse the rice thoroughly and add it to the salted water that has been brought to a rolling boil.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, then transfer to a double boiler and continue to cook until tender.
  • Do not stir the rice and keep it covered with a lid while cooking. Note that this method of cooking rice will take about an hour.
  • Once the rice is ready, Serve and enjoy with your favorite curry or sauces.


Calories: 200kcal
Keyword cooking rice, how to steam rice perfectly, jasmine rice, perfect rice, steamed rice, Thai jasmine rice, the perfect steamed rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you want to learn more about Japanese rice, you can check out Japan Centre. They have a lot of information on different types of Japanese rice, how to cook them and where to buy them.

I am sure by now you are feeling more confident about your rice cooking skills. If you found these recipes helpful, then let us know by leaving a comment and a 5-STAR rating below this recipe. You can also join the “Cook JUngle Family” by subscribing to our RECIPE NEWSLETTER so that we can send you EXCLUSIVE content fresh from the Kitchen every single week!

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