What's the proper ratio of water to jasmine rice in traditional stovetop method?

I have tried 1.5 parts water to 1 part rice, and for my taste the rice still is on the mushy side. Recommendations? I am using the typical stovetop method: rice and water together, cover, bring to boil, reduce to low for 20 mins or so. And please don't tell me to buy a rice cooker. I'm in an NYC apartment kitchen!

the professor


Nora R. October 1, 2020
Old post, but no one seems to have the "right" answer

1. Wash the rice. If not it can seem mushy/sticky because of the starchy rice flour coating the rice.
2. 2:1 or even 1.5:1 water to rice is too much for jasmine rice. Try 1.25:1 or maybe 1.333:1 depending on if it's "new crop" or "old crop". Even as low as 1:1 if you are going to directly use it in fried rice. You can go with 1.5:1 or so for something like basmati that is older/dryer. Very young rice (e.g. sushi rice) is cooked at more like 9:10 water to rice
3. The technique of the original poster is fine. The precise timing is not super critical, 15-20 min is about right
Margie January 4, 2014
Okay here's my way(I cook 3 c of rice, 2 times a week): 3 cups rice rinsed to get off some of the extra starch. Put in pot with some vegetable oil and cook until translucent. Add 4 1/2 cups water. boil, then cover. Cook on low for 17 min. Off heat. Take off lid and put two clean dish towels over the top, and then put the lid back on. Wait 10 min and repeat if necessary. The towels absorb the excess moisture and help the rice dry out; hate sticky rice here.
LeBec F. January 2, 2014
btw, "less than twice" means, for 1 cup rice,about 1 3/4 cup liquid.
LeBec F. January 2, 2014
wow, i am amazed at all the different answers. i have been cooking basmati rice and jasmine rice for 45 years(though i have changed to no white rice except when out for sushi.) I do not rinse my rice, contrary to many. I heat canola oil and/or butter til hot, add the rice and toast, stirring often, a good 5 minutes probably, til it starts smelling toasty. Then i add less than twice water or stock to rice, including kosher salt, immediately add a lid, turn down to simmer. check after 15 minutes or so. cook til holes appear in top of rice and no liquid remains. if i have time i saute minced onion or shallots in that oil/butter before adding the rice.
p.s.cooked rice freezes well. TrJ has a great frozen product of packets of mixed Multigrains including Brown rice, and other grains. LOVE it. chewy, nutty, no fuss, no salt.
BhSimon January 2, 2014
The ‘knuckle’ method is incredibly unreliable and should not be considered good advice. If you are cooking for only one or two people, the level of rice in the cooker may be only 1/8-inch (3 mm) deep and you will need a ratio of 1:5 water-to-rice to reach the knuckle. It is an incredibly imprecise method which will infrequently render good results. Use a 1:2 ratio of water-to-rice for jasmine and 2:3 for basmati. Just use a 1/4-cup measure for each person. If you are doing jasmine rice for 2 people, for instance, use 2 scoops of jasmine rice to 4 scoops of water.
Sam1148 June 17, 2011
I have a fuzzy logic rice cooker. But I really liked my old 'one button' Panasonic better.
The fuzzy logic one doesn't do smaller quantities of rice as well...so, I've been going back to stove top method for small quantities.

The ratio of 2:1 is kinda 'fuzzy' too....as it doesn't scale well for smaller servings of rice.
The knuckle method: I"m not sure of the science..but the concept of scalable ratios might be in play.
Maybe for larger quantities for feeding 6 or so people, or making a large pot. But for 1/2 cup..I've never had problems with looking at the rice at 15 mins and deciding---okay a bit more water if it needed it--and steaming it then turning down the heat again.
(I'll also have to add I don't have a gas stove, but a flattop electric).

Sushi rice---which is pretty picky player to get just right I stay to specs and use the fuzzy logic cooker.

Now, remember I'm speaking from the perspective of making rice for 2 people and not larger quantities for resturants or large families.

Greenstuff June 17, 2011
Thank goodness for fuzzy logic. I have forgotten all these ratios. BUT...if someone could explain to me why that knuckle method works, I will bow down.
Panfusine June 17, 2011
1 cup rice to 2 cups water, like Basmati. you may want to add lightly toast the rice prior to cooking to keep the grains separate. It may be an over kill, but adding a couple of tsp of oil prior to boiling helps in this process as well.
pierino June 17, 2011
This is where I politely disagree with my friend Sam1148. Rice is not forgiving, it's demanding. For jasmine rice I use a 2 to 1 ratio, liquid to rice. If you are not using a fuzzy logic type rice cooker, well then don't even think about lifting the lid while it's cooking. It should take 20 minutes (you are allowed to look in after 18). Once the liquid has boiled it should be set at the lowest simmer your stove top can hold. If you have an electric cooktop, well may God forgive you.
Sam1148 June 17, 2011
Use the 'knuckle method'. Put rice in the pot. and put your index finger on the dry rice, just lightly touching the dry rice. Add water until it reaches the first 'knuckle join' of the finger.

Don't be shy about adding some water near the end if it needs it. Or leaving the cover off if you've added too much.
The ratios for rice aren't fixed..they change depending on the quantity of the rice.
If you're making small quantities of rice (1/2 cup of dried or so)...use slightly less water.
You WILL fail a few times until you get the feel of it. When I learned to cooked rice, the first thing to do is forget the box specs on the ratios..and go by trial and error for your equipment, brand of rice etc...and add more water if needed after time is up..and steam again. Rice is pretty forgiving.
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