Microwave Rice – How to Cook Rice in your Microwave Oven

Microwave Cooking RiceRice is a fantastic staple for your dinner.  Pair it with some leafy green vegetables (and some spices!), or with some beans or lentils, and you have a very healthy, satisfying, and delicious meal.

Despite the negative press that rice gets, rice has been around for a very long time (over 10,000 years!) as a nutritious, filling and affordable food.  It does not cause weight gain (look at how thin Asian populations are on a traditional diet!), unless you are severely overeating or adding oil, and it is just so easy to make.

You can buy rice in most countries around the world, and it can be used in so many different dishes.  There are so many opportunities to have rice in your meals; you can make stir-fry vegetables on rice, spicy curries on rice, many Asian dishes, Indian dishes, sushi, or an Italian risotto with rice.

You really can’t go wrong with rice.  It’s good for you, it tastes great, and another great benefit is that it is extremely affordable.

You may be surprised to find that you can cook rice in the microwave, I certainly was, and it actually turns out pretty nicely.  So if for some reason you can’t or don’t want to use the stove top, no worries,  microwave cooking rice will turn out just fine.


Microwave Rice Cooking Steps:

Before cooking rice there are a couple of things you need to decide.  Which type of rice to cook, how much to cook, and which cooking method to use.  Although stove top cooking is probably the most widely used method, there is nothing wrong with cooking rice in the microwave.  You will find more and more people microwaving rice nowadays, once they learn that the result is actually quite good.  See below for 3 quick microwave rice cooking methods to try, and perfect your efficient and easy rice cooking.


Types of Rice – Which rice should I eat?

Types of RiceThere are a range of different rices available to choose from.  All are healthy for you, so pick the one you like the taste of the best.

Different rices:

  • White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Basmati Rice
  • Red Rice
  • Black Rice
  • Wild rice
  • You can also choose between long-grain, medium grain, and short grain for some of the rices above.


Meal Portion – How much rice should i cook?

Everyone differs in how much rice you want to have with your meal, you may want a very large serving of rice to eat with spicy veggies, or perhaps you only want a small serving as you are having lots of beans on the side.

A rough guide would be:

  • ½ – 1 cup of uncooked rice = 1 serving
  • 1-2 cups of uncooked rice = 2 servings
  • 2-4 cups of rice = 4 servings

Microwave RiceThis gives you a pretty decent serving of rice per person, but see how you go and adjust accordingly.  The lower amount is when paired with a higher calorie or higher fat dish, whereas the larger amount is for when paired with something like vegetables in a low fat, low salt sauce with no oil.

Note:  It’s hard to say exactly how much you should cook as it really depends upon what you are teaming it with.  You will find many recommendations with show you the minimal amount, as people often pair their rice with a fatty high calorie dish.  But if you have a healthier diet, and are more aware of what you are eating, you will know that a large serving of leafy green vegetables is very low in calories.  If you are pairing leafy greens with rice, you can definitely go for the larger serving of rice, to get enough calories in.

Tip: If you are just guessing the amount of rice because you don’t have measuring cups, or you really can’t be bothered and just poured the rice into a microwave dish, there is a quick way to figure out how much water to use.  You will need to add enough to completely cover the rice and a bit more.  It usually about 1 inch more, or pop your finger in the cold water so it just reaches the first knuckle on your finger.  This is a neat trick for when cooking in a rush.


Which Cooking Method to Use?

For many people, when they go to cook rice, they do it over the stove or use a rice cooker.  But if you need to save some time, don’t have access to a stove, or just feel like being a little lazy (hey, after a busy day, why not!), you can follow the methods below to cook rice in your microwave oven.  Using a microwave to cook rice is very efficient, saves you effort and great if you just want to make a small serving fast.

Note:  You can actually use a special microwave rice cooker to cook rice in your microwave oven.  I will however assume you don’t have one of those and we will focus on the simple methods shown below.


Optional preparation:

This preparation step is optional, I don’t usually bother with it, but many people prefer it.  When microwaving rice whether it be white or brown rice, many people like to rinse or soak the rice first.  This rinsing step can improve the flavor of the rice, as well as the texture.  It won’t be as sticky, and therefore easier to fluff up.

How to rinse rice:

  • Option 1:  Place the uncooked rice in a container like a mixing bowl or measuring cup.  Add cold water to the container, and use your hand to mix and clean the rice.  Pour the water out of the container by tilting the dish, the rice should stay put, but you can use your hand or a utensil to prevent it from falling out.  Then repeat this step 1-2 times as desired.
  • Option 2:  Place the uncooked rice in a fine sieve, and rinse under cold running water.  It is ready when the water coming through looks clearer.

Note: The water will never go completely clear, so don’t waste your time trying.


How to Microwave Rice:How to Microwave Rice

Timing tip:  If cooking any extra cup of rice with added cups of water, the microwaving time increases by about 2 minutes per cup.


Method 1 – Super fast method:

What you’ll need:

  • a microwave safe dish or bowl (big enough for the rice to expand, about 4 times the volume of the rice and water)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt (optional)

Microwave Instructions:

  1. Add rice, water (enough to cover rice and then an extra inch), and salt (optional) to a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave bowl of rice (leave uncovered) on high power for about 14 to 18 minutes.  Rice is ready when all the water has been absorbed.

Tip: Some cooks like to cover dish with some microwaveable plastic wrap or paper.


Method 2 – Boil water first:

What you’ll need:

  • Microwave safe dish (2-quart) (like a casserole dish) – your dish must be big enough for the rice to expand (about 4 times the size the volume of the rice and water together).
  • Uncooked rice – 1 cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt if desired
  • a cover/lid for the dish or some microwave-safe plastic wrap

Microwave Cooking Instructions:

  1. Using your microwave-safe dish, microwave water on high until it is boiling (anywhere from 5-11 minutes)
  2. Then add in 1 cup of uncooked rice and microwave for 1-3 minutes, until it is boiling.
  3. Remove the dish and cover it tightly by either using a matching microwave-safe lid for the dish or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
  4. Now, microwave the covered dish for about 12-15 minutes on the medium microwave setting.  You can tell it is ready when all the water you could see has been absorbed.
  5. Remove carefully form microwave, uncover, and use a fork to fluff up the rice.
  6. Leave rice to stand for about 2 minutes and then serve.


Method 3 – Cover and cook on 2 settings:

What you’ll need:

  • Microwave-safe bowl (large enough for rice to expand) with lid or microwaveable plastic wrap
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 2 cups of water

Microwave Cooking Instructions:

  1. After rinsing, add rice and water to a microwave-safe bowl, making sure the water level is around 2 cm higher than the rice.
  2. Cover the microwave-safe bowl with it’s lid or 2 layers of microwaveable plastic wrap.
  3. Microwave on high setting for about 5 minutes.
  4. Then, microwave again this time on the medium setting for another 7 minutes.
  5. Leave rice to sit covered for 3 minutes then fluff with a fork and serve.

Quicker Cooking Alternative:  If you don’t want to do the 2 separate cooking times, cook on high for about 9-11 minutes.

Microwave Rice - Serving


  • After carefully removing from microwave and leaving to cool for a couple of minutes, use a fork to “fluff up” the rice.
  • Add and mix in any herbs or seasoning you may want, and then serve.


You now have 3 methods you can use to cook rice in your microwave, so now there really is no excuse to not eat your yummy and healthy rice dishes!


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