Even veteran chefs can have a bit of trouble figuring out how many cups of rice per serving to dish out.
If you’ve ever had trouble knowing how much rice per person to serve, you’re not alone. Fortunately, the answer is pretty straightforward. The consensus from dieticians is approximately one-quarter cups or 90 grams of uncooked rice per person. Once you get used to measuring it, the mystery will evaporate completely.
It’s those who insist on eye-balling rice portions who always do and always will wonder just how much is enough.
How Much Uncooked Rice to Use per Guest/Serving
Some people like a lot of rice, and some people like just a little. Most people don’t have much compunction against leaving uneaten rice on their plates, which is not optimal- but at the end of the day, it’s probably better to err on the side of plenty. What’s more, dry rice from different sources and different types of rice will make more or less after they are cooked. Also, cooking times and the amount of water used will make a difference in how much the rice will fluff up.
More than not, these sourcing, rice type, and cook time considerations are not important. The most important thing is to make sure that each dish and serving provides enough rice to do the job. Outside of the amount of uncooked rice you start with, all other considerations are more or less inconsequential.
When you properly cook one cup of uncooked white rice, you will get approximately three cups of cooked rice. So the rule of thumb is, whatever goes into the pot or pan, you’re going to get three times its total volume back. This can also be helpful when you’re trying to make sure not to over or under-cook the rice, which is really the most important thing to watch out for.
How to Cook Rice Properly
Rice dishes come from the culinary traditions of cultures all over the world. There are many serviceable and proven ways to cook it. But for most purposes in the modern kitchen, the preferred way is to boil or steam it. After being cooked, it can be added to other recipes, like stew, soup, casseroles, or can be eaten by itself.
The Best Way to Cook Rice
The optimal and most reliable method is to portion out one cup of rice for every single serving you wish to produce. If you are serving five people, then you should begin with five cups of rice. Then you measure out double the amount of water. So if you were serving five people you would portion out five cups of uncooked rice and ten cups of water.
Place your water in a pot or pan that can be covered and bring it to a boil. (It’s best to keep an eye on it so that a significant portion does not boil away before adding the rice.) Once the water has begun to boil, pour in your rice. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the rice this way for 15 to 18 minutes and check it. For brown rice, add another 5 to ten minutes to the total cooking time.
Then stir the rice gently with a fork and let the remaining moisture be eliminated in the form of steam, waiting for ten minutes or so. Now, your rice is ready to serve or to be used in other dishes.
Storing Your Cooked Rice
Use a clean, airtight container to store your rice after the steam has wafted off completely. It should be good stored this way for up to a month, but it’s best to use it within a week. Uncooked white rice can last, stored and refrigerated, for up to ten years, sometimes longer. Brown rice will only last about six months since it contains additional nutrients that will attract microbes.
Uncooked white rice is favored as an emergency storage food due to its ability to remain viable for many years.
How Much Rice Per Person – FAQs
My rice always turns out mushy, hard, or gummy, Why?
You need to have the right amount of rice, the right amount of water, and cook it at the right temp for the right amount of time. If you’re working from a recipe, it should give you all these details.
What kind of rice is best for rice pilaf, pudding, and sushi?
Use medium or short grain rice for sushi or pudding. For rice pilaf, use long grain rice.
What’s the best way to cook rice?
Use the “1, 2, 3 rule.” It is 1 part uncooked rice and 2 parts water or liquid to get 3-times the amount of cooked rice that you put in. Bring your liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and pour in your rice. Simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on or until all the water has been absorbed. Then remove the lid and let the steam rise until the rice is reasonably dry. Meat or vegetable stock can be substituted for water to add flavor. Yum!
Why does my rice smell bad after cooking?
Rice has a tendency to absorb other smells in storage. If it was opened and something less than fresh is in your refrigerator, that’s probably the problem.
Can I cook rice in the oven?
Yes. Using the 1, 2, 3 rule, cook in a shallow pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. Add another ten minutes for brown rice.
Can I cook rice in a steamer?
Yes. Remember the 1, 2, 3 rule and follow the instructions on the package.
Can I cook rice in a crockpot?
It’s probably possible, but not recommended.
Can I cook rice in the microwave?
Yes. Use a 2-quart microwaveable dish. Combine two cups of rice and one cup of water. Cook on high for five minutes. Then reduce the setting to 50% power, cook for another 15 minutes. Conventional cooking methods are preferred for optimal flavor.