Conventional wisdom says you need a container with a ventable lid to cook rice in the microwave.
The good news is that with the right technique and a little practice, you can achieve perfectly cooked, fluffy rice without using any kind of lid at all!
In this article, I’ll walk you step by step through the whole process, and give you some handy tips to get really good results too.
Step #1 Rinse the Rice
Measure the desired amount of rice and place it in a fine-mesh strainer.
Rinse the rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming too sticky.
Step #2 Use the Right Container
Choose a microwave-safe container that’s large enough to hold the rice while allowing some room for expansion.
A deep microwave-safe bowl or dish with high sides works best to prevent the rice from spilling over during cooking.
Step #3 Add Water
For the perfect ratio, use 1 ½ to 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. The exact amount may vary based on the type of rice, so check the instructions on the rice package for specific measurements.
Step #4 Microwave on High
Place the container with the rinsed rice and water in the microwave. Set the microwave to the highest power setting and cook the rice for 10-12 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave. A higher wattage may require less cooking time, so adjust accordingly.
Step #5 Stir the Rice
After the initial cooking time, carefully remove the container from the microwave using oven mitts or a towel, as it will be hot.
Use a fork to fluff the rice and stir it gently to ensure even cooking. At this point, you can also taste a grain to check for doneness.
Step #6 Continue Cooking – OPTIONAL
If the rice is not yet fully cooked or too firm for your liking, return it to the microwave and cook in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring in-between, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Step #7 Allow to Rest
Once the rice is fully cooked and tender, let it sit in the microwave for a few minutes. This resting period will help the rice to steam and fluff up a little more.
Step #8: Season & Serve
Add a pinch of salt and any desired seasonings or toppings to enhance the flavor of your rice. Serve it as a side dish or use it as a base for various recipes.
Here are a few extra tips that will help you get much better results.
- Avoid Overcooking: Keep a close eye on the rice to avoid overcooking, as microwave cooking times can vary significantly depending on the wattage of your microwave.
- Use the Right Rice: Long-grain rice varieties like Basmati or Jasmine work best for microwave cooking. Short-grain or sticky rice may require different cooking times and methods.
- Stirring is Key: Stirring the rice during the cooking process ensures even heat distribution and helps prevent uneven cooking.
- Resting is Crucial: Allowing the rice to rest before serving improves its texture and overall taste.
Cooking rice in the microwave without any lid at all may not be the conventional method, but with a bit of practice and following the right steps, you can achieve fantastic results.
By rinsing the rice, using the proper container, and employing the right cooking time, you’ll be able to enjoy fluffy and perfectly cooked microwaved rice in no time.