Nice and airy or nice and soft and sticky… You can prepare rice in all kinds of ways. And although cooking rice is often considered relatively simple, preparing the perfect pan of rice often turns out to be a bit more difficult than expected. If you don’t pay attention, the grains are overcooked, just not cooked enough or they burn. That’s why we’re happy to show you how to always cook the perfect rice!

3 ways of cooking rice: in plenty of water, dry cooking & steaming

In general, there are three common ways to prepare rice: in plenty of water, dry cooking and steaming. And they all have their pros and cons. One is a bit easier than the other. But the other one does involve more washing up or requires some extra work.

Rice grain
Rice grain

Cook rice in a pan with plenty of water

The easiest way to cook rice. Place the rice in a pan with plenty of (optionally salted) water and bring to the boil. Let it cook well and check regularly after 8 minutes whether the rice is already cooked. If so, drain in a sieve, put the grains back in the pan and let the rice steam out with the lid on.

Dry cooking

By cooking the rice dry, you retain more flavour, vitamins and minerals. But how do you do that? First wash the granules in cold water until the water runs clear. Put everything in a pan and add one and a half times as much water as rice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Stir regularly, taste to see if the grains are ready and let it steam for a few more minutes.


We usually steam rice in a steamer or bamboo basket. It’s very simple: fill the bottom half of a steamer with water and bring it to a boil. Close, fill the top half with the (washed) rice and steam the rice for 20-30 minutes. Or bring a pan with water to the boil, place a piece of baking paper in your steamer basket (it makes washing up easier!) with the rice on top, put the lid on the basket and steam the whole thing for at least half an hour.

The right ratio: how much water and rice do you need?

Whatever rice cooking technique you use, almost all of them require you to find the right proportions. Often the packaging already states how much water and rice you need per person, but sometimes you don’t always have a measuring cup to hand to measure it perfectly. And the following tricks will help you out:

The coffee cup method

You’re usually fine if you cook one cup of rice in two cups of water. And one cup per person is often exactly the amount you need for your meal. Disadvantage: However, there are different types of rice and they in turn all have a different cooking time or absorb different amounts of moisture. So it’s best to check the packaging if you can.

Or use your fingers

No coffee cups available? Then put the rice in a pan, place your hand flat on the rice and pour in as much (cold) water until your fingers are completely covered. Or put your finger in vertically until it touches the bottom and pour in water to one phalanx above the surface of the rice. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil until the water is used up. Then remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes with the lid on the pan.


Cooking rice in the microwave or rice cooker

Sometimes you don’t have the options to cook rice in a pan or you want to make a very small amount. Fortunately, you can cook rice in the microwave. Wash the grains thoroughly, use a large bowl (cooked rice expands), add twice as much cold water and microwave on 700 watts. Allow about 9 minutes of cooking time for 100 grams of rice.

Another option is the rice cooker. A handy device, because it switches off automatically when the rice is ready. That way you can’t boil it over or let it burn. You simply put the right amounts in the machine and with the push of a button you have those perfectly cooked grains after fifteen minutes. You don’t have to look any further!

Tip : You read here more about cooking rice in the rice cooker or steam oven!

Cooking rice in the air fryer

Cooking rice in the air fryer? That is also possible! Then put the rice in the baking accessory and cover with warm or boiling water in the correct proportion. Set the airfryer to 200 degrees and then cook the rice in 20-25 minutes. Remove the baking accessory from your airfryer, drain the rice if necessary and fry some vegetables or meat and you have a delicious meal with rice from the airfryer!

Add flavour: cook rice in stock or coconut milk

‘Bare’ rice almost requires a seasoning. You can add this afterwards by seasoning the whole with some salt, pepper and possibly some oil, butter or herbs (hmmmm!), but you can also make sure that your meal is extra tasty during preparation by adding the rice. cook in broth or coconut milk. Or put a dash of soy sauce or soy sauce in the water!

cooking rice with coconut milk
cooking rice with coconut milk

Other ways to add flavor (or color!) are by cooking the rice with spices such as ginger, lemongrass or cinnamon, by frying the rice before cooking, or by adding squid ink or saffron to the cooking water. In short, you can use your rice in many ways make and color.

What are you going to make?

So. Now that you know everything about cooking rice, we are very curious what you are going to make tonight. Just do and try.

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