How To

How to cook rice in the microwave

Our foolproof guide to perfectly fluffy rice made in the microwave every time. Never end up with soggy, overcooked rice again.
Woman opening microwave door making rice

Microwave cooking is a game-changer when it comes to making rice without a rice cooker. It’s as easy as popping rice and water into a microwave-safe container and cooking for the correct amount of time for the type of rice and voila – you’ll have perfectly cooked rice that’s fluffy and delicious, all without the hassle of watching a pot on the stove. Whether you’re craving steamed rice and a crispy fried egg or an accompaniment for Garlic Beef Stir-fry, our method is bang-on every time.

Microwaves are often relegated to the role of reheating leftovers, but it’s time to dispel that stigma and recognise their potential for achieving consistent and perfectly cooked rice. In this guide, we’ll break down the steps to microwave rice and provide you with ratios for various types of rice.

The rice:water ratio

Achieving the right rice:water ratio is crucial for perfect microwave rice. For white long or medium-grain rice, 1 cup rice to 1 1/3 cup water (the rice absorbs 1 cup of water and the remaining 1/3 cup will evaporate in the form of steam. You will end up with about 3 cups of cooked rice.

Adjust the ratios for different types of rice:

  • 1 cup white short-grain rice to 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown rice to 1¾ cup water

Is it important to rinse rice before cooking?

Begin by rinsing the rice until the water runs clear. This step helps remove excess starch and ensures your rice doesn’t become gummy during cooking. Place the rinsed rice in a microwave-safe container large enough to accommodate boiling water, ideally with a lid. If a lid is not available, cover the container with cling film pierced with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Start with room temperature water.

How to cook rice in microwave

1. Cook uncovered on 100% power for 5 minutes: This initial step brings the water up to temperature.

2. Cook covered on 50% power for 15 minutes: Allowing the rice to steam and absorb the water.

3. Rest for 5 minutes – without stirring during cooking, this final step allows the rice to fully absorb the water and appear fluffy.

After finishing the cooking process, use a fork or rice paddle to fluff the rice, ensuring that the grains remain intact and distinct. Don’t worry about the condensation caused by the steam inside the microwave; simply use a clean tea towel to easily wipe it away, also providing a bonus cleaning for the interior.

More on the rice:water ratio

While this method works perfectly for 1 cup of rice, it’s essential to be cautious when scaling up. For instance, if you’re cooking 2 cups of white long-grain rice, the water does not double; instead, use a ratio of 2 cups of uncooked rice to 2 2/3 cups of water.

With this foolproof guide, you can confidently use your microwave to cook rice, achieving consistent results every time. Embrace the convenience and efficiency of your microwave for more than just reheating – say goodbye to the stigma and hello to perfectly cooked microwave rice every time.

Related stories

Microwave mug cakes and puddings for quick desserts
Quick & Easy

Microwave mug cakes and puddings for quick desserts

Whether you've got last-minute guests that have popped around or you're just craving a late-night sweet treat but don't want to spend hours cooking, mug cakes are the answer. Ready in approximately five minutes, all you need to do is combine your cake or pudding batter into a mug or ramekin, pop it in the microwave, and let the magic happen. You'll love how easy it is to create a beautiful homemade dessert with minimal effort. Serve your cakes and puddings warm with a drizzle of cream.