A simple and easy recipe for how to cook perfect long grain rice on the stove, fluffy every time! Use Basmati or Jasmin rice for extra flavor.
Long grain rice vs short grain rice
The types of rice can be separated in 2 major categories: Long grain rice and short grain rice.
If I haven’t mentioned it, I’m from Crete. And in Crete, we have very nice recipes that have been developed through the years, using local, fresh ingredients and herbs/aromatics, like this chicken risotto (Cretan wedding rice).
The thing is, that in Crete we don't normally make fluffy rice on the stove. Or in a rice maker for that matter.
When we use rice, we use it to make creamy foods like creamy mushroom risotto or this Greek rice pudding (Rizogalo). In that sort of recipes, rice gets a “creamy” consistency because it slowly releases all its starch that will eventually result in a velvety dish.
In Greece, we call these dishes “pilaf” or "pilafi" maybe a word that has been passed down by neighboring cultures. However, pilaf can also be fluffy, like this Moroccan rice (pilaf)!
How to make it
Follow this simple method to make perfect fluffy rice on the stove every time:
1. First, sauté the rice with a bit of olive oil (or any other vegetable oil of your choosing) until it starts to smell nutty. This step ensures it will taste much better so don’t be afraid to brown some of the grains (they will add a nice tone to the finished dish).
2. Then add water and salt and simmer with the pot covered with a lid until almost all of the water is absorbed.
3. When almost all of the water is absorbed, turn off the heat, fluff it gently with a fork and let it rest inside the covered pot. Letting it rest, you allow it to steam with the residual heat, and you give the grains the chance to plump up and cook completely.
While rice is resting, you should not touch a single grain! You don't want to traumatize those fragile grains. Just let it rest until it cools down a bit.
4. Fluff again and serve. After 15-20 minutes you can gently re-fluff it up with a fork and serve it onto plates. And voila! Perfect fluffy rice in a pot!
Pro Tip: Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pot when the rice is cooking. The acidity of the lemon prevents the release of the starch. This produces fluffier rice.
What is the ratio of long-grain rice to water?
This can depend on the type of rice and the way it was handled before packaging (par-boiled or not).
Here is the basic rule of thumb I follow:
For long grain rice that says on the packaging that it needs 10-12 minutes cooking time, I use 1 ½ cups of water per 1 cup of long grain rice (for chewier rice, 1 ¼ cups of water can also be enough).
For long grain rice that says on the packaging that it needs 20 minutes cooking time, I use 2 cups of water per 1 cup of long grain rice.
What to serve with fluffy rice
You can also mix it with stir fried veggies or incorporate it in salads with fresh veggies and boiled legumes.
- Use a long grain rice variety, like Jasmine or Basmati.
- A pot with a glass lid is ideal, since you can see what’s happening without opening the pot
If you liked this recipe, you'll probably also like this easy foolproof recipe for corn on the cob.
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How to cook fluffy long grain rice on the stove
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
- Put oil and rice in a deep, heavy bottomed pot. Open the heat to medium and stir until rice is fragrant.
- Add the water, the lemon juice and the salt, cover and let it simmer. When all the water is almost absorbed (about 10-15 min), turn off the heat, fluff it up gently with a fork and let it rest covered, for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, stir gently with a fork to re-fluff, and serve. Eat.