Monday, June 1, 2009

How To Cook Steamed Rice by Absorption Method.

Cooking rice seems easy, but cooking rice without the use of an electric rice cooker is a different matter. In today’s hectic lifestyle, just about everyone uses an electric rice cooker. But many older Singaporeans still believe that the most fragrant rice is made in an earthenware pot, fired by firewood or charcoal. I still cannot help but remembering the smoky white rice my maternal grandmother used to cook for the family. She could conjure up several dishes from her big rice pot while cooking rice at the same time. When the rice is nearly cooked, she would carefully place several enamelled dishes seperated on top of each other with wooden chopsticks. The most coveted dishes to appear from Grandmother’s rice pot were steamed eggs with minced pork and chopped “mui choy” (preserved vegetable) and her homemade salted fish with ginger.
Just in case you are place in situations like a power failure or camping in the bush or without an electrical rice cooker. I am going to describe briefly how to cook steamed rice on a stove or a camp fire.

Steamed White Rice Recipe:

2 cups rice (serve 4)
2 cups water

Though it is not necessary, rice may be washed once or twice before draining the water away. (The water can then be used to make soup or water the garden plants.) Add the rice and water to a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and bring to boil over medium-high heat. (If using charcoal, place the pot after the coal is red hot.) Once it comes to a rapid boil, decrease the heat to medium and boil gently for the next ten minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water. Stir and scrap the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cover and decrease heat to low and cook rice for another 10 minutes or more. This is the secret in making fluffy rice. The pot must remain covered throughout the cooking process except when stirring. Decrease the heat to very low and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Fluff and loosen the rice with a wooden spoon when it is still hot.


  1. interesting.. but i nowadays prefer to eat rice cooked by the thermal pot...

  2. Hi BY,
    It'll be great if you can share your thermal pot cooking with us here.

  3. I could never get the amount of water right :)

    by the way, Uncle Phil, winter melon is nowhere in sight in this part of the world. so no nonya dumpling for me...

    oh, and do you know if we could grow a kaffir lime plant from the seeds of a store-bought kaffir lime? theoretically, it's a yes but does it work in practice?

  4. Hi Ange,
    The cooking time and the amount of water needed may vary, according to the variety of rice and how long the rice has been in storage. Usually the newly harvested rice is starchier and need less water to cook. So it takes a bit of practice to cook this simple dish.

    I have read somewhere that imported fruits and vegetables goes through a process by the quarantine, whereby it kills off all bugs and prevent the seeds from growing. Have a go and let us know.