How to Cook Rice the Asian Way

When it comes to Asian cuisine, rice is a staple food that is served with almost every meal. Cooking rice may seem like a simple task, but achieving the perfect texture and flavor can be a little tricky. In this article, we will share some tips and techniques for cooking rice the Asian way.

Choosing the Right Rice

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s talk about rice selection. In Asian cuisine, different types of rice are used for different dishes, so it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some common types of rice used in Asian cooking:

  • Jasmine rice – A fragrant, long-grain rice that is commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Basmati rice – A long-grain rice that is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Glutinous rice – Also known as sticky rice, this short-grain rice is commonly used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

When selecting rice, it’s important to look for high-quality grains that are free from impurities. Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove any excess starch.

Cooking Rice in a Pot

One of the most popular methods for cooking rice in Asia is using a pot. Here’s how to do it:

1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water. You can adjust the ratio of rice to water depending on the type of rice you are using.
2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork and serving.

Cooking Rice in a Rice Cooker

Another popular method for cooking rice in Asia is using a rice cooker. Here’s how to do it:

1. Rinse the rice and drain off excess water.
2. Add the rice to the rice cooker and fill it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook.
4. Once the rice is cooked, the rice cooker will automatically switch to “warm” mode to keep the rice fresh until it is ready to be served.

Tips for Perfect Rice

Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve perfect rice every time:

  • Don’t lift the lid while the rice is cooking, as this will release the steam and affect the cooking time.
  • If your rice turns out too sticky, add a tablespoon of oil while the rice is cooking.
  • If your rice is too dry, add a little more water before cooking.
  • Adding a few slices of ginger or pandan leaves to the pot while cooking will add extra flavor to the rice.


Cooking rice the Asian way doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right techniques and ingredients, you can achieve perfect rice every time. Whether you prefer to cook your rice in a pot or a rice cooker, always remember to choose high-quality rice and adjust the water ratio accordingly. Experiment with different types of rice and flavorings to create delicious Asian-inspired dishes at home.


  1. Do I need to soak the rice before cooking?
  2. No, soaking is not necessary when cooking rice the Asian way. However, rinsing the rice is recommended to remove excess starch and impurities.

  3. Can I use a microwave to cook rice?
  4. Yes, you can use a microwave to cook rice. However, the texture may not be the same as cooking it in a pot or rice cooker.

  5. How much rice should I cook per person?
  6. A general rule of thumb is 1/2 to 3/4 cup of uncooked rice per person. Adjust the amount according to your serving size and appetite.

  7. Can I freeze leftover rice?
  8. Yes, leftover rice can be frozen. Portion it out into freezer-safe bags or containers and store it in the freezer for up to two months. Reheat by microwaving or steaming.

  9. What can I do with leftover rice?
  10. Leftover rice can be used in many dishes, including fried rice, rice pudding, and soup. You can also use it as a side dish or salad topping.