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There are people out there sharing their methods for boiling an egg (which is great because I look it up each time I boil one. No kidd’n!) so I just thought I’d share the method for cooking rice as it was taught to me by my mother.

I have never owned a rice cooker, and I don’t really see the appeal of owning an unwieldy kitchen appliance that can only be used for one specific purpose. Especially when my preferred method of cooking is just as effective and just as easy to do in a regular saucepan.

There are basically two methods for cooking rice without a rice cooker. The method that is by far superior is the absorption method. It just seems a lot less wasteful to me – and soils one less item – than the alternative, the boiling method.

Let’s take a look.


The superior absorption method

For two servings of rice, add 1 cup of rice (I like Basmati) to 2 cups of lightly salted boiling water. Cover (!) and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Once all of the water has been absorbed into the rice, remove the lid, fluff it up a little with a fork and let the steam evaporate for a couple of minutes.

During cooking, stir only if you want the rice to be sticky. If you want it to come out light and loose, don’t stir at all. A little stirring won’t kill the rice, but as long as there’s still water in the pot, there is no need to stir, either.

I like to add some turmeric and cumin or curry powder to the water for Asian recipes. Gives the rice a nice yellow color and a more interesting taste.


The inferior boiling method

With the boiling method, you treat the rice exactly like you would pasta. Bring about 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil and add 1 cup of rice. Let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes, and after testing the rice for doneness, drain it in a colander. Now you can give it a cold shower to stop the cooking process, but I don’t think it’s really necessary.

Of course you can add turmeric and cumin here as well, but remember that you will be pouring it down the drain in the end.


Oh, and I know you were just about to ask, so I’ll show you!

This is what cooked rice looks like:

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