How To Cook Rice: The Absorption Method

This is how to cook rice without needing a rice cooker, aka the absorption method.

Before you come for me, telling me I should be cooking rice in a rice cooker, I grew up in a family who doesn't cook rice in a rice cooker, just in a good old saucepan using the absorption method. We still do it to this day, so it's just how I rice now. 

This was the first thing I learnt to cook from my parents as a kid, something I've made possibly thousands of times now. 

I thought I would share this recipe, because life is too short to eat shit rice.

Please note: These cooking instructions only apply to white nice like jasmine and long grain only/ If you're making brown rice, you need to add more water and it needs to cook for longer. Just keep an eye on it, and add more water and let it cook until it's soft and fluffy.


  1. Take a saucepan and add your desired amount of rice to it. Just don't fill the saucepan more than halfway up the pan, as the rice will double in size so you need to allow enough room.
  2. Add some warm water to your rice to clean it. Use your hands to rinse the rice to remove any impurities as well as any excess starch. You'll notice the water go from clear to a milky white when you do this. 
  3. Now drain out the water that you rinsed your rice in.
  4. Add more warm water back in. You can choose to rinse your rice a few more times or just do the one rinse.
  5. Fill the pot with enough water to reach the first joint in your index finger. You nail should be just touching the top of the rice when you measure. This sounds like a very random way to do it, but ask any Asian person and they will tell you that they do it this way. I don't know any Asian person who actually measures out the water. It doesn't matter how much rice is in your pot, how big your pot is, or how big your fingers are, it's just a magical way to measure the correct amount of water and I cannot scientifically prove it, but can vouch for it.
  6. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to the boil.
  7. Once the water starts boiling, use a spatula to stir the rice scraping the bottom, so the rice on the bottom doesn't burn.
  8. Once all of the water has evaporated, turn your heat down to the lowest setting, add the lid ad cook for another 15 minutes or so on low.
  9. After 15-20 minutes, your rice should be fluffy and nearly ready. You can optionally stir once more to fluff up the rice before serving.
  10. Turn off the head and keep the lid on, the rice will continue to steam. Keep the lid on at all times other than serving to keep the rice warm and moist, otherwise it will dry out.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published