How To Make White Rice! An easy-to-make white rice recipe made either on the stovetop or in the rice cooker.
White rice is my love language. Spoken like a true Cuban girl. Ha!
No, but seriously, rice is probably my favorite side dish. It’s delicious, super versatile, and a key staple in Cuban cuisine. Most Cuban dishes are made with rice and you can serve white rice with practically anything.
For example, Cuban black beans served on top of rice is elite. Camarones enchilados on top of white rice is also the best thing ever. The rice soaks up all the juices and it’s just… YUM. Even when I’m feeling sick, white rice usually heals my stomachache. It has healing powers!
Growing up, my mom would always make rice in the rice cooker. It’s easy and pretty hands-off. So, naturally, that’s how I make rice too. In case you don’t have a rice cooker, however, I’ve got you covered. I’m showing you how to make rice on the stovetop too.
Let’s make this magical grain – Cuban-style!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vegetable oil: I use and recommend vegetable oil over any other oil for making white rice as it provides the fluffiness you want without altering the taste. I’ve used olive oil and avocado oil in the past and it just did not taste good to me. Ultimately, you do you!
- Long-grain white rice: This is the best rice for this recipe since it is firm, has less starch, and doesn’t clump up when cooked. It stays fluffy which is the goal!
How To Make White Rice On The Stove
- Rinse the rice. First things first, whether you’re making rice on the stove or in a rice cooker, you must rinse the rice thoroughly. Using a strainer, rinse the rice under cool, running water until the water is clear. This will remove any dust, debris, and starch so it doesn’t clump up while cooking.
- Cook the rice. Into a large saucepan, add the oil, water, and salt. Bring to a boil then stir in the rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. The steam is what helps it cook.
- Fluff the rice. Remove the saucepan from the heat after 20 minutes but do not remove the lid just yet. Wait about 5 minutes then uncover and fluff with a fork.
The result is soft, fluffy white rice, not mushy or wet. It’s perfect!
Can you use a rice cooker to make this white rice recipe?
YES! Yes, you can!
You use the same ingredients. Make sure to first rinse the rice then add all the ingredients to the rice cooker, place the lid on top, set it, and forget it. It practically cooks itself and it will not lose its flavor.
Be sure to check the manufacturer instructions of your particular rice cooker. Some have a one-button situation while others may have a completely different system so be mindful of that before you start cooking.
What is the correct rice to water ratio?
For long-grain rice, you want to add 1/2 cup more water than the number of cups of rice. For example, for 2 cups of rice, add 2 1/2 cups of water.
How do I avoid the rice from being undercooked, overcooked, mushy, or crunchy?
- Make sure to use exact measurements. When the rice is undercooked, it means it didn’t have enough water. The water is necessary for the rice to absorb and achieve that fluffy consistency. On the other hand, adding too much water results in a mushy, overcooked texture.
- Don’t remove the lid when cooking. If you remove the lid from the pot too early, you allow the steam to release too early which causes the rice to dry out risking it to become hard or crunchy. So, no peeking! Just let it cook, undisturbed, until all the water is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork, not a spoon. When you use a spoon, you run the risk of the rice getting mushy. Using a fork releases the rest of the moisture and steam which is why it retains its fluffiness. Also, I wouldn’t mess with it too much. Don’t fluff the rice for more than 1 minute.
What To Serve With White Rice
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to either serve with white rice or use it as a base.
- 30-Minute Arroz Con Salchicha (Cuban-Style Yellow Rice + Sausage)
- Cuban-Style Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
- Vaca Frita (Crispy Cuban Shredded Beef!)
- Cuban-Style Crispy Shredded Chicken (Vaca Frita de Pollo)
- Cuban-Style Beef Stew (Ropa Vieja)
- Classic Cuban-Style Arroz Con Pollo
- Cuban-Style Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Can’t wait for you to make it!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed thoroughly
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
To cook rice in the rice cooker
- Add the rice, oil, water, and salt to the rice cooker. Cook according to manufacturer instructions. Fluff with a fork when cooked. Serve and enjoy!
To cook rice on the stove
- Into a large saucepan, add the oil, water, and salt. Bring to a boil then stir in the rice.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. The steam is what helps it cook.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Do not uncover yet. Wait about 5 minutes then uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve and enjoy!