Perfectly Steamed White Rice
Cook Rice Like Chinese
Without An Electric Rice Cooker

Perfectly steamed white rice, do you always try to figure out the best way to do this?  Instead of cooking it right, do you end up buying par-boiled (aka quick cooking rice) or pre-cooked rice?

As much as how people get more and more health conscious, we still consume a lot of steamed white rice, especially Asian.

Perfectly Steamed White Rice, you can cook rice like Chinese do every day.  Follow this foolproof method and be amazed of your capability.


I must say that I eat rice every day throughout my life.  And in my first 29 years of life, I only know how to rinse, add water into the rice and turn on the rice cooker.  Those were the 3 steps that I needed to worry about.

Well, after getting married and moved over to the States, rice is not on everybody's diet.  So, cooking rice pretty much is a once a week thing.  Should I buy a rice cooker? 

Well, in 2002, rice cooker sold in the US market were so outdated.  And I am talking about the models and technology were 10 years behind.  Surprisingly, you still can easily find this outdated model in Walmart 15 years later.  So, what's the point, right?

Since I know the basic steps of cooking a pot of perfectly steamed white rice, I only needed to find out the difference from using an electric rice cooker versus a regular pot on stove top.

Well, well, well...I couldn't believe it.  Just once, I got it.  But I always like to question myself.  I decided to do it again.  It just confirmed that I got it right the very first time.

In 29 years, it was the first time I cooked a pot of rice without a rice cooker.  I got to tell you.  It felt very surreal.  15 years later, I am still using this same method.  So, here I am today to share with you a foolproof way to cook perfectly steamed white rice on stove top without an electric rice cooker.  It is the basis of cooking a pot of best fried rice as well.

The Very First And Important Step

Perfectly Steamed White Rice - Rinsing the rice is the most important step.  Look at how milky white the water is.  This will set you up to make a great fried rice dish as well.Rinsing the rice is the most important step. Look at how milky white the water is. This will set you up to make a great fried rice dish as well.
Perfectly Steamed White Rice - Just tilt the pot slightly and gently to pour out the water.  Keep rinsing until the water is clearJust tilt the pot slightly and gently to pour out the water. Keep rinsing until the water is clear

First and foremost, you must rinse the rice very, very well.  How well?  Rinse it until the water is clear that you can see through the bottom where the rice is.

Here are 2 different ways to cook a pot of perfectly steamed white rice:


Traditional One

This is the most common way how the Chinese cook steamed white rice.

Perfectly Steamed White Rice - Measuring water level by having your tip of your 3rd  finger touching the top surface of the rice until it reaches the first section of the finger.Measuring water level by having your tip of your 3rd finger touching the top surface of the rice until it reaches the first section of the finger.
Perfectly Steamed White Rice - Measure it at different spots within the pot to ensure the right amount of waterMeasure it at different spots within the pot to ensure the right amount of water
  1. Use a medium sauce pan which has the capacity of 4-6 cups of cooked rice (if you need more than that, use a soup pot)
  2. Add whatever amount of rice into a pot, for example 1 cup
  3. Rinse long grain rice well (no par-boiled rice)
  4. Add water
  5. Make sure the rice cover the bottom of the pot evenly
  6. Put your third finger straight into the water and your finger tip is touching the top surface of the rice
  7. Try several spots in the pot, such as in the middle and a few spots on the side
  8. The water level should reach the first section of your finger no matter which spot in the pot you measure


I know you would say, “Different people have different size and length of their fingers."  But I can guarantee you that it works for everybody.  I don't know what I can tell you.  My husband's hands are way bigger than mine.  His fingers are at least 3/4" longer than mine, too.

If he or I can cook a pot of perfectly steamed white rice by using this same method, you can, too.


Measure Everything

I know, I know.....some people like to measure everything.  So, here are the steps:

  1. Rinse rice very well
  2. Go with 1:1.5 ratio, ie. Add 1 ½ cup of water or broth per 1 cup of rice


How To Cook
The Perfectly Steamed White Rice

We talked about all the steps to prepare the rice and water.  So, how to cook it?  Be patient for the first 5 minutes and you are literally all set:

  1. Bring the pot of rice to a boil (watch carefully so that it won't boil over which will take about 5 minutes)
  2. Turn down heat to medium low and let it simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Viola!  You now have a pot of perfectly steamed white rice.  Keep leftover to make best fried rice dishes.


Using Electric Rice Cooker

If you cook steamed white rice a lot, for instance, twice a week, I highly recommend you to buy a electric rice cooker (even though the model here in US is still so far behind from Asia).  You can use the same measuring method.  Cook time will be taken care of by the rice cooker.


Side note: Gourmet Chinese food uses clay pot to cook rice although it started out only poor people using this method before my greatgrandparent generation.  If you strive for that kind of special flavor from a clay pot, there is an appliance combining both electric rice cooker and clay pot into one.  Yep, it is like the best of both worlds.  Check it out.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Asian Recipes

Best Fried Rice Recipes

Chinese Recipes For Family Dinner


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