How to Cook Rice in Microwave the Right Way

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Have you ever eaten soggy rice? Or maybe rice that is so dry it breaks apart in lumps? Either way, this is clearly not how rice is meant to be served. 

There are people from all over the world who know how it’s really done, and they would not be impressed by that kind of cooked rice.. 

In fact, believe it or not, rice is the main staple food for more than half of the world’s population. Throughout Asia, rice is the main dish at the table – and rice fills and sustains us, so it deserves to be cooked in the right way. 

But it just so happens that microwaving is one good option for those of us with a good microwave at home. If you are one of those people wondering how to cook rice in microwave, then you have come to the right place. This article will provide a complete guide. 

Why Cook Rice in A Microwave?

Before discussing the answer to the question of how to cook rice in microwave, it is important to discuss why you need to cook microwave rice. 

Let’s face it: not everybody owns a rice cooker, and sometimes you just simply can’t be bothered to use a pot on the stove. Cooking rice in a microwave is very convenient. It doesn’t necessarily save much time, but it does save on gas if you are not using your stove. 

Plus, if your rice is cooking away in the microwave, that means your hands are free and so is the stove. Maybe you would like it to sauté some veggies or prepare a sauce to pair with your fabulous rice. 

Fewer Pots to Clean Afterward

As if it couldn’t get any better, it also means that there will be fewer pots and plates to clean up afterward.

You can prepare your rice, cook it, and then eat it from the same bowl. Who in their right mind can argue with fewer dishes? Just the thought of it can make hearts flutter! There is absolutely nothing better than making your fluffy and plump rice in the microwave because you do not need to worry about much cleanup, less risk of failure as it’s not likely that your rice will burn or become sticky in the microwave.

Even better, the microwave has a timer, so it is definitely a low-risk option, and it’s economical, as you can avoid using stovetops and other rice cooking appliances.

What About Sides?

Once your rice is prepared, the sky’s the limit when it comes to scrumptious sides. Your choice of sides may be chicken, beef, seafood, pork, or some vegetable entrées. Another final benefit to mention is that your microwave does not need to be babysat like you would need to if you were cooking your rice on the stove.

Cooking rice on the stove can be finicky and easy to burn if you aren’t careful, which means it will distract you from doing something else. This may include a productive task or maybe just a chance to relax a little and have a cup of tea, knowing that your rice is going to be cooked until the timer rings.

Let’s Get Cooking!

1) Rinse your rice

If you are totally new to cooking and are wondering how to cook rice in microwave, then start with this first step. This is an incredibly important step if you are looking for the perfect bowl of rice. 

So, the rice has been sitting in that bag for a while, the grains have been rubbing against each other, and as a result, there is a great deal of excess starch. If the starch is not removed, it will make your rice very sticky and gummy, which is definitely not what we are aiming for. 

To begin, pour your rice into a bowl and add enough water so that the rice is covered. Begin to stir and swish the rice with your hands – this will remove any dirt that might have been trapped by the rice, as well as any excess starch. You will see how cloudy the water becomes because of the starch. 

After rinsing, you’ll need to drain the water from the rice. You can do so by using a fine colander or sieve, or by simply using the lid of a pot – but do so carefully, as you do not want to lose half of your rice by accidentally pouring it into the sink. After draining, refill your bowl and repeat the process two more times or until the water is no longer cloudy. With brown rice, sometimes one rinse is more than enough.

2) Make a Microwaveable Rice Cooker

Just like any other microwaveable recipe, we also are going to use a microwavable bowl that is either covered with a plate or with cling film across three-quarters of the bowl. Don’t forget to leave an opening!

Stay clear of tightly fitted lids, as we aim to steam the rice, and if you use a container with a tightly fitted lid, it might just blow off while cooking. This would just startle you and also leave you hungry. 

If you’re going to make this delicious and convenient microwaveable rice regularly, you should consider purchasing an actual microwave rice cooker or microwave rice steamer. The microwaveable rice steamers have a lid with built-in vents so the steam can circulate much better. They also follow the same method we are using here, more or less. 

It’s a very straightforward simple process: you remove the lid, and then add rice and water. Make sure that you have left sufficient room in the container, whether it’s a bowl with a plate or cling film or a microwaveable rice cooker, as the rice will expand to double or even triple the original size while cooking.

The Rice To Water Ratio

This is another crucial step when aiming to achieve the perfect bowl of rice. The rice to water ratio is what determines the texture of the rice: whether it ends up beautiful and fluffy like we are looking for, or as a bowl of soggy mush. 

This is also a great time if you would like to add some extra flavor to your rice. There is a world of spices out there that can turn this simple microwaveable rice into a taste explosion. A splash of oil, salt, oregano, basil, or rosemary can elevate your rice from a plain and simple dish to a recipe that has character. Herbs and spices are the perfect little add-ins that will do a world of good for your flavors. 

When measuring, you typically should have one and a half cups of water per cup of rice. After adding your water to your rice, you can always check if it’s enough by using the Chinese rule of thumb. After the Chinese add the rice into a suitable cooking vessel, they will then add enough water to meet the first knuckle when the tips of their fingers touch the surface of the rice. This works well for around four servings, but is less accurate with different amounts of servings. 

Another variation of this method is to press the rice flat in its container and then lay your finger down on top of the rice. After this, fill the container with water until the rice and your finger have been submerged and then stop, leaving a finger’s width in water above your rice. This ratio is the same for many different variations of rice, from white rice and jasmine rice to basmati rice or even sticky rice. The only exception to this rule is brown rice, which always requires more water.

Microwaving the Rice 

This recipe is based on a full-powered, 1200-watt microwave. If your microwave is less powerful, you can simply add five to seven minutes to the cooking time. 

So, have you rinsed the rice thoroughly so that there is no longer any cloudy water? Have you placed your rice into your bowl or cooking container and added a sufficient amount of water? Then you are all set to begin cooking. 

Turn the microwave to high power for the first ten minutes. After those ten minutes have passed, turn the microwave to medium power and continue cooking for the remaining time. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking. 

When your delicious rice has finished cooking, it is better to leave it to settle untouched for around three minutes, as this enhances the texture. Once you have let it settle, you can scratch at the rice gently with a fork to fluff your rice up. Then, add whatever types of yummy sides you chose to make and dig in!

New Ways to Spice Up Your Microwaveable Rice

Your imagination is the only thing that limits you when it comes to flavors, if you are going to make any type of food it should be memorable and unmistakably enjoyable. These recipes are per cup of rice. Simply mix it all up and add your rice and stick it in the microwave and let the magic happen.

  • Coconut Rice – How about something tropical? Add one and a half cups of water and half a cup of coconut milk, two tablespoons of chopped and shredded coconut, two teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of allspice. 
  • Curried Rice – Perhaps you want something with a little spice? Add two cups of chicken broth, one teaspoon of curry powder, and three tablespoons of dried currants – and you can add chili powder for an extra kick, if you are brave enough.
  • Ginger and Soy Rice – A tasty dish that requires just two cups of water, two teaspoons of soy sauce, two teaspoons of freshly grated ginger and two whole cloves.
  • Lemon Rice – A nice and simple fresh dish, simply add two cups of water, half a teaspoon of salt, two strips of lemon zest, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Saffron Rice – Another super simple dish, simply add two cups of vegetable broth and a pinch of saffron.

How to Reheat Rice In a Microwave

It happens more often than not that we are stuck with leftovers. Leftovers are not something you want going to waste, as they simply mean less cooking tomorrow! 

On average, leftovers can last up to three days and still be fresh and tasty – just be sure to avoid eating food older than that. The trick is to give that food a new lease of life, and rice is one of the simplest things to reheat. 

To reheat rice, simply place the rice in your microwavable container or steamer with a tablespoon of water per cup of rice. Seal it back up with the lid, plate, or cling film, and microwave it for around two minutes. This should be enough for up to three cups of rice, you can add another three minutes for more than three cups of rice. 

After you take your rice out carefully, you can fluff it up with your fork and enjoy it.


Cooking rice in a microwave is a very simple and easy process. It takes less effort and there is a lot less to clean afterward. Just remember, it’s very important to measure the quantity of rice and water to get the best quality rice. The guide above provides you with a detailed process on how to cook rice in a microwave. 

So, what are you waiting for? Try it today and enjoy delicious microwave rice for yourself!

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