Perfect fluffy rice

Cooking rice can be tricky.  Sometimes it’s under cooked, other times is a gloopy, starchy mess.  This method makes perfect fluffy rice every time.  You can cook your rice in the oven or a microwave – either way, it takes 15 minutes to cook and then requires another  15 minutes resting time.

I learned this method from my wonderful aunt, who at the age of 80 is still the best cook I know.  Some of my earliest memories are of watching her lift a huge stainless steel pot out of the oven and seeing a vast cloud of steam envelope her head as she fluffed up the rice she’d be serving up that evening.

When I started to cook for myself, I started to experiment with her method to see whether I could make rice just as perfectly in the microwave.  This was mostly partly due to my laziness – I wanted to be able to minimise the washing up!  In my opinion, the microwave method is just as good as the oven method and I can just bung the leftovers in the fridge in the Tupperware container it was cooked in once it’s cooled down. Win, win!

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Ingredients

  • Rice – I tend to use Basmati but this method works with all types of rice, including sushi rice
  • Salt & oil (optional)

Equipment

  • Oven method – you’ll need a lidded saucepan or pot that’s oven-safe (including the handle)
  • Microwave method – a large microwave-safe Tupperware dish that has a lid with a steam vent

Method

  1. Firstly measure out your rice.  This a really important step.  I tend to use an average sized mugful of rice which makes enough for 4.  You don’t need to weigh your rice – it’s the volume you need to be aware of so just measure it into a container (be that a mug, measuring jug or cup).
  2. Decant the rice into whatever you are using to cook it in.  Next, rinse the rice in cold water.  Put in enough cold water to completely cover the rice.  Give the rice a swill around and then carefully pour out the starchy water.
  3. Repeat this step a good few times, until the water is pretty clear. I always do it 7 times as that’s what my aunt does!
  4. Drain off as much of the water as possible.  You can use a sieve for this but I don’t as I end up with rice everywhere and a sieve is something else to be washed!
  5. Now add cold water in a ratio of 1.5 times volume to the amount of rice you’ve used.  So if you use a mug of rice, add 1.5 mugs of water, if you use 1.5 cups of rice, add 2.25 cups of water.
  6. Optional: At this stage, you can add a pinch of salt and a splash of oil and give it a stir.  The oil helps the grains to separate. Skip this step if making sushi rice or if you’re watching your salt / fat intake.
  7. Oven method: 
    • Preheat the oven to Gas 9/240C/ 475F.
    • Place your pan on the hob and bring the water to the boil.
    • Put the lid of the pan and place it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
    • After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pan in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
    • Take the pan out of the oven, lift the lid, fork through to loosen the grains and serve.
  8. Microwave method:
    • Put the lid on your container and place in the microwave.
    • Cook for 15 minutes.
    • Remove from the microwave and leave for a further 15 minutes.
    • Remove the lid, fork through to loosen the grains and serve.

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