How to make the perfect rice

Burning Questions


When I make brown rice, I can never get the proportion of water to rice correct and end up with rice that is mushy or hard. Help.

I finally gave up on figuring out the rice-water proportions on all but the two types of rice I make most frequently at home: Uncle Ben's (1 to 2) and Kokuho Rose Japanese-style rice (1 1/2 to 2). Now, whether I am making brown rice, red rice, black rice, basmati rice or wild rice, I follow this method:

Bring a large pot of water to boil as if you were making pasta. You'll want at least eight times as much water as rice. When the water comes to a boil, add a bit of salt and rice. Bring the water back to a boil and then reduce it to a strong simmer. Cook the rice until it is just barely short of done. Have a colander ready in the sink and drain the rice, give it a shake, and put it right back into the hot pot and cover it. Let it sit for 10 minutes. You should have perfectly done rice.

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday. E-mail your queries to, or send them to Erica Marcus, Food /Part 2, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747-4250.

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