Author Topic: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)  (Read 58368 times)

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Offline IanBTopic starter

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Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« on: April 28, 2023, 03:33:40 am »
This was a thing that bugged me. I scoured the internet for information about the water-to-rice ratio by weight when cooking rice in a pan by the absorption method. The measurements are always given by volume, in cups, which is not precise, and does not translate well to Europe. So I did some experiments to find out for myself, with the following conclusion.

I tested long grain types, Basmati rice and jasmine rice. For both types, a good ratio seems to be 150% water to rice by weight. So for 100 g of rice, you would want 150 g of water. I find a good portion size is 133 g of rice needing 200 g of water.

Here is a typical cooking method:

1. Weigh the dry rice and calculate the amount of water needed (multiply the weight of rice by 1.5 to get the weight of water)
2. Wash the rice next if that's what you prefer (it helps to remove excess starch, dead insect parts and other stuff you might not want to consume)
3. Put a pan on the scale and tare it to zero
4. Put the washed rice in the pan and add water to top up the weight to 250% of the original dry rice weight (e.g. 100 g rice tops up to 250 g total)
5. Add salt to taste and stir
6. Adding a knob of butter is also good
7. Bring the pan to the boil, put on a close fitting lid, and simmer at the lowest heat for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed
8. Take off the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes
9. Fluff up the rice and serve

I find this gives just the right texture of rice, with separate grains, but not too mushy and not too firm.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2023, 02:04:02 am »
I've always used 1:1.5 ratio for white rice to water, and 1:2 for brown/black rice.

To maintain those separate grains and avoid the claggyness, wash thoroughly before cooking.

If you're not sure, err on the side of slightly under-done and leave off the heat with the lid on to carryover cook while you prepare other parts of the meal. It'll happily sit there under its own steam for 20-30 minutes.
 

Offline IanBTopic starter

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2023, 02:21:20 am »
Yes, my proportions above are for white rice. Glad to see confirmation from another source.

I found the washed rice retains a fair amount of water, so I take care to account for that when working out the additional water to add.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2023, 02:23:33 am by IanB »
 

Online themadhippy

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2023, 02:39:16 am »
Quote
The measurements are always given by volume, in cups, which is not precise
much easier than digging out the scales,and it s easy to scale,not hungry espresso cup,ravenous the big mug.For me its 1 measure rice,2 water,bring to boil,lid on heat off.ignore for  20  minutes or so.
 

Offline IanBTopic starter

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2023, 03:00:03 am »
Quote
The measurements are always given by volume, in cups, which is not precise
much easier than digging out the scales,and it s easy to scale,not hungry espresso cup,ravenous the big mug.For me its 1 measure rice,2 water,bring to boil,lid on heat off.ignore for  20  minutes or so.

Ah, so I just did a weight test. For both the Basmati and jasmine rice I have on hand, ½ US cup of rice weighs 100 g exactly, while ½ cup of water weighs 120 g in round numbers (118 g scientifically). So one part rice to two parts water by volume would be 100 g rice to 240 g water, which is much more than the 150 g water that I would use for my taste.

Perhaps you like very soft rice? Or are you cooking brown rice?

Tastes vary of course, but anyone reading this can make a judgement about how they like their rice.
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2023, 11:43:22 am »
I came up with this procedure which has served me well for years, with minimum hassle:

1) Measure X volume of rice (100ml, 3.14159 fl oz, your favorite Hello Kitty mug, whatever unit works for you) in a pan.
2) Wash the rice as usual, drain excess water, leave the rice on the bottom of the pan
3) Add just enough water that the surface of the water equals the surface of rice, no less, no more
4) Remember the volume of X? Now add exactly this amount of water.
5) Cook as usual: lid on, maximum heat until it's almost starting to boil, minimal heat for 7-8 minutes which just barely keeps the water boiling, then heat off for 7-8 minutes, do not open the lid after the first few minutes.

Seems to work every time across different pan sizes and different amounts of rice being cooked, unlike some weird rules of thumbs based on the height of water in pan above the rice surface.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2023, 12:31:03 pm »
Fill the measuring cup for your rice cooker with rice. Wash it. Put it in the rice cooker. Add water to the "1 cup" line. Press start. Wait for the beep.
 

Offline 5U4GB

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2023, 06:54:54 am »
A billion or two Asians have come up with a far simpler method that's been carefully tuned over the course of centuries if not millennia:

  • Put rice in pot.
  • Add water to depth of first knuckle of finger.
 
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Online themadhippy

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2023, 01:10:32 pm »
Quote
a far simpler method
is to ring/order online  your favourite takeaway,order it and have it delivered
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2023, 01:48:33 pm »
  • Put rice in pot.
  • Add water to depth of first knuckle of finger.

I know it might seem obvious, but for someone who needs a bit more detail, is that :
- Put as much rice as you want/need in the pot
- Add water to a level "first knuckle" above the level of the rice?

For me that's about 20mm above the rice level.
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2023, 01:50:49 pm »
Quote
a far simpler method
is to ring/order online  your favourite takeaway,order it and have it delivered

Which is fine for someone living in a country where you can call the local corner shop and get a nice curry delivered. For some of us at times the "local" might be a drive equivalent to Birmingham to Manchester.

Bit hard to call Menulog when you don't even have 3G coverage ;)
 

Offline 5U4GB

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2023, 04:59:06 am »
Quote
a far simpler method
is to ring/order online  your favourite takeaway,order it and have it delivered

A yes, the "come over for dinner and I'll make my famous... call to the Chinese place" approach to food prep :-).
 

Offline 5U4GB

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2023, 05:21:24 am »
I know it might seem obvious, but for someone who needs a bit more detail, is that :
- Put as much rice as you want/need in the pot
- Add water to a level "first knuckle" above the level of the rice?
For me that's about 20mm above the rice level.

Yup, that's about it.  Rice is incredibly forgiving, nine times out of ten you can get away with "throw in as much rice as you feel like, pour in an amount of water that seems about right, cook", it's really not an exact science.  The only slight adjustment you might need to make is a bit more water and cooking time for brown rice but for most people "rice" = "white rice" so just go with the defaults.

One thing I would recommend if you do this frequently is getting a rice cooker because that just makes it set-and-forget, there are some neat Youtube videos on how these "know" how long to cook any amount of rice you put in there.  if you really want to get serious about it, get a Zojirushi cooker.

And while you're waiting for it to cook, watch Uncle Roger's thoughts on how to do it .  He actually mentions the finger method somewhere in there.  Haiyaa!
« Last Edit: May 02, 2023, 09:48:49 am by 5U4GB »
 

Offline IanBTopic starter

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2023, 05:45:48 am »
I know it might seem obvious, but for someone who needs a bit more detail, is that :
- Put as much rice as you want/need in the pot
- Add water to a level "first knuckle" above the level of the rice?
For me that's about 20mm above the rice level.

Yup, that's about it.  Rice is incredibly forgiving, nine times out of ten you can get away with "throw in as much rice as you feel like, pour in an amount of water that seems about right, cook", it's really not an exact science.  The only slight adjustment you might need to make is a bit more water and cooking time for brown rice but for most people "rice" = "white rice" so just go with the defaults.

I tested what 20 mm above the rice level would be when I cooked rice at the weekend, and that would have been way, way too much water. I would have ended up with soft, mushy rice. My water quantity of 1.5 times the weight of rice came to just a little above the rice level, not even to the depth of a whole fingernail, let alone the knuckle.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2023, 06:12:59 am »
Born and grew up at where rice as a daily staple, there is no one size fits all measurement.

Its all "depends" on the rice type and own preference, and how to cook.

Heck, to get more complicated, a fresh rice vs long shelved rice will have different results.

The only way to get the best result is thru trial and error, too much water ? too less ? and etc, and on a "consistent or same" type of rice.

Of course for those who eat rice probably once every 6 months, this will be a challenge, as you don't have the luxury to go thru trial and error, but its not a big deal for those who eats it daily as basically knows what type and how to cook on each types that suits our preference, like grainy type ? mushy paste type ? wet congee (porridge) style and etc.

Offline 5U4GB

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2023, 06:38:34 am »
My water quantity of 1.5 times the weight of rice came to just a little above the rice level, not even to the depth of a whole fingernail, let alone the knuckle.

That seems like an awfully low amount of water, it'd lead to pretty... firm rice.  I suspect we may have different concepts of what the final product should be like.  Not saying anyone is right or wrong, just different.
 

Offline Swainster

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2023, 09:02:27 am »
Fill the measuring cup for your rice cooker with rice. Wash it. Put it in the rice cooker. Add water to the "1 cup" line. Press start. Wait for the beep.

As a half asian, currently living in South East Asia, this is how I believe most people do it these days (except not many people will only be cooking one cup of rice). That said, my mother uses the first joint of the thumb measurement.

When I lived in Japan, they were very serious about their rice. The procedure, when I was over there, was:
  • Visit your local rice shop.
  • Peruse the resumes of the local and not so local farmers supplying said rice shop (they will be attached to the bins holding the rice)
  • Choose rice. Be told by shop owner that this rice has only just been harvested and needs to rest a while. Choose another rice.
  • Let the rice shop owner know how you like your rice to be milled. I.e. how much bran/germ you want remaining on the milled rice. Beware that leaving any rice germ means that the rice will not keep very long. This wont matter as you are only buying enough for a couple of weeks use anyway.
  • Shop owner taps in the settings on the rice mill, lets it churn and then fills a beatifully engineered brown paper bag with your custom order.
  • When you get home and are ready to cook the rice, then you must first wash it. This may involve some gadgettery if you live in a trendy household, or simply be a kneeding swishing motion in the rice pot. Apparently ladies will be judged on their rice washing skills by parents-in-law. Once the rice is spotlessly clean (no more cloudiness in the washing water), the drained uncooked rice should then be left to air for a few hours.
  • Finally you can put the rice in the rice cooker. Older households will have a big old gas powered pot, but most folks will have a computer controlled rice cooker which, much like their domestic washing machines, will require you to go through 3 menus of japanese writing before it consents to do its job. Along the way you will be choosing things like type of rice, style of rice, when you want to eat it and so on.
  • After the rice is cooked then you fluff it up, however it's still not at its best. The lid should be closed and the rice left to improve for at least further 30 minutes.
  • At this stage, if you haven't yet given up and gone for a Makudonarudo, you are now able to eat your rice - which to be fair, is pretty damn good (if you like rice). Why not do as the japanese do, and slather it in stinking fermented beans and raw egg? (Admission, I have actually developed quite a liking for nattou gohan)
  • 2 weeks later, the rice shop calls you up to discuss the latest rice currently in stock.
 
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Offline 5U4GB

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2023, 09:57:51 am »
For point 7 there, the really fancy ones will actually speak to you as they're cooking the rice, for example they'll apologise for the noise they're about to make when they vent steam.

Just make sure you have witnesses for this before you tell random strangers that your rice cooker talked to you.
 
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Offline Swainster

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2023, 10:31:04 am »
Indeed, we also had a pressurised rice cooker - it had that solenoid relief valve which cut in and out at certain stages of the cooking process. Supposedly better than plain old atmospheric cooking  :-//. As a result, the appliance was built like a... a lexus?, so I guess quietly satisfying to use?

Veering slightly further off topic, unless you consider it the final process in rice consumption, our japanese toilet would talk and opened the lid when you came near it, and turned on a seat based extractor fan when you sat down. It even had a wireless remote control to lift the rim, operate the flush and aim the bidet (and to access the various toilet cleaning modes). The seat was heated of course - that's pretty common in Japan. I missed that last function back home in the UK wintertime (the 20 button remote control, not so much). The little sink commonly built into flush cisterns was pretty well thought out too.
 

Offline IanBTopic starter

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2023, 02:37:35 pm »
That seems like an awfully low amount of water, it'd lead to pretty... firm rice.  I suspect we may have different concepts of what the final product should be like.  Not saying anyone is right or wrong, just different.

I'm not sure how to explain this. The depth of water will depend on the size of the pan of course--a wider pan will be shallower than a narrower pan. Also the required depth of water will depend on how many rice servings are being cooked. Four servings will require far more water than one serving. If four servings is a whole knuckle, then one serving would be a quarter of a knuckle.

The 1.5 ratio also applies to the commonly available Basmati or jasmine rice that I use. I can assure you it ends up properly cooked with each grain cooked through and tender.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2023, 07:54:00 pm »
Indeed, we also had a pressurised rice cooker - it had that solenoid relief valve which cut in and out at certain stages of the cooking process. Supposedly better than plain old atmospheric cooking  :-//. As a result, the appliance was built like a... a lexus?, so I guess quietly satisfying to use?
We have a pressure cooking Zojirushi rice cooker. Zojirushi make great rice cookers, but paying extra for the pressure cooking ones turns out to be a waste of money. They don't speed things up, in fact ours takes a full hour to cook rice. Pressure is used to force more moisture into the heart of the grains. That's only really useful when you have nasty old dried out rice. So, you pay a lot more for the cooker, to be able to use cheap rice? Might as well save the money and buy better rice. I wouldn't buy one again.
 
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Offline trent

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2023, 02:42:16 pm »
rice:water ratio depends on the cooking method. in a sealed pressure cooker you will use less water than in a pot with a vent hole.

there is no perfect ratio to use for all cooking methods / amounts of rice

fyi: if rice turns out a bit soggy - stir well and leave partly covered for a bit.

 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2023, 01:25:01 pm »
A billion or two Asians have come up with a far simpler method that's been carefully tuned over the course of centuries if not millennia:

  • Put rice in pot.
  • Add water to depth of first knuckle of finger.

This is exactly what I was taught and it's total bullshit. It simply does not work; I think it's a Western legend more than true Asian practice (or we are missing context and oversimplifying it). It assumes a certain ratio between the pan diameter and amount of rice being cooked. If your habits happen to fit withing these parameters, then it of course always works. Until you try to make a significantly different amount in the same pan. Or same amount in a significantly different pan.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2023, 01:38:17 pm by Siwastaja »
 
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Offline gamalot

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2023, 02:20:47 pm »
Let the water surface be 5-7 mm higher than that of rice, depending on your hope that it is hard or soft. I have decades of experience in cooking rice.

Offline PlainName

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Re: Cooking rice (rice to water ratio by weight)
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2023, 01:15:20 pm »
Isn't 5-7mm a bit precise? Surely, the equivalent of a knuckle would be something like "a bit over 5mm".

I mean, it's fine to be precise but if you're doing that you'd have to note the diameter of your pan, the amount of rice, etc, since a change in either would make a bigger difference than 2mm of water.
 


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