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How to cook white rice in a pot

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prep time: 
5 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
40 min
total time: 
45 min

This recipe is for short grain rice (also known as sticky rice or Korean/Japanese rice/sushi rice). Traditionally, Koreans do not eat long grain rice or jasmine rice when it comes to white rice.

The water ratio is different when you cook in a rice cooker or for brown rice/multigrain rice. See:
cooking white rice in a rice cooker
cooking multigrain rice in a rice cooker
cooking multigrain rice in a pot
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Change to: Metric US
1 cup  Rice, white short grain 쌀
1⅓ cupsWater 물

Good to Know

1 cup (240ml) of rice usually serves 2 people.

You must have a pot with a lid that fits to cook rice in a pot.

Please note that the cooking time may vary depending on the stove type and the amount of rice.
If you are not sure about cooking time, just leave it on low heat for a while after hitting the boiling point.

It's the best if you don't open the lid especially after boiling until it's completely done. If you must check the rice, close it back quickly.

Rice always cooks better if you soak the rice for a few hours before although it's not necessary. To get the water ratio right (since the rice will start absorbing the water and you won't be able to tell how much more water you need), wash and add the right amount of water before soaking. Then, just cook without adding more water.

Rice & Water Ratio

For cooking white rice in a pot, the rice-water ratio is usually 1 part of rice & 1⅓ parts of water. Rice:Water=1:1⅓
The ratio may vary a little depending on the brand of rice and your personal preference. Some people like their rice more watery than others.

2 cups rice -> 2⅔ cups water
3 cups rice -> 4 cups water
4 cups rice -> 5⅓ cups water
5 cups rice -> 6⅔ cups water

If you use rice cooker the ratio is different. See cooking white rice using a rice cooker.
For mixed (multigrain) rice, the ratio is completely different. See cooking multigrain rice using a rice cooker and cooking multigrain rice in a pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my rice turns out too hard?
You may be able to fix it by adding water and mixing it around quickly, then leaving it on low heat with a lid on for another while. If you already have it cooked too long, it may start burning though.

What if my rice turns out too watery?
It's hard to fix this situation. It may become better if you leave it on low heat with a lid on for a longer period of time.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Wash rice

Wash 1 cup of rice in cold water. Do not rub it too hard or too long as it will lose nutrients. Wash twice in total. Second time, drain the water as much as possible without losing the rice grains.

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Wash rice

  • in cold water
  • gently
  • twice

drain completely

2. Add water

Add 1⅓ cup of water. *See tips for water ratio for different amounts.

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Add 1⅓ cup water

3. Boil

Bring it to boil on high heat with a lid on (about 10 min but may change depending on the amount). Watch carefully. Once it starts to boil, it can burn really quickly. If you are worried you can always boil low heat. It just takes longer.

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Bring to boil

High Heat image: highheat.png

4. Simmer

As soon as it comes to boil, turn the heat down to LOW and leave it for 15 minutes. If it starts to spill over as it hits the boiling point, quickly open the lid and close it back after lowering the heat. Then, you want to keep the lid closed until the end if possible. If you are cooking a larger amount, leave it for longer. If you are not sure, you can leave it on LOW heat for as long 30-40 min and it would be fine other than forming a crispy crust at the bottom.

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At boiling point

Lower heat

Low Heat image: lowheat.png image: clock.png 15 min

5. Heat off

Turn off the heat but leave it on the stove with the lid closed for at least 10 min. Again, it’s best if you don’t open the lid. With a rice spatula, flip through the rice very gently.

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Turn off heat

Let it sit on stove

image: clock.png 10 min

Flip rice gently.

6. Serve

Serve in a rice bowl.

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Serve in a bowl.