Rice is one of the most commonly eaten grains. Over half of the world's population relies on rice as a staple food. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming and absorbs water while cooking.
Basics of Cooking Rice
- Combine 1 cup rice, liquid (see chart below), 1 teaspoon salt (optional), and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional) in a 2 to 3-quart saucepan.
- Heat to boiling; stir once or twice as it begins to boil. Lower heat to a simmer; cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Cook according to time specified on chart. If rice is not quite tender or liquid is not absorbed, replace lid and cook 2 to 4 minutes longer. Stir and serve.
- As a general rule, 1 cup of uncooked rice will equal about 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Leftover rice can be used later in the week to make fried rice or chicken rice casserole.
|1 Cup Uncooked Rice||Liquid||Cooking Time|
|Long grain rice||1 ¾ to 2 cups||15 minutes|
|Medium or short grain rice||1 ½ cups||15 minutes|
|Brown rice||2 to 2 ½ cups||45 to 50 minutes|
|Converted rice||2 to 2 ½ cups||20 to 25 minutes|
|Instant rice; flavored mixes||Follow package directions|
Types of Rice
Brown Rice is a whole grain that has a mild nutty flavor. It is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. It is a good source of fiber and many B vitamins.
White Rice is the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. White rice is usually enriched with vitamins, but does not have as much fiber as brown rice.
Converted Rice is rice that has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling, producing extra fluffy and more separate looking rice.
Instant Rice is white or brown rice that has been completely cooked and dehydrated after milling. This process reduces the time it takes to cook the rice. This type of rice usually costs more than regular rice.
Long Grain Rice has a long, slender kernel. When cooked, the grains are separate, light, and fluffy.
Medium and Short Grain Rice tends to be stickier and works well when using chopsticks.
Wild Rice is technically not a rice but the seed of the grass Zizania palustris. It has its own unique texture and flavor. It is high in protein and fiber and low in fat.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water and sliced
- 1 pound beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, or tofu, cubed or thinly sliced*
- 1 (14 ounce) package frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed or 4 cups fresh vegetables, chopped (such as zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, etc.)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- In a large skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion for 1 minute.
- Add protein food of choice. Stir-fry until nearly cooked through. Add vegetables. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, adding water if needed. Continue cooking until meat is cooked through.
- In a separate bowl, mix together water, cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar, and soy sauce. Mix well.
- Pour mixture over vegetables. Heat 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.
- Serve over cooked rice.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Serving Size (1/4 of recipe):
- Calories 330
- Total Fat 8g
- Saturated Fat 1.5g
- Cholesterol 85mg
- Sodium 550mg
- Total Carbohydrates 34g
- Fiber 3g
- Total Sugars 4g
- Protein 31g
- Vitamin D 0%
- Calcium 2%
- Iron 10%
- Potassium 15%
Take a Walk on the Wild Side...of Rice, University of Wyoming Extension
This newsletter was updated in 2023.
The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) delivers evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions through a combination of education strategies coupled with multi-level community changes that occur within the environment to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles.
This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP and Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).