How to Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time! With “Killer Rice” Recipe

Mastering rice cooking might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, perfect results are within reach. From white to brown, jasmine to basmati, and red to black – each type of rice demands its own cooking method. This guide will help you learn how to cook each variety properly, ensuring delicious meals every time. Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a seasoned cook, let’s begin our journey to excellent rice cooking.

Understanding Different Types of Rice

Long grain rice, known for its slender shape, cooks up light and fluffy, ideal for pilafs and side dishes. Basmati and jasmine rice add a wonderful dimension of flavour and texture to soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries.

Medium grain rice, shorter and slightly wider than long grain, offers a chewy, nutty taste and is perfect for risottos, paellas, and sushi rolls, while short grain rice is best for dishes like sticky sushi rolls and creamy desserts.

Types of Rice

Long grain rice is the most popular type of rice, characterized by its slender shape. It has a light texture and a mild flavor that cooks fluffy and does not clump like short grain rice. Long grain varieties like basmati or jasmine are great for making fluffy pilafs or side dishes. For an added dimension of flavor and texture, long grain rice varieties like basmati or jasmine can be incorporated into soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries.

Medium grain rice has a shorter shape than long grain but is slightly wider than short grain varieties. This type of rice has a chewy texture and nutty flavor that works best in risottos, paellas, sushi rolls (although some consider it short-grain), desserts, stuffings, and other recipes where you want to retain moisture.

Short grain rice is rounder in shape compared to other types of grains. The grain’s creamy consistency is ideal for making my luscious Cointreau & Date Pudding. It’s also commonly used for making sticky sushi rolls since it holds together.

Varieties of rice

  • White rice: This is the most commonly used type of rice. The husk, bran, and germ layers are removed during processing, which makes it easier to cook and digest. White rice is typically fluffy and tender when cooked.
  • Brown rice: Brown rice has the bran and germ layers intact, which gives it a nutty flavour and chewy texture. It’s also a good source of fiber and nutrients.
  • Basmati rice: is long-grain rice with a distinctive aroma and flavour. It’s often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is known for its fluffy texture and ability to absorb flavours well.
  • Jasmine rice: This is a type of long-grain rice that’s commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a delicate flavour and soft, sticky texture when cooked.
  • Risotto rice: Carnaroli rice: This medium-grain rice is often considered the best type of rice for making risotto. It has a slightly firmer texture than Arborio rice. It can absorb more liquid, resulting in a creamier and richer risotto. Arborio rice: This is another medium-grain rice commonly used for making risotto. It’s high in starch, which gives it a creamy texture when cooked. Vialone Nano rice: This is a smaller and rounder type of rice than Arborio and Carnaroli rice. It’s known for its ability to retain its shape during cooking and is often used for more soupy-style risotto.
  • Wild rice: Despite its name, wild rice is technically the seed of aquatic grass. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture and is often used in salads and side dishes.
  • Red rice: This is whole grain rice that’s red or burgundy. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture and is often used in salads, side dishes, and as a base for stir-fries.
  • Black rice: Also known as forbidden rice, black rice is a whole grain of black or deep purple rice. It has a slightly sweet flavour and a somewhat chewy texture and is often used in desserts and as a base for salads and stir-fries.
  • Bomba rice: This is a short-grain rice that’s used in traditional Spanish paella dishes. It’s known for its ability to absorb large amounts of liquid and flavour while maintaining its texture.
  • Sushi rice: Also known as Japanese rice, this is short-grain rice that’s often used for making sushi. It’s slightly sweet and sticky, which makes it perfect for rolling into sushi rolls.

These are just some examples of the many types and varieties of rice available. For a perfect outcome, one should have knowledge of the correct way to get ready the rice prior to cooking.

Preparing the Rice

Washing and Soaking the Rice:

Rinsing rice is an important step in preparing it for cooking (white rice, benefits more from rinsing than others). Rinse the rice multiple times with cold water until it runs clear to remove any excess starch or debris. After rinsing, you may opt to let the rice sit in water for around half an hour or pass on this step completely as per your liking. Soaking helps reduce cook time and makes fluffier, more tender grains of rice.

Cook Time & Water to Rice Ratio:

Cooking rice in stock instead of plain water will add more flavour. To determine the correct liquid-to-rice ratio, follow the package or recipe instructions or use the following guidelines. Be sure to add salt to the water or stock to your taste as you would for pasta (we suggest ¼ teaspoon salt for every cup of rice). Cook times in the guidelines are for cooking on a stovetop.

Long grain white rice

1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water or stock – cook time 18-20 minutes.

Long grain brown rice

1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water or stock – cook time 40-45 minutes.

Basmati rice

1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water or stock – cook time 10-12 minutes.

Jasmine rice

1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water or stock – cook time 12-15 minutes.

Wild rice

1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water or stock – cook time 40-45 minutes.

Red rice

1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water or stock – cook time 40 minutes.

Killer Rice Recipe for curries and savoury dishes.


  • 350 g Basmati rice (Main)
  • 2 cups Vegetable stock
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Tbsp Goji berries, or raisins
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (Main)

Serves 4 people


  1. Place rice in a colander and thoroughly rinse under cold water.
  2. Using a saucepan with a lid, add rinsed rice and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, leaving the lid on (no peeking) and allow rice to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving with Kiwi-style Curry Lamb

TIP: Rinsing the rice helps get rid of starch, which can make the rice sticky. The water does not need to run clear when rinsing like it does for Japanese rice. When cooking the rice, use a tight-fitting lid. Or ideally, use aluminium foil crimped tightly over the top of the pot to make a good seal so the steam can’t escape. A tightly covered pot lets the rice steam perfectly, and this method consistently yields long, separate, perfectly fluffy grains.

If you make up plenty, keep it in the fridge and it tastes even better two days later – But I bet it won’t last that long!

This is delicious with Kiwi Lamb Curry recipe

Simon’s Cooking Tips

After washing and soaking the rice, measure the correct amount of water or stock.

A trick that’ll ensure perfect results every time. Start with cold water or stock, unless your recipe specifically calls for hot water or stock. Then place it on the stove and gradually bring the heat up until it boils then reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer, cover, and simmer for the suggested cooking time.

To achieve the best results, it’s important to let your cooked rice rest after cooking for about 10 minutes with a lid on before fluffing it with a fork and serving. This resting period ensures the full absorption of any remaining moisture, yielding perfectly cooked, fluffy rice.

The Fingertip Technique

When I was an apprentice chef, one of the first things I learned to cook was a pot of rice for staff meals. I learned the technique of measuring water for rice using my fingertips, a “secret” that greatly improved my cooking.
First, rinse the desired amount of rice by rinsing and draining it a few times to remove any excess starch. Place the rinsed rice into a pot or rice cooker. Add enough water or stock to cover the rice and level it out by gently shaking the pot.
Now, dip the tips of your fingers straight down into the pot until they touch the surface of the rice. Add more water or stock until it reaches the first joint of your middle finger. Generations of cooks swear by this trick despite people having different finger lengths.
This technique works perfectly when cooking one, two, or three cups of rice.


The water level automatically adjusts to the quantity of rice being cooked.

Moving on, knowing how best to serve cooked rice for later use is important.

Key Takeaway: Start with cold water or stock, unless your recipe specifically calls for hot water or stock. Let your cooked rice rest after cooking for about 10 minutes with a lid on. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving to separate the grains.

The Versatility of Rice

For cooked rice, there are myriad serving options ranging from side dishes to soups and salads. Rice can be paired with grilled or roasted proteins, fish and veggies as a side dish. Rice can also be incorporated into a variety of recipes, such as soups and stews or added to salads for an extra layer of texture and flavor. For dishes like stir-fries, or fried rice use long grain varieties such as basmati or jasmine which will stay fluffy after cooking. Medium grain types like carnaroli and arborio are ideal for creamy dishes such as risotto while short grain varieties work best in sushi rolls and other Japanese dishes.

Reheating Leftover Rice Safely

Reheating leftover rice is straightforward, but it’s important to do it correctly to prevent food poisoning. Stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, reheat the cooked rice on a low flame with a tablespoon of water per cup added and covered with a lid. Alternatively, you can place the cooked rice into an ovenproof dish and cover it with foil before baking at  175°C (350°F) until heated through – stirring halfway for even heating if necessary. If using a microwave, make sure that all containers are suitable for microwaving before heating up individual portions in 30-second intervals until warm throughout – stirring between each interval if needed.

Key Takeaway: Reheat leftover cooked rice safely on the stovetop with a bit of water added per cup; bake it in an ovenproof dish covered with foil at  175°C (350°F); or microwave individual portions for 30 seconds each – stirring between intervals if needed.

Simon Gault’s Rice Recipes

Creative Ways to Flavour Plain Rice

Let me tell you, there’s no reason for a boring pot of rice. While plain cooked rice has its place, there are plenty of ways to take it up a notch and create a flavour explosion. One way to do this is by swapping out the water for a Gault’s stock when cooking the rice.

Another great suggestion is to sauté some onions in a delicious fat like extra virgin olive oil or cocavo oil (a combination of avocado and coconut oil, made in Whangarei New Zealand) before adding the rice and stock. Add some garlic, ginger, or galangal to the sauté. These aromatics will add depth and complexity to your dish. If you use Cocavo oil you won’t need to add aromatics, they have an impressive range of flavours.

Aromatic spice flavours

Speaking of aromatics, I highly recommend trying out my Gault’s Flavour Shots Mexican, Moroccan, Indian, or Italian flavors. Just add a shot or two when adding the liquid to take your rice to the next level. Or you can add any of the following spices and herbs to boost the flavour; lemongrass, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry powder, saffron, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, fennel seeds, or mustard seeds.

After cooking, adding a little extra fat helps to improve both the flavour and mouthfeel of the rice. I like to use butter, truffle oil, chili oil, lemon oil, wasabi oil or naturally smoked oil for this step. And if you’re serving the rice with a fatty dish like roasted pork shank (that has been precooked long and slow) or a Mexican sausage cassoulet, adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or a healthy splash of pomegranate, guava, fig or caramelized balsamic can help cut through the richness. A secret weapon I like to sprinkle over my cooked rice is Cashew and Roast Onion Dukkah if you do nothing else this is a game changer.

Rice recipe ideas

To really bring all of these ideas together, I’ve put together 17 recipe links that incorporate these suggestions and take typically bland rice to another level.

Risotto fans, rejoice!

Gault’s Deli now offers four delicious risotto kits available for nationwide delivery. We’ve taken care of the hard work by sourcing the very best ingredients, and each kit comes with an easy-to-follow recipe card. Click the links below to explore our selection of kits, and watch a short video to see how easy they are to cook. Each kit serves 6-8, making it the perfect choice for a family dinner or dinner party. Order now and experience the convenience and deliciousness of Gault’s Deli risotto kits!

Love Risotto and want to impress your guests with our Truffle Mushroom, Moroccan Duck, Mexican Prawn or Beef Chorizo & Smoked Paprika risotto? View our gourmet range of Risotto Kits here

Are you eating the healthiest rice?

Participants on our 4 Wheels of Health Course often inquire about the healthiest rice. We recommend brown, red, and black rice as the healthiest options. They retain nutrient-dense bran and germ layers, unlike white rice. Brown rice excels in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Red and black rice, rich in antioxidants and with a lower glycemic index , surpass white rice in health benefits. These varieties also offer more protein, fiber, and iron, contributing to a balanced diet. Overall, choosing whole grain rice like brown, red, and black offers more health benefits than white rice.

What is the most suitable rice for weight loss?

White rice, with its higher glycemic index, spikes blood sugar more than brown, red, or black rice. The body breaks down all carbs, including rice, into glucose for energy. Cauliflower rice, low in calories and carbs, serves as an effective alternative. Replacing rice with cauliflower rice can cut calorie intake and aid in weight loss. Once you’ve reached your weight goal, reintroduce rice moderately as a treat.


Preparing rice can greatly diversify and enhance the flavors in your dishes. Mastering any rice type, be it white, brown, long-grain, short-grain, jasmine, or basmati, is a crucial skill for every home chef. So, get ready to cook up some deliciousness with various grains – remember, practice is key to perfect rice.

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