The Joy of Steamed Rice

The Joy of Steamed Rice

Have you ever wondered how restaurants or friends or other sources of cooking genius get wonderfully fluffy, non-sticky, tender rice? I have. Actually, it flabbergasted me until I opened Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food cookbook and tried his method for steamed rice. That fluffy rice from a favourite Greek restaurant was no longer an elusive dream! So behold, a post on how to steam rice, which I hope you’ll find at least as useful as how to make white sauce without the lumps. (Such small things, so difficult to accomplish if you don’t know how!)

On a completely unrelated note, the Three Cheeses is moving! Well, kind of. One cheese is moving, and that’s only to a new apartment in a different suburb of Sydney. But the last week or so has been a fantastic flurry of packing and packing and cleaning and packing. The big move is this Saturday, so we’ll see you on the other side! (Don’t worry, I have some recipes pre-photographed to make sure your kitchen stays active while mine remains in boxes. πŸ˜‰ )

How to Steam Rice

Makes: As much as you need!
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • long grain white rice, such as Basmati
  • water
  • salt
  • oil or butter
  • spices, if desired
  • a metal sieve or fine colander that fits snugly in a pot

Put a pot on the stove with enough water to cover your rice and have about two inches extra above it. Salt it lightly, and get it heating up to boil. Measure out your rice and rinse it in the sieve or colander (this is important to keep it from getting sticky later), then pour into the heating water. Once the water begins to simmer gently, cook the rice for 5-7 minutes.

Pour rice and water through the metal sieve. Put another inch of water in the pot, and leaving the rice in the sieve or colander, begin to bring that water back up to a low simmer. Place your rice and sieve in the pot, balancing it above the water so the steam can filter through the rice. Fluff up the rice with a bit of olive oil or butter, maybe a pinch or two of salt and pepper, or some spices if you want to infuse your rice with a bit of extra bang. Cover the rice with your pot’s lid or tin foil (make sure it fits fairly snugly), and let steam for at least another 10-12 minutes; taste to test doneness.

Kept at a low heat and covered, you can keep your rice warm like this for another 20 minutes or so while you finish up in the kitchen. And voila! Beautiful fluffy rice, perfect for serving up with curries, stir fries, or in salads.

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