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Kevin Curry

Microwave Rice Recipe – Dorm Room Friendly

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Microwave Rice Recipe

Here’s a quick and easy primer on how to cook rice in the microwave when you don’t have a stove or campfire!

Why Cook Rice in the Microwave?

Ok, let’s address the obvious first question – why would anyone want to use a microwave for cooking, let alone for making rice?

Cooking rice in the microwave is convenient and fast.  Simple as that.

It can often be quicker than traditional stovetop methods since you do not have to wait for the water to boil! Plus, it requires less monitoring (and stirring – but you shouldn’t be stirring your rice anyway).

And even though food is warmed “outside to inside” in a microwave, it evenly heats the water and rice.  This even reduces the risk of rice sticking to the pot like on the stove.  Using a microwave-safe glass container and adjusting the power settings, allows for more consistently good rice.

Also, let’s say you’re in the middle of that holiday dinner or hosting a dinner party and the stove is FULL as you multitask.  Cooking rice in the microwave saves space on the stovetop for other items that need to be cooked.

Lastly, one of the biggest benefits to microwave rice is…less cleanup!  Imagine a microwave-safe dish that acts as a bowl for cooking AND storing – clean-up would be even faster!

Cooking rice in the microwave is an efficient method for those who want to save time and effort without sacrificing quality.

What You Need to Cook Rice in the Microwave

To cook rice in the microwave, you’ll need a microwave-safe container with a lid or vent and a microwave, preferably one that allows you to adjust the power settings.

Technically a strainer is not needed; however, I find it is helpful not only for rinsing rice so you don’t get a “sticky glob” of glutinous rice; but also for draining cans of veggies, pasta and even washing fruit.

The ingredients are the same as the stove top:

  • Grain – all grains are not the same but for the most part, most rice grains (including quinoa) cook the same.  Be aware of wild and black rice which tends to be chewier.  They tend not to get fluffy, but rather softer, so it’s better to cook those until they are soft and chewy just like pasta.
  • Water – generally the ratio is 2 parts water to 1 part rice but I like to use the knuckle test (see steps below).
  • Fat – I find that adding a drop of oil or even butter into the water helps prevent the rice from clumping together, making it easier to fluff
  • Optional flavor boosters – eating rice by itself is delicious especially when there’s a hint of flavor.  If I’m feeling adventurous, I may toss in some herbs to lightly flavor the rice.
    • sea salt
    • fresh herbs (ie, lemongrass, dill, etc)

How to Cook Rice in the Microwave

There’s no shortage of opinions and approaches to cooking rice.  But if you grew up in a household where a parent or loved one made good rice, just ask them and repeat that recipe (for your ancestors 😅)!   If not, here are 3 of the best tips on how to approach microwave rice:

  1. Use microwave-safe containers and products –  I cannot underscore the importance of purchasing a large, microwave-safe container – I recommend glass – that allows room for the rice to expand.  Make sure it has tall walls/sides and has a vented lid or a loosely placed cover to prevent spilling in the microwave.  Also, in case you want to use plastic wrap to cover instead, just make sure it is CLEARLY labeled on the box “microwave-safe” and “BPA free.”
  2. Get the ratio right! Perfecting the proper rice-to-water ratio used to frustrate me because I would always forget.  So, when in doubt, remember a 2:1 ratio of water to rice is optimal, AND if you do not have measuring utensils, then just use the knuckle method explained below. This correct ratio ensures the rice is cooked evenly and is not overly soggy or dry.
  3. Monitor, shake and let rest –  Once nearly half the liquid is gone and the rice is beginning to expand, monitor the rice to ensure it is cooking evenly, not burning and that the rice is level.  If not, use a towel to grab the container and gently shake the container to level out the rice, then let it continue cooking.  After microwaving, let the rice stand with the vented cover for a few minutes – I usually wait about 10 – 15 minutes – to allow the remaining steam to continue cooking the rice. This final rest will give you a fluffier result (provided you added oil and rinsed the rice first).

Microwave Rice Recipe – Dorm Room Friendly


3 Servings
Serving Size:1 cup
* Optional Substitution Note
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
    • dry, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • avocado oil


Step 1

Wash the rice with cold water using a strainer to remove excess starch.  The water should run clear.

Microwave Rice Recipe - Dorm Room Friendly

Add the rice to a microwaveable-safe bowl or container.

Microwave Rice Recipe

Step 2

Usually, there is a 2:1 ratio of water to rice, but I like to use the knuckle test.  Touch the top of rice with your finger.  Then fill the bowl with water until it reaches your knuckle.  Works every time!

Microwave Rice Recipe

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, gently stir in and place the lid on.

Microwave Rice Recipe

Step 3

Place in the microwave with a lid with a vent on top, and cook for 9 – 10 minutes on high.  Once it finishes cooking, if 90% of the water has been absorbed, place the lid back on top and set it aside to finish cooking with the steam.

If 60-70% of water remains, continue cooking for 4 – 6 minutes on low-medium.

Microwave Rice Recipe

Step 4

Once the cooking cycle has been completed, set the bowl aside to steam for 3 – 5 minutes.

Microwave Rice Recipe

Step 5

Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

Microwave Rice Recipe

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Cook 10min
Total 10min
# of servings3
Serving Size:1 cup

Nutrition per serving

About Kevin - author


Hey, I'm Kevin

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

By experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I learned healthy eating is not boring! By making a few adjustments to my favorite foods, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my wellness goals while satisfying my desire for BANGIN food! 😅 Now I try to help people around the world realize that same level of freedom in eating regardless of budget. Welcome, let's #DemocratizeWellness together!