Cooking white rice can be challenging, but it is worth learning how to do it right. When cooked correctly, the rice should be fluffy and slightly grainy, not mushy or soupy.
Many of you might be wondering why I prefer Jasmine and Basmati rice. Well, who says I can’t? These days, you have to find what works for you. I used to live in Haiti, but I migrated a long time ago. When you move to a new country, you sometimes have to find substitutes for the products you’re used to. Due to export and import regulations, we have a wide variety of rice on the market, so it’s perfectly normal to choose a brand or type of rice that doesn’t originate from your own country or island.
Cooking white rice with spices or How to make Haitian White Rice
To cook white rice, you only need a few ingredients: oil or butter, fresh garlic, water, salt, and rice. That’s the easy way! Many people in the Caribbean also use scallions or chives (spring onions), white or yellow onions, salt, and water. When adding fresh spices, be careful not to let them burn. I should also mention that you need to use good oil. Cooking rice with leftover oil will not give you a good result.
Liquid ratio to cooking rice
The correct liquid ratio will depend on the type of rice and the amount you’re using. I usually sautee my rice in oil or butter with the spices for 2-3 minutes while stirring, then add my liquid. That process has worked well for me. When pan-frying or sauteeing rice, you need to reduce the amount of liquid. For example, if you’re cooking 1 cup of rice, you might be tempted to add 2 cups of water as is sometimes recommended. Instead, add 1 ½ cups of water.
The same process applies when adding beans, peas, or vegetables. But again, you have to be familiar with the brand of rice. This only works with white rice. Yellow and brown rice needs more water to cook.
The best pan to cook white rice and most rice dishes on the stovetop.
When cooking rice, it’s best to use a heavy-bottomed pan. Use enough oil or butter to cook the rice, and never cook rice over high heat. Medium to low heat is recommended to ensure that the rice cooks evenly.
A rice cooker is great too, but you can have fluffy and grainy white rice in less than 30 minutes.
The best cooking oil for white rice
You might find sunflower, canola, or olive oil in many Caribbean homes. The best oil to use is the one you’re most comfortable with. I prefer to use olive oil, grapeseed oil, or a mixture of oil and butter. One of my favorite dishes is buttery white rice with beans sauce!
Here are a few tips for cooking perfect white rice:
- Rinse the rice in room temperature water until the water runs clear. This will remove excess starch and help the rice cook evenly.
- Add the rice to a pot with a 2:1 water ratio to rice. For example, if you’re using 1 cup of rice, use 2 or 1 1/2 cups of water, depending on the brand.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. This will help the rice separate and become light and fluffy.
To achieve a buttery taste, you must use a brand of butter that is not cheap. When you mix a good butter brand with a wonderful oil, you get a rice dish that will call your name in every language!
To make white rice, you need a good brand of rice, garlic, scallions (optional), good oil, and good butter (if using). Here’s a great tip: When cooking a real meal, like rice, beans, or a meat dish, don’t add salt to the rice. The meat and beans dishes already have salt, so why add them again? This is a great way to cut back on sodium.
With a little practice, you can cook perfect white rice every time!
Here are some additional tips on how to cook white rice:
- Use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent the rice from sticking.
- Don’t stir the rice while it’s cooking.
- If you’re cooking a large batch of rice, you may need to increase the cooking time.
- You can add salt to the water to flavor the rice.
- You can also flavor the rice with onion, scallion, and garlic.
- Once the rice is cooked, add it to your favorite dishes, such as stir-fries, casseroles, and desserts.
Cooking white rice is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. Here is a basic recipe for cooking white rice:
Ingredients for cooking rice
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Rinse the rice using a large bowl and strain repeatedly using a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This will help remove excess starch and prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
- Add the rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are fully cooked.
- Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
White rice is a staple food in many cultures around the world. It is a good source of carbohydrates and can be used to make a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, casseroles, and desserts.
There are many ways to cook white rice, but the most common method is to use a pot on the stove.
Here are some variations on the basic white rice recipe:
- For brown rice, you will need to increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes.
- For wild rice, you will need to rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a pot and enough water to cover it by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
- For jasmine rice, you will need to rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a pot and enough water to cover it by 1 1/2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
Here are some additional tips for cooking white rice:
- If you are cooking a large batch of rice, you may want to use a rice cooker. This will ensure that the rice is cooked evenly and perfectly every time.
- You can add spices or herbs to the rice while cooking to give it a flavored boost.
- Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
No matter what type of rice you are cooking, it is important to rinse it before cooking to remove any excess starch. This will help to prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
I hope this blog post has helped you learn how to cook white rice!
- 2 cups white rice your preferred brand
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon chives or 1 scallion roughly chopped
- 1 – 2 garlic clove minced
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups water room temperature
- Salt to taste optional
- Wash rice under running water if necessary. (depending on the packaging and where the rice was purchased). Drain and set aside.
- Under medium to low heat, add oil to a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add chives or scallion and garlic. Sautee for a few seconds while stirring. Do not burn the spices, and don't let them turn brown. Add rice and stir to mix. Sautee the rice for about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring gently and just 1 – 2 times. Add water stir gently to mix, and add salt if using. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until water is completely absorbed. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Stir to fluff and serve.
- Use a heavy bottom pot with a tight-fit lid.
- Remove any dirt from rice if necessary, and rinse with cold water 2 or 3 times before cooking.
- Do not over-stir the rice, or it will not be fluffy and a bit grainy.
- Use a good brand.
- Use fresh spices and oil for flavor
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.
Originally published December 14, 2015. Revised and updated.