How to Cook Rice



Want to know how to cook boiled, steamed, pilaf, butter, and parmesan rice? You're in the right place! Our virtual cookbook of basic recipes is always bustling, so we decided to show you this simple and quick guide to never forget the most appropriate cooking methods again.
Rice is one of the most consumed grains in the world, ancient and highly digestible, it is gluten-free and therefore suitable for almost all diets. Starchy varieties are well suited for risottos, while those with less starch are perfect for fresh rice salads or as a side dish to Asian dishes.
But what's the difference between boiled rice and steamed rice? How is traditional pilaf rice or the more common butter and parmesan rice cooked? In this article, we answer all these questions. Meanwhile, here's how to cook rice and its varieties, let us know if anything is missing.

Ready to get your hands dirty? Here are some rice recipes you absolutely must try!

  • Cantonese rice
  • Rice salad
  • Parmesan risotto
  • Curry rice


Ingredients for Boiled Rice
Carnaroli rice 2 cups (400 g)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Ingredients for Steamed Rice
Carnaroli rice 2.2 lbs (400 g)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Ingredients for Pilaf Rice
Basmati rice 2 ¼ cups (400 g)
Butter 5 oz (140 g)
Water 4 ½ cups (1080 g)
Fine salt to taste
Ingredients for Butter and Parmesan Rice
Carnaroli rice 2 cups (400 g)
Butter 2 oz (60 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 2 oz (60 g)
Fine salt to taste

How to Cook Boiled Rice

To prepare boiled rice, start by putting a pot of water on the stove. When it boils, add salt and pour in the rice 1. Cook it for about 20 minutes after which you can drain it 2. Here's how to cook boiled rice, plate it and season to taste with a drizzle of oil 3.

How to Cook Steamed Rice

To prepare steamed rice, start by putting a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. In the meantime, rinse the rice 1 and drain it. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the steamer 2 and set it over the pot. Then transfer the rice 3 and spread it across the surface.

Cover with the lid 4 and let cook for about 20 minutes 5. This is how to cook steamed rice, plate it and season with a drizzle of oil 6.

How to Cook Pilaf Rice

To prepare pilaf rice, start by heating water in a saucepan. Continue by rinsing the basmati under running water 1. Drain it and meanwhile clean and chop the onion 2. Then melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, so as not to burn it 3.

Add the onion 4 and sauté for a few minutes stirring 5 before pouring in the rice 6.

A quick stir 7 and pour in the hot water 8. Immediately cover with the lid and cook for about 10 minutes without stirring 9.

At the end of cooking, the water will have been completely absorbed, season with salt 10 and transfer to a bowl 11. Here's how to cook pilaf rice, serve it at the temperature you prefer 12.

This is the white version but if you want you can follow the traditional version of the Middle Eastern pilaf rice.

How to Cook Butter and Parmesan Rice

To prepare butter and parmesan rice, start by boiling the rice: pour it into boiling salted water 1 and after about 20 minutes drain it 2. In the meantime, pour the butter into a saucepan 3.

Melt it over very low heat 4 and when melted pour it into the pot with the drained rice 5. Cook over low heat for a few moments until the butter has been absorbed. At this point, add the grated Parmesan cheese, keeping just a little aside 6.

Give it a good stir 7, pour onto plates and top with a pinch of Parmesan kept aside 8. There you go, now you know how to cook butter and Parmesan rice 9.


Now that you know how to cook rice in all its varieties and cooking methods, we always recommend consuming it immediately or, if necessary, storing it in the refrigerator for no more than 1-2 days.


The tutorial on how to cook rice is easily applicable to all varieties of rice. Remember, however, to always respect the times indicated on the packages and that those indicated by us are indicative.

To boil the rice, instead of water, you can also use a vegetable broth or spices to give it more flavor.

Questions and Curiosities

  • What is the purpose of toasting the rice?

    For a good risotto, toasting the rice is essential: the caramelization of the starches on the surface and the loss of moisture inside the grain are elements that allow the rice to gradually absorb the cooking liquid without affecting its texture.

  • Is the rice toasted dry or in fat (vegetable or animal)?

    Chefs are divided on this topic. On one hand, rice can be toasted dry, therefore without fat, so that during the toasting phase it does not absorb moisture or worse, gets slightly fried given the necessary high temperature. On the other hand, toasting the rice in the fat and onion sauté allows the onion to cook in the right time and gives balance to the dish in terms of flavor. The alternative for dry toasting is to cook the onion separately and add it at the end of cooking or prepare a sour butter.

  • How many varieties of rice are there?

    There are many varieties of grain: superfine, fine, semifine, round and then also white varieties to whole grain, red, black rice. These latter varieties are not well suited for risottos because they do not release enough starch. The same goes for basmati rice which, in addition to not having enough starch, risks breaking during cooking given its elongated and less robust shape.

  • Can rice be cooked in a pressure cooker?

    It's better not to if we're talking about classic varieties that cook within 20 minutes. However, if we're talking about whole grain varieties (Venere, red, whole grain, parboiled) then cooking in a pressure cooker is fine, always remembering that times - generally - are halved.

  • For a perfect risotto, what is the best variety of rice?

    More than the most suitable variety, it's about taste and the final consistency of the dish. Certainly, for a creamy risotto with perfect cooking, the most recommended varieties are Vialone Nano or Carnaroli.
For the translation of some texts, artificial intelligence tools may have been used.