Consider this your go-to guide to cooking the ultimate grain.

By Kelly Vaughan
October 14, 2020
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Martyna Szczesna

If there's one side dish that's healthy and delicious, versatile and never boring, it's rice. You can enjoy it for breakfast (think Sweet Rice Porridge), lunch, dinner, and dessert (rice pudding, anyone?), and there are dozens of different varieties to choose from. From short- to long-grain, white to brown rice, different types of rice require different cooking times. However, there's a basic formula for preparing rice on the stove that will ensure perfectly cooked grains every time.

First, choose which type of liquid to cook your rice in. While water is the most obvious choice, you can also cook rice in coconut milk or broth such as chicken or vegetable. Either way, a good rule of thumb is a two to one ratio of liquid to grain, meaning for every one cup of rice, you need two cups of water or stock. Add ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt for every cup of rice, which enhances its natural flavor. Bring a pot of rice to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Once the rice has fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it steam for an additional 10 minutes until it is thoroughly cooked but still has a bit of a bite. Fluff with a fork.

From here, you can turn a batch of cooked rice into homemade Fried Rice with Chinese-Style Sausage, this nourishing Cilantro Rice Bowl with Poached Eggs and Greens, or this Vegetable and Black-Bean Fried Rice, a healthy sheet pan supper.

How to Cook White Rice

Looking for a basic recipe for cooking long-grain white rice? We've got a master recipe: Bring 1½ cups water to a boil, then stir in one cup of long-grain white rice and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 16 to 18 minutes before letting it steam, covered, for 10 more minutes.

How to Cook Brown Rice

If you're cooking short-grain brown rice, combine 1½ cups of water to one cup of rice; for long-grain rice, use a combination of 1¼ cups of water to one cup of rice. Cook for 30 minutes until it's tender.

How to Cook Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is known for its delicate, slightly sweet flavor and fragrant aroma. Here, our recipe calls for sautéing the rice with the lemongrass and shallots in oil for just a couple of minutes, then adding a combination of water and chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes.

How to Cook Basmati Rice

Fluffy and soft, basmati rice is particularly popular in South Asian cuisines, but it's enjoyed all across the globe. It's one of the fastest cooking types of rice—in just about 20 minutes, you can enjoy this delicious white rice alongside fish, seafood, and poultry. Turn basic white rice into a simple pilaf by sautéing minced yellow onion in oil, then add 1½ cups of rice and stir until translucent. Add 2½ cups of water, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 15 minutes.

How to Cook Black Rice

There are several varieties of whole-grain black rice including black japonica rice and black pearl rice. All are nutty, super-rich in nutrients, and heartier than other varieties of rice. Because they're so hearty, they have a longer cooking time, one cup of black rice takes 35-40 minutes to cook. Elevate basic black rice with roasted broccoli and garlic, plus a dressing made from Dijon mustard and red-wine vinegar.

How to Cook Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is a short-grain Japanese white rice that is prized for its sticky texture and is perfect for rolling in nori sheets with thinly sliced vegetables and fish. To cook sushi rice, bring 1½ cups of rice to a boil in 1½ cups of water, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Season with rice vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt.

How to Cook Arborio Rice

Arborio and carnaroli rice are two varieties of Italian medium-grained rice that are used for making risotto. Preparing these types of rice is different than cooking a pot of regular white or brown rice because they're much starchier. To make our simple risotto, sauté chopped onion in a couple of tablespoons of melted butter until translucent. Add rice and stir until the grains are lightly toasted and smell nutty; add one cup of hot broth at a time until the rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Continue adding the broth (you'll need three to four cups total) until the rice is creamy and tender (about 25 minutes), then season with salt, pepper, and lots of Parmesan cheese.

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