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How to steam rice

Perfectly cooked steamed rice on a white plateMy Oma lived in the Middle East for some part of her life and she picked up some great cooking tips and recipes, while there.  How to steam rice is one of them.

This is the way my Oma and my mother cooks rice.  It’s so easy and the result is perfection, every time.  I can’t stand boiled rice that needs to be strained and then is all gluey like porridge.  This is difficult to eat and isn’t enjoyable at all.

Below are two versions.  One is a little more time-consuming and not as healthy and so I use this version for guests or special occasions.  The other version is for every day meals.  Both work very, very well and make rice taste amazing.


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  • Rice – long grain / basmati / jasmine
  • water (double the rice quantity)
  • good pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower / vegetable oil (optional)



If you want to cook rice for guests or special occasions, use all the below steps.  For everyday rice, omit step 2 and step 6 below.

  1. Measure out your rice.  Roughly, I use a small teacup for 2 people and a regular coffee mug for 4 people.  Get a small pan that has a lid and put on your smallest stove burner on high heat.  Add the rice and salt to the pan.
  2. (optional step) Immediately add the sunflower oil to the pan and mix with the salt and rice and continue stirring for about 1 minute.
  3. Immediately add the water – double the rice quantity.  So if you used 1 teacup of rice, you would add 2 teacups of water.  Cover the pan with the lid and bring the rice to boil.
  4. Once boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting.  (as mentioned above you do want this on your smallest burner).  Keep the rice covered with the lid and do not stir the rice.
  5. Depending on how much rice you have, of course depends on how long the rice will take to cook.  I would start checking after about 10 minutes.  When checking the rice, use only a fork and fluff the rice up to see if there is no water remaining.  This is what you’re after.  Once all the water is gone, the rice is cooked.  However, you also don’t want the rice to start sticking / burning at the bottom of the pan.  So check every so often.  This is now ready to serve.
  6. (optional step) Once the rice is cooked, you can wrap the pan in some towels and keep the rice warm.  This improves the taste of the rice.  In my family we actually put the wrapped pan under the duvet in a bed until ready to serve!  But you may find this to be a little odd!  Enjoy your perfectly steamed rice.