It sounds like blasphemy to cook rice in a microwave. Isn’t a rice cooker made specifically to do that? Or you can even cook rice on your stovetop with a pot, saucepan, and so forth as well as enough time, cups of water, and a watchful eye.
However, you can cook anything on a Microwave as long as you have the right instructions or recipes with it. They’re like a modern-age or atomic-age stove or oven. You just need to know how to use it properly.
Do you want to know how to cook rice in the Microwave? Keep on reading to find out!
What You’ll Need
Here are the items you’ll need to cook rice in a microwave.
- Water (for washing and cooking)
- Measuring cup (to measure the rice)
- Microwave oven (we used a 0.9 capacity, 900-watt microwave)
- South Korean microwaveable rice (just follow the instructions on the box)
- Rice (long-grain, medium-grain, or short-grain as well as brown rice and its variants)
- Microwave-safe dish or Microwave Rice Cooker (plastic microwave-safe pot, CorningWare or Pyrex glass lids, 8×8 baking dish, or a big bowl with a lid that can hold at least 1.5 quarts of liquid or food)
How to Cook Rice in Microwave
Follow the following instructions or keep in mind the additional notations when it comes to cooking rice in a microwave.
Types of Rice Grains and Cooking Time Span
This method works on all types of rice grain varieties.
This includes short grain such as Japanese sushi rice or Korean rice, medium grain like jasmine rice, and long grain like basmati.
Alas, the wattage and peak power level of microwave ovens differ. This affects cooking length. The more powerful the microwave, the faster the cooking length.
To carefully cook the rice, check its condition at incremental times then add or subtract the cooking length as needed.
Get the Microwave-Safe Dish and Put Rice and Water in It
The first step involves getting a microwaveable dish. This dish could be CorningWare, Pyrex, or some similar brand of the microwave-safe pot.
If it’s plastic, make sure it’s marked microwave-safe, it’s not damaged, and/or it’s a big bowl with a lid that can hold at least 1.5 quarts of content.
From there, measure a cup of rice then put it in the bowl.
From there, add 2 cups of cold tap water. If you add more rice, put in the same amount of water with one extra.
Place the Rice in the Microwave Then Cook It
After prepping the bowl of uncooked rice with water, put the dish without a cover and microwave it on the highest power level for 10 minutes.
The ideal results after this include having small holes appear on the rice and have most of the water gone, absorbed right into the rice.
These holes serve as steam pressure release points. If there’s still water, keep microwaving at minute-long increments until the rice bowl ends up completely cooked and with steam holes.
The Importance of Washing Rice
When washing rice, you’re not washing away its nutrients whether it’s white rice or brown rice.
Its purpose from time immemorial involves getting rid of any bugs, dust, and dirt as well as extra starch that coats every bit of rice.
Unwashed starchy rice makes it quite gummy and sticky like soppy oatmeal. When washed correctly you’ll end up with a Goldilocks-approved rice quality that has just the right amount of delicious softness and moistness.
Breaking It Down Further
After putting the rice in your microwave-safe container, it should be washed first with cool water.
To wash properly, swish the rice around the water until it becomes about as white and cloudy a suspension as skimmed milk.
You’ve now just washed away starch and dirt away from your rice. Pour out the water carefully while keeping it inside the pot.
You can even use a strainer or colander of the right size if you wish before returning the washed rice to the pot.
Usually, tilting the pot is enough because the rice will stay on the bottom and the water will pour out.
Cover the Rice Then Microwave the Bowl Further
After microwaving the rice initially without a lid, you can then cook it with a lid after seeing the steam holes appear on the surface of the cooked rice.
To be more specific, you can either use the cover available on the bowl with the lid slightly ajar or transfer the initially cooked rice to a microwave-safe container with its own lid.
You can also cover the rice with plastic wrap and poke small pressure release holes into it. From there, microwave the rice for 4 more minutes.
Remove the Rice and Let it Stand
Take the bowl of rice out of your microwave then let it stand while still (slightly covered) for 5 minutes.
Now you can taste the rice to check if it’s too soggy or just right. It should have the desired fluffy texture that goes well with various other meals and dishes.
If it remains a bit crunchy this means it requires more microwaving. Just keep microwaving it at increments of 1 minute, check if it’s done, then repeat if it’s still not quite up to par.
Alternative Rice Recipe and the Golden Ratio
You can instead use the ratio of every 1½ cups of rice should have 2¼ cups of water to be more specific or precise with your cooking.
Instead of microwaving it initially for 10 minutes at full power, you can instead microwave it 5 minutes on full power or 15 minutes on 50 percent power with a 5-minute resting period.
This method offers more precise measurements because having too much water on rice equals soggy rice. Having too little water on rice results in crunchy dry rice or sugarless Rice Krispies.
Just Right Said Goldilocks
Just as Goldilocks found Papa Bear’s porridge and Mama Bear’s porridge too much, so too will you with slapdash ratios that could lead to soggy rice or dry rice.
You need just the right amount of water to get the rice just right at the ratio of 2¼ cups of water to every 1½ cups of rice. This serves about 4 people. The raw rice could be sushi rice, jasmine, or basmati. Put them in the microwave-safe container, wash it and rinse by draining all of the water.
Microwave for 5 minutes on High or 15 Minutes on Half Power
Now add 2¼ cups of rice then microwave on high for 5 minutes. You can either microwave the golden ratio rice instantly for 5 minutes at the highest power or you could microwave it gradually at 15 minutes for 50 percent of the power or midway the available power levels of your microwave.
If you can’t set the power level of your microwave that means it’s always on high power so you should go the 5-minute rice route. You’ll end up with 3 cups worth of rice for 4 people.
Cooking Brown Rice while Keeping the Nutrients Intact
Take note that cooking brown rice in the microwave requires another separate set of instructions in order to keep their nutrients intact. Use brown long grain rice, brown short-grain rice, or brown basmati rice.
For one cup of brown rice, use 3 cups of water. Wash the rice, rinse, and then drain. Use a large microwave-safe bowl then microwave at full power for 10 minutes without the lid. Cover the bowl, reduce the power to 50 percent, and cook for 20 minutes.
The Convenience Factor
The available method here enables you to cook a cup of dry rice in the indicated cooking time. If you wish to cook 2 cups of dry rice instead, follow the recipe and adjust the cooking time thusly.
Regardless, unlike heating rice over a stove, you’re less likely to deal with overcooked or burnt rice as well as rice stuck in the bottom of the pot.
Yes, some folks love that crunchy crust, but many others wish for a perfectly clean cookout a la rice cooker. Otherwise, you can follow the instructions on South Korean microwaveable rice or minute rice to microwave rice.
Great for Emergencies
You never know. You might end up at a rental house or vacation lodge wherein the stove proves shoddy so it’s a safer bet to use the microwave.
Perhaps you don’t have a stove. You most likely lack a rice cooker unless you’re a rice fanatic or belong to an Asian family where rice is more of staple food.
Regardless of your reasons, you should learn how to microwave-cook rice in a step-by-step fashion for the sake of versatility and flexibility.
Last Points to Ponder
Is there a reason to cook your rice in a microwave instead of a rice cooker? Perhaps you’re in a Caucasian household that has bread instead of rice as your staple food.
Thusly, you might not own your own rice cooker. Or you might wish for an easier way to cook rice instead of using your stovetop. Just keep note that stovetop rice cooking is only marginally slower than microwave rice cooking.
Some claim that rice cooked by a microwave produces better rice quality. It’s also convenient. With stovetop cooking, you have to check the rice more often to avoid burning it. Microwaving is more flexible when push comes to shove.
- Emily Johnson, “How to Cook Rice in the Microwave“, Epicurious.com, August 4, 2017
- “How to cook rice in the microwave, perfect every time“, SteamyKitchen.com, September 25, 2018
- “How to Cook Brown Rice in the Microwave“, SteamyKitchen.com, October 1, 2017