How to Cook Jasmine Rice

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Make perfect, fluffy Jasmine Rice every time with these step-by-step instructions for the stovetop or Instant Pot.

a bowl of jasmine rice on a grey countertop

Confession: for the longest time I was afraid of cooking Jasmine Rice. It seemed like every time it came out either undercooked, broken, or super sticky. When Thai Food Month rolled around, I even felt confident making my own green curry paste, but got nervous about making the rice to serve with it. So recently I set out to find the secret for a perfect pot of Jasmine Rice. Cooking Jasmine Rice with the method below will yield tender, separate grains of rice that are not broken. They will be slightly sticky but will not clump together when spooned into a plate or bowl. This method works on the stovetop or Instant Pot and does not require a rice cooker.

A great Jasmine Rice recipe (or sticky rice recipe if you’re serving food from Northeastern Thailand) is the foundation of a great Thai meal. It’s exactly what you need to tame the heat of a great Pad Krapow, soak up the creamy sauce from a classic curry, or start a batch of Thai Fried Rice, Crispy Rice or Pineapple Fried Rice.

a measuring cup full of rice

What is Jasmine Rice?

Jasmine rice is a fragrant, long-grain white rice that is common in Thai cuisine as well as in many other Asian and  Middle Eastern cuisines. When cooked, the grains should be separate, smooth, and tender. They should be a tiny bit sticky but not clump together.

Instructions for this Recipe

  • Rinse the rice well. This is important for perfect cooked rice. Rinsing the rice in cool tap water removes excess starch.
  • Rub pot with oil. Whether using the Instant Pot or a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stove, rub the inside of the pot with a small amount of oil to avoid sticking.
  • Combine rice and water. If using the Instant Pot, combine rice and water in the bowl and close and seal the lid. If using the stovetop, bring water to a simmer and then stir in the rice.
  • Cook. Cook on high in the Instant Pot for 3 minutes and then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. On the stove, simmer the rice and water for 20 minutes, covered with a tight fitting lid.
  • Fluff and serve warm. 
  • Keep in mind that brown rice requires a different method for cooking. Brown rice requires a longer coking time and more water, so use a recipe specifically written for that variety.
    adding rice to a saucepan

    Recipe Tips

    1. Rinse well – Rinsing the rice releases starch and is the most important step to separate tender grains of rice. 
    2. Rub the pot with oil – Rubbing the pot with a small amount of oil before cooking the rice prevents any grains from sticking to the sides during cooking. This is key with both the stovetop and Instant Pot. In the Instant Pot, it adds an extra benefit of minimizing foaming under pressure.
    3. Adjust for age of rice – This is useful for any type of rice you’re cooking. See below for more on this.
    oiling a saucepan to cook rice
    fluffing rice with a fork

    How to Cook Rice on an Electric Stove

    For the past three years I’ve been cooking on an electric stove which I find to be a bit finicky when it comes to moving food quickly from high to low heat. In the case of cooking rice, it is particularly important to reduce the heat under the pan as soon as it begins to boil so that the rice doesn’t absorb the water too quickly. Here’s the method I’ve found that makes all the difference in producing great rice.

    1. On the electric stove, turn on two burners – one on low-medium and one on high. 
    2. Bring the water to a boil on the high burner.
    3. As soon as it begins to boil, stir in the rice and then cover the pan. Move the covered pan to the low-medium burner and finish cooking there (turn off the high burner once the pan is moved).
    fluffing rice with a fork

    Why the age of rice matters

    New, fresh rice grains will absorb water more easily, so you’ll need less water for this jasmine rice recipe. Old rice grains that have been sitting at the grocery store or in your pantry for a few months will absorb water more slowly, so will need more moisture. Keeping this fact in mind will help you to adjust your cooking method slightly and will give you great rice each time. 

    Although there is no way to know exactly how old your rice is (unless you harvested it yourself!), you can make some guesses based on where it was purchased and how long you think it might have been sitting in your pantry.

    How to Store Jasmine Rice

    To store cooked jasmine rice, allow it to cool completely. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Allow the rice to defrost completely before reheating it in the microwave. 

    rice in a bowl on a grey countertop

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    Perfect Jasmine Rice Recipe {Stovetop and Instant Pot}

    Make perfect, fluffy Jasmine rice every time with these step-by-step instructions for the stovetop or Instant Pot.
    This recipe makes between 2 and 4 servings, depending on how much you plan to serve and / or if you’re using it to make another recipe like fried or crispy rice.
    Prep: 5 minutes
    Cook: 20 minutes
    Total: 25 minutes
    Servings: 3

    Equipment

    • Saucepan or Instant Pot

    Ingredients 

    • 1 cup jasmine rice (1 cup jasmine rice = 230 grams)
    • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
    • 1 cup cool water (1 cup water = 250 milliliter)
    • pinch of salt (optional)

    Instructions 

    • Rinse rice in cool tap water, using your fingers to swirl the rice around to remove as much starch as possible. (You can do this in a fine mesh strainer or by placing the rice in a pot of water and pouring the starchy water off.) Drain well.

    Cook Rice:

    • Instant Pot – Rub the inside of the Instant Pot with oil. Combine rice, water, and salt (if using) in the bowl of an Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid. Turn the knob to “sealing”. Pressure cook on “High” for 3 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure. Once pressure has been released, remove the lid.
      Stovetop – Rub the inside of a heavy-bottomed saucepan with oil. Combine water and salt (if using) in the pan. Place over high heat. When the water begins to boil, stir in rice and immediately cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer rice, covered, until all of the water has been absorbed, ~20 minutes. Move pan off the heat and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. (Tip: If your stove is electric and the temperature does not come down quickly when going from high to low heat, use two burners and transfer the pot of rice to the cooler burner as soon as it starts to boil.)
    • Fluff rice with a fork to gently break apart rice. Serve warm.

    Notes

    Adjusting for the age of rice – The age of the rice you use will affect how well the grains absorb water and, therefore, how much water you need to use. If you purchased the rice recently from a place that has a lot of turnover (like an international grocery store), it is probably quite new and you will not need as much water – remove 1 Tablespoon of water per cup. If the rice is older and has been sitting in your pantry for a few months, add an additional 1 Tablespoon of water per cup. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.5mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
    Cost: $1.00
    Calories: 237
    Keyword: DIY Thai, easy rice recipe, easy Thai recipe, perfect jasmine rice, Thai rice
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    About Jess Smith

    Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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