Rice, the staple diet of half the world. Having rice in your diet is one of many healthy habits to practice. Yet so many people find it difficult to cook. For one, there is no simple answer to how long to cook rice on the stove for. And, we have all heard of the one-to-two ratio of rice to water but somehow it doesn’t always work. Cooking rice without a rice-cooker can be such a hustle right? Luckily, part of the advantages of traditional lifestyle is cooking rice in a way that makes it intuitive cooking. How? Using the recipe that follows. Read further to learn how to cook rice for beginners (because is anyone really an expert?) Perfectly and on the stovetop.
The health benefits of rice
If rice is so difficult to cook, why bother? Because cooked rice is tasty and healthy! Rice may look like a small and simple grain but it packs carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. One cup of white rice contains about 205 calories. This is why it should be part of your healthy habits. Its nutritional values add to the advantages of traditional lifestyle led by many African countries that consume it. Some being Madagascar, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and many more. Side note, I used jasmine rice to make this tutorial.
The healthier option: White rice or brown rice?
When it comes to which type of rice is the healthiest, brown rice wins the cup, according to a dietician. Brown rice does not have some of its nutrients stripped out like white rice does. Yet, white rice can still be more beneficial to others, depending on your dietary needs. For example, it may be easier to digest. The health benefits may also depend on what you pair the rice with. So if you love your white rice, try to pair it with whole foods like veggies or beans. This way you can keep your favorite rice without compromising your healthy habits.
Conditions for cooking good rice
How to cook rice for beginners depends on three factors: water, heat, and the rice itself.
- Rice- Did you know that there is a difference in how you should cook older rice compared to newer rice? Newer rice absorbs moisture easier. So, the amount of water you cook rice in needs adjusting if you usually cook older rice and vice-versa.
- Water- Some people like to cook their rice in already boiling water. But, in the traditional way, we start with cold water.
- Heat- It’s important to watch the heat when you cook rice. When it is too high, the rice grain does not fully absorb the water. This results in a soft outside and hard inside. If it’s too low, the rice may end up too sticky or mushy.
How long to cook rice on the stove
The amount of time you should take to cook rice depends on how you like to eat it. We talk about the advantages of traditional lifestyle but traditions differ, all over Africa. For example the Malagasy don’t like rice too sticky. This all comes down to the type of rice you have and how long to cook rice on the stove for. With intuitive cooking (which we will talk about next) you have better control over this.
Related: Madagascar Crisp Rice Drink
Intuitive cooking for rice
I know, I know. It sounds scary to cook rice with no measurements. But, many of the measuring tips out there don’t always work. Plus, the traditional way of cooking rice is using intuitive cooking. Even for beginners. Yes, put that measuring cup away! It’s easier than it sounds. It also helps if you like to switch between different types of rice as they cook differently. And, now you don’t have to worry about accuracy on how long to cook rice on the stove.
Cooking rice on an open flame is how most Africans learned how to cook. Some of us were not taught to measure water using a typical measuring cup either. Instead, we were taught to eye-ball the ingredients using intuition and common sense. This guide is meant to help so you do not need to rely on an electric rice cooker. Our aim is also for you to not be afraid or hesitate to cook any type of rice on stovetop or open flames. You never know where life might take you on its wild adventure. This instruction will guide you on how to start and what to do along the way so your rice can cook perfectly. For oceans sake, resist reading the cooking instruction on the package. It will confuse you from using your intuition.
Personal story, I have eaten partly cooked rice from certain restaurants (Qdoba) and it is not fun. It ruins the entire appetite. At fast food chains, I beg ooo, if the restaurant worker does not eat rice at home habitually, please do not make them cook the rice. Have a foreign person in your establishment to cook dey rice nah (using my thickest African accent).
Anyway, are you excited to add rice to your healthy habits? I know I am. Let’s learn how to cook rice for beginners and you may not have to ask how long to cook rice on the stove for. And if you like this article, subscribe and share it!
Recommended Stews for your rice:
Creamy Spicy Cranberry Beans Stew
Fragrant Liberian Cabbage Stew
Plain Oil Lima Beans Okra Stew Recipe
How to Cook Rice for beginners on Stovetop Without Measuring Water
If you have no rice cooker and have no idea where to start, learn how to use your eyes and become a pro in intuitive cooking. Eyeballing your food is a skill... you just look at what is in the pot and adjust accordingly.
- Jasmine Rice ( or any rice type you desire)
- Determination & courage
- Wash your rice and put it in a deep cooking pot depending on the amount of rice. Basically, the rice should not occupy more than half of the pot. If it does, get a bigger pot.
- We're cooking on the stovetop without using measurement. The whole point is intuitive cooking so do not look at the instructions on the package. This is one of the advantages of traditional lifestyle and healthy habits that help you adjust no matter where you find yourself.
- Pour water and use your eyes, look to see where the water and the rice separate. It is okay to start with little water and add accordingly as the rice cooks until it is fully cooked.
- When you become a pro, you'll be able to tell the exact amount of water. Sometimes steam will cook certain types of rice. When cooking brown rice, for example, you'll need more water for the grain to cook.
- If you're wondering how long to cook rice on the stove, we're doing this the traditional way. Therefore when cooking, you need to be close by to keep checking on it every 5 or 10 minutes.
- After adding water, cover the pot and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Check and stir it from the bottom to ensure the rice is not sticking to the pot. Pick a grain of rice and squeeze it between your fingers to check how soft it is. If it is soft, do not add any more water only cover the pot and let it dry any remaining water for a few minutes on low heat.
- If it is rough, add a little water and stir. Cover the pot and let it cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. At this point, the rice will cook with steam as the water dries up.
- The smell of cooked rice, especially cooked on the stovetop will draw you to the pot. Stir the rice again from the bottom.
- Serve and enjoy.