Rice is the staple food of over half the world, whether you're thinking of the thin Basmati rice used in Indian cuisine, sticky versions from Thai and Japanese food, or creamy rice used in Italian risotto. Rice is also a major staple used when trying to budget how much you spend on food, so it really does pay to know how to cook it rather than having to buy those incredibly expensive ready-made pouches.

Despite the extensive use of rice in world food, I've met so many people who are unable to cook it properly or consistently. I was one of those people, back in my teens I could make a brilliant Chicken Jalfrezi or Chilli Con Carne, yet I couldn't manage to master the perfect accompaniment to my two favourite dishes. Fortunately, now in my mid 20s, I am capable of cooking rice. This is the method I used when learning to cook this staple perfectly every time. This method requires remedial measuring skills and absolutely no drainage of the rice at the end of cooking. During cooking and steaming the rice should absorb all of the water you put in, that's why I love this method so much.

Perfect Rice

Cooking Perfect Rice

The Method

We will use the most widely used type of rice in this method, long grain. But this method can be translated into many other types, although the cooking times vary depending on the type of rice. Let's get started!

  1. Firstly, one important aspect people miss out during cooking is the rinsing of their rice. We want to pour out our portion into a sieve. Take a standard size cup, one cup full of rice is the equivalent of a single large portion (I eat a lot, so one cup for me). Once you have your portion, pour it into a sieve and rinse it thoroughly under cold water until the water coming from it runs clear.
  2. Boil your water in a kettle and put your pan on your stove on a high heat (I use a heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid, such as the Pyrex Casserole Dish that I recommend so often.
  3. You want just under twice the amount of water as you have rice, so if you have two cups of rice, use about 3.5 cups of water. Pour this into the pan and bring it to the boil before adding your rice.
  4. Give the pan a stir and let it come back to the boil again, when it has turn your heat down to a low-medium heat and put your tight fitting lid on top. Top tip: If you don't have a tight fitting lid, put a towel over your pan and put the lid onto that (make sure you don't set fire to the kitchen please).
  5. For long grain rice, leave to simmer for about 14 minutes, checking a few times during the cooking process to make sure it isn't burning. If you feel it needs more water, add a drop in, but remember, this cooking style means there should be no drainage required at the end.
  6. Once the cooking has finished, stir up the rice and take the pan off the heat, now replace the lid and leave to steam for around 10 minutes. 
  7. Fluff it up with a fork and Voila! Perfect rice!