Cooking rice in the microwave is much more convenient and if you follow all our tips you will get perfect fluffy rice every time. Microwave rice is so easy to make and it's faster than other cooking methods. This is a foolproof recipe, with no fancy equipment. Just a bowl and cling film is all you need.
This microwave rice recipe will give you perfect rice every time. Never have gluey and mushy, or undercooked rice again. Just perfect light and fluffy rice, and it is so easy to make.
If you want to try some other recipes that make rice a little more exciting, then why not try our Coconut Rice, Easy Greek Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice, Turmeric Rice, The Best Spanish Rice or Mediterranean Rice Salad?
Why you will love it
- Faster - Our method from microwave rice is quicker than a stove top or rice maker version, making it the perfect side dish for a quick and easy meal.
- Easier - There is no "babysitting" needed for this recipe. Just mix it all together and put it in the microwave. It's a totally hands off recipe.
- Perfectly cooked - You won't risk burning this rice and it won't go all mushy. You get perfectly cooked rice every time.
- Basmati rice - This recipe uses basmati rice. This is a long grain rice, so it doesn't get sticky when cooked and is perfect for serving with things like curry. If you wanted a stickier rice, then you a short grain and that is better for Chinese dishes as it's easier to eat with chopsticks.
- Boiling water - Microwaves cook things from the outside in, so using boiling water, rather than cold or room temperature water, will help the microwave rice to cook more evenly.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Rinse the rice three times then put into a microwave safe bowl and pour in the water. Cover with cling film (Saran wrap) and pierce several times.
Two: Cook in the microwave on high for 9 minutes then on medium for 3 minutes.
Three: Allow to stand for 3 minutes before using a fork to fluff up.
Why use a microwave?
Microwaves have gotten a bad reputation over the years. They have been called lazy and they have been called dangerous. But, if you are looking at these recipes then I am guessing that you don't believe either of those, and neither do we. Let's dispel those myths. Firstly, there is no real evidence that shows that microwaves are dangerous to your health. You will find a lot of information on the internet to say they are, but nothing scientifically proven. However, studies have shown that using a microwave might be better at preserving nutrients than other cooking methods.
Microwaves are for lazy people? Nope! That is such an ableist thing to say. There are many reasons why people might use a microwave as a convenient method of cooking, such as not being able to stand at the cooker for any length of time. Also, microwaves tend to cook things much quicker, which is perfect for those with less time in the kitchen and you also don't usually need to do any stirring, which is perfect for if you need something you can just put in and leave.
Sometimes the microwave can be a bit of a life saver. If you oven breaks, or you are having your kitchen renovated, you need to be able to make meals with just a microwave. Maybe you are living in accommodation with no/limited cooking facilities like a hotel/studio/student halls. We want to show just what you can do with a microwave. Microwaves also don't heat up the kitchen, so it's a good cooking method for a hot day.
I know a lot of people struggle to make rice, but this microwave rice recipe gives you perfect rice every time.
What to serve with Microwave Rice
Rice is such a classic side dish and goes with so many things. Our easy method of cooking rice in the microwave means you can focus on the main dish and make this easy side without having to do anything to it. We love serving rice with anything really saucing, as the rice soaks up all that incredible sauce. Here are our favourite recipes to serve with rice:
Curry - Cauliflower and Potato Curry, 10 Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry, Cod Curry or Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry.
Chinese - Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken, 10 Minute Sticky Ginger Beef or Sweet and Sour Kind Prawns.
Stir Fry - Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry, Easy Vegetable Stir Fry, Lamb Stir Fry or Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry.
Chilli - Easy Chilli Con Carne, Turkey Chilli or Bean Chilli with Avocado Salsa.
Stews - Slow Cooker Honey and Garlic Chicken, Mushroom Stroganoff or Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken.
Mexican - Chipotle Black Bean Stew, Beef Burrito Bowl, Chicken Burrito Bowl, Vegan Burrito Bowl.
Store: If you are planning on storing rice, you first need to make sure that you cool it safely. Rice needs to be cooled as quickly as possible and we find that the easiest way to do that is to spread it out on a large plate or baking tray so it is in a single layer. It shouldn't take longer than an hour to cool down. Leftover rice can then be stored in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
Freeze: Rice actually freezes really well. You can put it in to freezer bags and it will store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: You can defrost rice in the fridge overnight - it will take at least 12 hours. Don't leave it out on the counter to defrost, as it can grow harmful bacteria if left out at room temperature for more than an hour.
Reheat: We find the best way to reheat rice is in the microwave. Put it in a microwavable bowl again with a couple of tablespoons of water, cover in clingfilm again and microwave on high for 1 minute. The steam created is enough to heat the rice up and make it nice and moist and fluffy again. You could use it cold to make our Egg Fried Rice recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Microwave cooking temperatures can vary greatly, so there will be a little trial and error when you first make this, so you can find the exact cooking time using your microwave. Perfect rice should be light and fluffy.
In our microwave (our is 1,000 watts) it takes about 12 minutes total and this is what we have found when we have made this in other microwaves when travelling too. But use that as a guide. It will depend on how powerful your microwave is and the type of rice used.
Yes, you can cook brown rice in the microwave, but you will need to add more water and the cooking time will be longer (about 10-15 minutes longer).
If your rice isn't cooked all the way through, then make sure that you didn't stir it or take the cling film off half way through. This will let all the steam escape and the rice won't cook as well. Your microwave might not be as powerful as the one we used for this recipe, and you might need to cook it for a couple of minutes longer.
Also, make sure you are letting the rice stand for a few minutes when it comes out of the microwave. If the bowl you used was too small, some of the liquid might have overflowed which will mean the rice won't cook as well.
As long as you make sure there is no cross contamination, this is a gluten free recipe.
Yes, this recipe is vegan.
You need to use a big microwaveable bowl. It needs to be 4 times higher than the water level when the water and rice is added, as the water does bubble up quite a lot. We use a round bowl, as we find it cooks things more evenly than a square or rectangle dish.
Rice experts will tell you to always rinse your rice first as it removes the starch and helps to give fluffier rice. We have found with this cooking method that is doesn't make much of a difference. However, if you are going to rinse your rice, you will need to add less water (only about 2 tablespoons less) to the rice for cooking, as it will have already absorbed some of the water from rinsing. Too much water will make the rice mushy.
• Do not be tempted to take the clingfilm off to look at or stir the rice. It doesn't need it and it will mean the steam escapes and the rice won't cook as well.
• Be careful when taking the bowl out of the microwave, as it will be very hot. Use oven gloves or some paper towels to get it out.
• Make sure to let the rice rest for a few minutes when it comes out of the microwave. This helps it to get nice and fluffy.
More side dish recipes
Now you know how to cook rice in the microwave, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Perfect Microwave Rice
- 125 g (0.66 cups) Rice
- 300 ml (1.25 cups) boiling water
- Rinse the rice three times then put into a microwave safe bowl and pour in the water. Cover with cling film (Saran wrap) and pierce several times.
- Cook in the microwave on high for 9 minutes then on medium for 3 minutes.
- Allow to stand for 3 minutes before using a fork to fluff up.
- Do not be tempted to take the clingfilm off to look at or stir the rice. It doesn't need it and it will mean the steam escapes and the rice won't cook as well.
- Be careful when taking the bowl out of the microwave, as it will be very hot. Use oven gloves or some paper towels to get it out.
- Make sure to let the rice rest for a few minutes when it comes out of the microwave. This helps it to get nice and fluffy.
I will never use a pot for rice again. Perfect every time.
Happy to hear you like it.
I love to cook my rice this way, the microwave is one of my favorite kitchen tools!
What a brilliant idea! This sounds perfect for my teenagers to make one portion too.
I had no idea you could make rice in the microwave. I was skeptical but it turned out great! never going back to stovetop again!
I love this method. So much easier and quicker.
So easy and convenient to make rice this way! My new go-to method!