[lifestyle] what every broke (Asian) college student must know: how to cook rice in a pot

For most colleges, there is at least a month-long break between the fall and spring semesters; at my college, it is called Wintersession. I elected to live on campus for this Wintersession; however, the dining halls are not open.

Therefore, I am cooking for myself– except those times where I break down and order in because I’m just too lazy to slice cucumbers or something. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you really only need one piece of cookware to survive: a metal pot with an airtight lid (no holes). Here’s how to use it to cook perfect, fluffy rice:

Time Required: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy (but the first few times you should watch carefully until you get used to it and make sure you don’t burn the rice)

1. Rinse the rice.

Doing so gets rid of the starch and other undesirables like dust and bran. In the US, rice is required to be ‘fortified’ with powdered vitamins which will actually be removed if you rinse. Despite this, I rinse every time, because I don’t really trust the rice people– I’d like my rice to be as clean as possible. Asians typically rinse every time as well.

How many times should you rinse? I rinse 3-4 times, or until the water is at least 70% transparent. When you rinse, use your hands to stir up the rice.

2. Add in 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.

To be honest, I don’t sit there measuring rice and water. I’ll tell you what my father taught me– put the water and rice in together, and guesstimate. Then, using one hand, palm down, lay your hand on top of the rice. The water level should rise up around the second joint of your middle finger (your knuckles being the third joint). If it is above, there is too much water, pour some out. If it does not cover up to the second joint, add some more water.

3. With the pot uncovered, bring the rice to a boil. 

I recommend medium heat.

4. Once the rice is boiling, turn the heat down by one level. 

You can put the lid on, but tilted, so steam can still escape.

5.  When you see holes or craters in the rice, put the lid on tight. Turn heat to low.

You’ll see what I mean by ‘craters’. There will literally be holes in between rice kernels that makes it look really weird.

6. Keep cooking for around 15-20 minutes.

This depends on the type of rice, how much rice you are cooking, etc. Around the 15 minute mark, you can always stick in a spoon and sample some rice and then decide what to do from then on. That’s what I usually do. If it’s still soggy, give it another 5 minutes. If it’s a bit chewy, the rice is done and you can turn off the heat and serve!

If you have any questions, please let me know! I didn’t include photos because all my photo attempts were pretty fail.


2 thoughts on “[lifestyle] what every broke (Asian) college student must know: how to cook rice in a pot

  1. I never really thought much of cooking rice. It seemed to me that the process was very straightforward; just add some water, rice, and salt (not even wash the rice). That was until I actually tried making it myself in which suddenly the process seemed to get much more complicated! Luckily I got my mom’s assistance. The difference is that we added a bit of olive oil and salt. I wanted it to be extra mushy just because it tastes so good with yogurt that way (yeah I mix my rice with yogurt), so we added two cups of water for every cup of rice. Tastes perfect with olive oil.

    I really enjoyed reading your post! Although I would not say that I am an avid reader of your blog, I do check it from time to time as it often catches my interest for reasons unknown to myself (not sure if you would understand what I’m trying to say here). So anyway, it is nice to see a topic introduced to your blog that is quite different from the usual stream of topics! Thumbs up! :D

    • wow, thanks! lol, I figured I might as well share the wisdom because it took me a few tries to get it right. Maybe I should try that, the yogurt with the rice ^^ I’m a salty person, so I usually add soy sauce or furikake :Q

      thanks again for reading ^^~~

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