As a cooking enthusiast myself, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with rice. It either came out too mushy or too burnt or crunchy. Whatever it is, it took me years of practice and experiments to figure out how to cook perfect rice without any blunders.
Before I start with the actual procedure of fixing undercooked rice or cooking rice perfectly, I understand that regular steamed rice is a lot easier to cook than flavored rice such as in Pulao, Biryani, Paella, etc.
So, in this article, I’ve written everything about undercooked, mushy rice and how to fix the failures.
Stay with me!
What exactly is Undercooked Rice anyways?
Undercooked rice or uncooked rice, by texture, is crunchy and firm with a hard kennel-like structure that nobody likes. Ideally, the perfectly cooked rice should be tender and soft with a delicious rice flavor you cannot resist. However, undercooked rice is the opposite of that.
There are two reasons behind undercooked rice; cooking time and water ratio. Also, don’t miss our article about how to make delicious and sticky sushi rice in a rice cooker.
Cooking Time for Properly Cooked Rice
The ideal cooking time for rice depends on the rice you’re using. When you’re cooking steamed rice, you use four common types of rice that require specific cooking time.
Now, white rice also comes in many varieties such as long grain white rice, medium grain white rice and short grain rice (sushi rice). Regardless of the type, the ideal cooking time for white rice is around 20 minutes. Furthermore, I also advise following the package instructions for more successful results. That’s because the cooking time for rice varies from brand to brand.
Unlike white rice, brown rice takes much longer to cook because it has high fiber and a tough outer bran layer. However, some brands have now introduced quicker cooking brown rice that comes with its own set of rules in terms of cooking time and water ratio. So, it’s recommended to check out the packaging instructions. Let us show you exactly how much water you should add to your rice in the quick article.
On average, for properly cooked rice, it’s recommended to cook for 35 to 25 minutes.
The ever-so-famous and delicious rice aroma of basmati rice needs no introduction provided that they are properly cooked and handled.
Before cooking rice, it’s important to rinse the water to remove starch and get the desired texture. Normal basmati rice takes around 20 minutes to cook properly.
The cooking time of Jasmine rice is the same as basmati rice i.e., 15 to 20 minutes. It’s also advisable to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to achieve the texture and fragrant aroma.
Top 4 Foolproof Ways to Fix Undercooked Rice
Here are 4 proven and foolproof ways to fix undercooked rice.
Adding Water to Dried out Rice
If you’re cooking rice in a rice cooker or a rice pot, and they are completely dried out. Add extra (half a cup of) water and cook it on low flame for another 5 minutes. Check after 5-10 minutes and if still dry, add some more water and cook it for a while to turn it into tender, delicious and soft rice.
Continue Cooking Rice on Low Flame
This is the easiest method and works best for undercooked rice with a little liquid left in the pot.
Upon checking, if you find out your cooked rice is raw or undercooked rice with a little liquid left in the cooking pot, continue cooking rice for at least 5 minutes with a lid on it. Adjust this timing according to the doneness of your undercooked rice.
You can later remove the pot from the stove and let the rice sit for around 10 minutes before serving. Check out this post about how to get the perfect serving size for rice.
Fixing Al dente rice with no liquid left in the pot
What does the term Al dente actually mean?
You have most probably heard this term while cooking pasta. And though, it’s largely used for pasta, Al dente rice is also a thing…
That’s when the rice is almost done but firm and chewy in the middle, so it needs to be cooked further.
I recommend the cooking process of Al dente rice to be done in the microwave oven.
How to Fix Undercooked Rice in the Microwave
- Transfer the undercooked rice to microwave safe bowl and cover it with a lid
- Take two paper towel and soak them wet
- Squeeze some water out of the towels and keep them damp
- Over the rice bowls, place the paper towel evenly and put the bowls in the microwave for 2 minutes until you see the steam rising
- Remove the rice bowl and practice caution
- Remove paper towels from the bowl and fill the rice up
- Serve it with whatever you like
Fixing Undercooked Rice in the Oven
If the microwave or stove is not working well to cook rice properly and your rice is still turning out to be mushy rice or crispy rice, the last bet is to try an oven.
- Preheat your oven to 360 degrees
- Place the glass baking dish in the oven and cook rice for around 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, if you notice watery rice with a crispy texture, cook for another 5 – 7 minutes
How to Cook Perfectly Cooked Rice?
Over the years, I’ve tried many new tips and tricks—some worked, some didn’t However this recipe for cooking cooked rice like a champ never fails to amaze me.
- Measure your rice properly and put it in the cooking pot
- For every cup of rice you’re going to use, toss in a couple of pinches of salt in the cooking pot.
- Add 1 and a half times the amount of water to the measured rice
- Keep the flames high and uncovered
- If the water boils, put it on a low flame and cover the pot
- Simmer the rice for 15 minutes and don’t remove the lid during this time.
- Remove the lid and check if the rice is cooked
Can I Recook undercooked rice?
Yes, you can safely recook undercooked rice by following the bellowed guidelines:
- Adding water to already dried out rice
- If the rice has some water in the pot, keep cooking on low flame for around 5 to 10 minutes and notice the change.
- Fixing al dente rice with no liquid in the pot
- Fix undercooked rice in the microwave
What happens if rice is undercooked?
When the rice is undercooked, you’ll feel it in the texture, smell and taste of it. Undercooked rice tastes crispy rice or crunchy. Also, undercooked rice tastes very starchy and raw and the flavor is not admirable at all. This can also make your rice turn out sticky.
It is highly recommended to cook rice properly as it may carry a risk of food borne illnesses, such as food poisoning.
How do you soften cooked rice?
If you want to soften rice that is too firm and crunchy with noticeable rice grains, you can soften it by adding water and heating the pan on medium. to low flame. Stir occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.
Is it OK to eat slightly undercooked rice?
Eating slightly undercooked or mushy rice is okay, but not in the long term. You may experience some health issues if you’re eating undercooked rice continuously. The issues include:
- Stomach pain
Cooking rice is an art, and that too, perfectly cooked rice with a fragrant aroma and beautiful texture. In this article, you learned how to fix undercooked rice on the stove, in the rice cooker, or in the microwave. Make sure always to consume properly cooked rice to avoid food poisoning or other stomach related issues.