Jasmine Rice

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Most rice in the south of China is consumed very close to where it is grown. People have a strong feeling of attachment to the rice they grew up with, and though its flavor is subtle, everyday rice can vary a lot in flavor from place to place and variety to variety. We use Thai jasmine as our everyday rice. You may have another favorite; use whatever medium- to long-grain rice pleases you. You will need a heavy straight-sided relatively wide (rather than tall) 3- to 4-quart pot, with a tight-fitting lid, or a rice cooker.

NOTE ON SCALING UP: To make a larger quantity, to serve 6 to 8, or because you’d like leftovers, use 3 cups rice. Add water using the same fingertip measure as above, or add 3¾ cups water to the well-drained rice. Cook as above.



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low sodium, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturechewy


  • 2 cups Thai jasmine rice
  • About 2½ cups water


  1. To wash the rice, place it in a bowl or pot and add plenty of cold water. Stir the rice and water round and round with your hand, then pour off the water. Repeat two or three times, until the water runs clear after you have swished it around.

  2. Transfer the rice to your rice-cooking pot or rice cooker. Add enough water to cover the rice by about 1 inch. Test the depth of the water by placing the tip of your index finger on the top surface of the rice; the water should come up to the middle of your first knuckle. (This is the usual way of measuring water for plain rice in Southeast Asia and in the cultures we’ve been in southern China. If you prefer a cup measure, drain the washed rice thoroughly in a strainer, then place in the pot with 2½ cups water.)

  3. If using a pot, place the pot over high heat. When the water is boiling, cover tightly, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, for another 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, still covered.

  4. If using a rice cooker, put the lid on and turn it on. (The cooker will automatically bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat and cook it until done. You will see an indicator light change color or turn off when the rice is done.) Once the rice is cooked, let stand for 5 minutes, covered.

  5. When you remove the lid from the pot or rice cooker, you will see that the grains on top have fluffed and are standing on end.

  6. Rinse a wooden rice paddle or wooden spoon with cold water and slide it down the side of the pot, then tilt to lift up some of the rice gently and turn it over. Repeat all around the sides of the pot.

  7. Serve hot or warm. Leave the lid on, to keep in warmth and moisture.



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