Cooking Rice in Your Microwave Oven


Yes, it is possible to make great tasting rice in your microwave oven. In fact, it’s my preferred method for cooking rice. While it isn’t any faster than on the stove top, it is easier (you don’t have to stir while cooking) and clean up is much quicker, since you can use the same bowl you cook it in to serve it and store leftovers, reducing the amount of dishes you’ll have to wash…and it doesn’t stick and burn to your cookware.

I have a personal preference to parboiled rice, but you can use any variety you want with little to no adjustments in the amount of water or cooking times you use, with the exception of brown rice.

Cooking rice in the microwave does require more water than on the stove top. A good rule to remember is 2 parts rice to 5 parts water. What this means is whatever scoop you are using to measure your rice, use it also to measure the water.

I have an older 700W microwave, so you may have to adjust the cooking times or the power level if you have a more powerful microwave than I do.

Use a microwave safe container or bowl that is twice as large as the amount of water you will be using. Rice expands, and to prevent boil overs, you need to make sure you give it plenty of room.

For a side dish, I usually use 1 cup of rice to 2.5 cups of water and cook it on high, uncovered for about 20 minutes.

For a main course that requires a lot of rice, I double everything, including cooking time (2 cups of rice, 5 cups of water, 40 minutes)

For brown rice the ratio is 2 parts rice to 7 parts water (1 cup of rice, 3.5 cups of water), and it needs to be cooked on medium power for about 40 minutes.

Yellow rice is easy to make. Start with the same directions for white rice and stir in 1 packet of Sazon (w/annato) for each cup of rice, before placing it in the microwave.

For a cheap and easy one dish meal, cook the rice according to the above main course directions but reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes, stir in a bag of frozen vegetables when it is done, cover and cook it another 10 minutes. Then add your choice of cooked meat, cut into thin strips. You can serve with soy sauce, hot sauce, salsa, duck sauce, tomato sauce, etc. (One of my favorite breakfast variations is yellow rice, spinach, and scrambled eggs, served with hot sauce).


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