Can you cook rice in the microwave?

Q. I used to have a rice cooker but it has now gone to rice cooker heaven. It’s just me and my husband now that my kids have all flown the nest and I don’t know if I really need to invest in a new one if I can figure out how to cook rice in the microwave.

I have seen special microwave pots for cooking rice that aren’t expensive too but are they necessary? Can I just cook it in a regular dish?


A. The most important thing to get right in cooking rice is to add the correct amount of water. Too much water will give you soggy rice and too little will leave it dry.
For this answer, we’ll focus on regular white rice. These directions will work for long-grain white rice, sushi rice and jasmine rice but wild and brown rice have different cooking times.

You don’t need anything special, just a deep microwave safe pot. Some people do opt for a specific rice steamer but any deep microwave proof pot will do.
Start by rinsing your rice thoroughly, give it a good rinse under cold water in a sieve or simply swish it around in the pot, empty and repeat until the water is almost completely clear. It won’t ever be crystal clear because of the starch in the rice but two or three good swishes with clean water should do the job. If you don’t do this you will end up with an unpleasant gelatinous texture and it won’t fluff up nicely.
There are several methods to getting the water to rice ratio right, the one we like best is the knuckle method since you don’t need any measuring devices and it works every time.

Place your finger so that the tip is touching the top of the rice. Add water until it reaches the first knuckle of your index finger (this is around one inch of water above the rice line). This is approximately 2 1/4 cups of water to 1 ½ cups of rice.
Once you have the ratio right, simply place the dish in the microwave with a loose lid or a cover with plenty of holes in it. This is to prevent the pressure creating a messy explosion in your microwave so no tight-fitting lids!

Set the heat to high and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the microwave has finished, rest it for a further 3 minutes inside the microwave to finish the cooking process.
Follow this simple method for quick, easy, fluffy microwaved rice everytime.

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