Have you ever made rice and realized it wasn’t properly cooked? If the rice grains are still hard or sticky and slimy, what can you do to fix this problem? We are going to find out.
Add more water (1-2 tbsp per cup of rice) to the pot to fix undercooked rice. Cover and simmer on low heat for a few more minutes. After 5 minutes, check the consistency. If still hard, repeat. Once done, fluff with a fork and serve. Ensure the pot is tightly sealed to trap the steam, aiding the cooking process.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Rice Cooker
Fixing rice in a rice cooker is perfectly possible, although it can be a little tricky. You will need to first determine whether the rice is cooked and water is left in the cooker or whether the rice has not yet been cooked. If the rice is still hard in the center, it isn’t cooked.
The solution is to cook it more, but you need to do so carefully to avoid burning your rice. If you cook it for much longer or at a high temperature, you may find that the bottom of the rice scorches.
If you no longer have water in your cooker, the first thing that you need to do is add some more water. Just a small amount, around a quarter of a cup or even less, will be sufficient.
Pour this in and then turn the appliance back on and allow the water to steam the rice gently. Keep the heat very low so you do not burn the rice at the bottom of the cooker.
Wait for around five minutes, and then test the rice again. It should now be soft. If it is still hard, check that there is enough water in the cooker and allow it to steam for a little longer. It should soon soften enough to eat and enjoy.
Ensure you do not add much water to your rice cooker, or you will have mushy rice. You want all of the water to evaporate as the rice finishes cooking.
Pro TIPS: To avoid rice undercooking in a rice cooker, do not lift the lid until the timer of the cooker switches to keep warm mode or off. Ensure that the steam release valve in your rice cooker lid is clean and unblocked so excess steam can be released so you don’t need to lift the lid to stop spluttering or bubbling over.
Rice Cooker Rice Cooking Times
To cook rice al dente every time, use this cooking chart for the correct ratios to prepare your rice dishes or side dishes. Cooking rice has never been easier!
| Dry Rice|
2 cups (1 cup = 240ml)
|Basmati||2 1/2 cups||30 – 35 mins||4 cups|
|Brown Rice||3 cups||65 – 70 mins||4 cups|
|Jasmine Rice||2 cups||25 mins||4 cups|
|White Rice (medium/short)||2 cups||30 – 35 mins||4 cups|
|White Rice (long)||2 1/2 cups||30 – 35 mins||4 cups|
|Red rice, black rice, |
and others (follow manufacturers
Related read How Long Does Rice Take to Cook in Rice Cooker?
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in the Microwave
If you are cooking rice in the microwave and it is not done, you will need to follow similar steps. First, check whether your rice is dry. If it is dry, it needs more water, but you should not add this directly to the bowl.
You will end up with soggy rice if you add it to the bowl at this stage. Instead, take two clean sheets of paper towel and run them under the tap so that they are wet. Lightly squeeze them out, being careful not to tear them.
They want to be wet but not dripping wet. Once you have got the right level of moisture in them, straighten them out and place them on top of the bowl with your rice in it. Put one sheet on first and then the second.
Place the bowl of rice back in the microwave and turn it on for two minutes. The steam from the paper towels will cook the rice in that time, leaving it soft, fluffy, and ready to eat.
When the two minutes have passed, use a tea towel or oven gloves to lift the bowl out and remove the paper towels. Be cautious because both will be very hot, and there is likely to be steam trapped inside.
Check that the rice is cooked, and then serve it up. If it needs longer, dampen the paper towels again and continue this method using one-minute or thirty-second increments to get the rice perfect.
Using wet paper towels prevents you from getting soggy rice but ensures that there is enough moisture in the microwave to make the rice tender and soft.
If you try to steam the rice with water in the bowl, you will probably find that the steam just escapes into the microwave, and the rice ends up dry and undercooked. The paper towels trap the moisture in the bowl and ensure that the rice gets cooked.
Microwave Oven Rice Cooking Times
For perfect fluffy rice, every time follow the microwave cooking times from the table below.
| Dry Rice|
(1 cup = 240ml)
|Basmati||1 1/2 cups||9 – 11 mins (High)||2 cups|
|Brown (glutinous whole rice grains)||1 1/2 cups||12 mins (High)||2 cups|
|Brown (Long grain rice)||3 cups||30 mins (70% power)||2 cups|
|Jasmine (Short grain rice)||1 1/2 cups||9 – 11 mins (High)||2 cups|
|Arborio (sticky rice, Sushi rice)||1 1/2 cups||9 – 11 mins (High)||2 cups|
|White||1 1/2 cups||9 – 11 mins (High)||2 cups|
|Wild rice, red rice, black rice, |
and others (follow manufacturers
How to Fix Undercooked Rice on the Stove
It is worth noting that if you have undercooked rice on the stove, you can fix it using the above microwave method if you prefer. Simply transfer the rice to a microwave-safe bowl, add the paper towels, and give it two minutes in the microwave.
However, if you don’t have a microwave or you would rather keep working on the stove, let’s look at what you should try.
There are a few ways of fixing undercooked rice on the stove. The first involves simply adding a little more water to the pan and allowing it to keep cooking as it was before. Keep to low heat so that it does not burn on the bottom.
However, there is a risk that only the bottom of the rice will cook with this method, so another option is to steam the rice lightly.
If there is still water in the rice, you do not need to add any. If the rice has boiled dry, add a little water to the bottom of the pan.
Next, put a lid on the pan and turn the heat up to low/medium. Keep an eye on the water levels so the rice at the bottom doesn’t burn. Steam should build up in the pan, cooking the rice throughout rather than just at the bottom.
This could take about ten minutes, but make sure you stay nearby so that you can add more water if the pan boils dry. You should not need to add a lot, but this will depend on how much steam can escape from your pan.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in the Oven
If you have never cooked rice in the oven, you might be surprised to see this method, but it is an easy way to make great rice. However, it is easy to undercook it if you aren’t careful.
When you discover your oven-baked rice is undercooked, check whether all of the water has been absorbed by the rice. If there is still water in the dish, put it back in the oven and allow it to cook for another five minutes or so.
If there is no more water, but the rice is still a little chewy, add a small splash of water. Cover the baking dish with its lid again (or use foil if the dish does not have a lid) and then put it back in the oven.
One of the nice things about this method is that you don’t need to worry about the rice burning because it is in an oven rather than against direct heat. Give it another five to ten minutes in the oven, then take it out and check whether the water has been absorbed.
If there is still water, but the rice is done, take the lid off and give it a few more minutes in the oven to allow the water to evaporate. This will give you dry, fluffy rice.
You can also fix undercooked oven rice by putting it in your microwave and using the paper towel method, which may be quicker. However, you should be able to do it in the oven just as effectively.
Great read. Check out my article How Long Does Rice Take to Cook: 6 Ways to Cook Rice
How to Save Undercooked Rice in a Casserole
Sometimes, you end up with uncooked rice inside a meal, which is problematic. How do you cook the rice without overcooking the rest of the ingredients and without trying to pick the rice out one grain at a time?
Unfortunately, it is tricky, and it will depend on how undercooked your rice is. If the rice is raw, you may have to deal with a slightly overcooked casserole because there simply isn’t a way to get the rice cooked without further cooking the casserole.
However, your dinner should still be nicer than it would be if you served it with raw rice.
To fix undercooked rice in a casserole, you will need to add more liquid. You should only need a small amount if the rice is almost cooked, but if you have accidentally put raw rice in a dish that called for cooked rice, you’ll need plenty of liquid.
Check how much liquid the rice requires to cook in the first place, and add approximately this amount to your casserole – but don’t use water for this one. It will make your casserole taste thin. Instead, add a stock that will suit the kind of casserole you have made, such as beef stock.
Put the casserole back in to cook for another hour with a tight lid (assuming the rice is fully raw). If the rice is mostly cooked, a small amount of stock and another ten or twenty minutes should be sufficient.
Different Types of Rice
Use the following table to choose the correct type of rice for your recipe. Remember that the rice-to-water ratio for white rice is one cup of rice to two cups of water, but other types of rice may require more or less during its cooking process.
|Length||Short, medium & long grain||Short grain, medium & long||Long||Long|
|Texture||Sticky due to its starchy properties. Light, fluffy white rice, when cooked||Chewy texture as the husk is left on the grain. Light & fluffy when cooked and not sticky||Grains separate and do not stick when cooked||Soft grains with floral aromas that soak up accompanying flavors|
|Flavors||Mild||Nutty||Nutty & Spicy||Nutty & sweet with jasmine flavors|
|Use rice for||Versatile: steaming, stuffing, stir-fries & Pilaf||Casseroles, stews, stir-fries, Pilaf, and stuffing||Ideal for many uses, including curries, saffron rice, Dal||Asian and Thai dishes, as well as curries & stir-fries|
|Growing Regions||Asia & USA||Asia & USA||India & Pakistan||Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam|
|Protein||8g per cup||5g per cup||4g per cup||8g per cup|
|Fat||0g per cup||1g per cup||2g per cup||0g per cup|
on stovetop method)
|15 minutes||45 minutes||15 minutes||18 minutes|
Here are some quick answers to frequently asked questions about cooking perfect rice.
Why is my rice hard after cooking?
Not enough water – the recipe and use a measuring cup to ensure you’re adding the correct amount. If the rice is not cooked through, it may be because it wasn’t cooked long enough.
Another possibility is that you didn’t allow enough time for the rice to steam properly. Using a lid to cover the pot while it cooks will help the rice absorb more water and cook through evenly.
How to fix crunchy rice?
Fixing undercooked crispy or crunchy rice is easy by placing the rice in a pot. Add enough water to cover the rice and bring the pot to a simmer. Check the rice is absorbing water every couple of minutes. If it is still undercooked, add a little more water. Remove from heat when soft to prevent the rice from being overcooked.
How to fix dry rice?
To fix dry rice, add water. Add small amounts, like a tablespoon or two at one time, and stir through. Continue until you have the consistency you require.
How do I know if my rice is done?
You can tell if your rice is done by using a simple method: taste it. It is done if the rice is tender and has a slightly nutty flavor. Another way to test for doneness is to look at it. It should look light and fluffy, and the grains should be soft and fully cooked, with no hard centers.
How to save undercooked rice?
Let the rice cool transfer it to a glass bowl, and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Leftover rice can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days. Rice can be stored in the freezer for one to two months. If you store your rice in the freezer, thaw it properly before reheating.
What is the water to rice ratio?
The water-to-rice ratio can vary based on the type of rice you’re cooking and the cooking method you’re using. The general guideline is to white rice (long-grain): 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
Can you eat undercooked rice?
Eating undercooked rice is not recommended due to potential digestive discomfort and a crunchy texture. Rice can contain Bacillus cereus spores that might cause food poisoning if not cooked and stored properly.
Cooking properly reduces arsenic content in rice, which undercooked rice might retain more of. If rice is undercooked, it’s best to continue cooking it for safety and improved texture, especially when adding precooked to prepare your favorite recipes like rice pudding and fried rice.
How to fix mushy rice?
Mushy rice occurs because the ratio of water to rice is incorrect. To fix mushy rice, we need the water to evaporate before the rice dries out and becomes too hard and crunchy. Follow one of the methods below;
- Spread the rice on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes to dry out excess moisture.
- Alternatively, place the rice in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on low, checking every 30 seconds, until the excess moisture evaporates.
- Place the mushy rice in a fine-mesh strainer and gently press with a spoon to drain excess water for a quicker fix.
- When reheating, fluff the rice with a fork or use a rice paddle to separate grains and restore some of its original texture.
Wrapping it Up: How to Fix Hard Rice
Rice can be challenging to cook, and if you’re struggling, don’t worry. You can fix undercooked rice relatively easily, no matter what cooking method you are using. Just go slowly and add small amounts of liquid so your rice doesn’t burn or end up soggy.
Whether you’re cooking with a rice cooker, microwave, stovetop, or oven, there are strategies you can employ to ensure your rice turns out perfectly each time. In cases where you’ve added rice to a larger dish, like a casserole, it can be a bit more challenging, but with added liquid and additional cooking time, you can often remedy the situation.
Remember that different rice varieties require different cooking times and water ratios, so always check the package’s instructions or a reliable recipe source. And if you find yourself in a pinch with undercooked rice, don’t panic! There’s almost always a solution to bring it to the right consistency and texture.
Lastly, always store your leftover rice properly, as rice can spoil quickly if not stored under the right conditions. In the end, practice makes perfect. The more you cook rice, the better you’ll become at judging its doneness and adjusting cooking methods as needed.
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