How to Cook Instant Rice If You've Never Done It

Instant rice is pre-cooked rice that has been dehydrated. When you cook instant rice, you are really reconstituting it and warming it. Instant rice is a fast alternative to regular rice in dishes such as a stir fry, or in cases where cooking other types of rice isn't practical either because of time or lack of cooking equipment, such as for backpackers or college students without access to a stove.

Stove Top

    Add the water and the salt to a saucepan and heat over high heat on the stove. Wait for the water to come to a rolling boil.

    Pour the rice into the saucepan and cover it.

    Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rice to steep, covered, for five minutes. When the rice is ready, it will have absorbed the water and have a fluffy texture.

    Fluff the rice with a fork and serve the rice hot.


    Pour the water in a microwave-safe bowl and add the salt.

    Heat the water uncovered in the microwave for three to five minutes, or until the water comes to a boil.

    Add the rice and cover the bowl. Allow the rice to steep for five minutes. When the rice is ready it will be fluffy and the water will be absorbed.

    Fluff the rice with a fork and serve the rice hot.

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 cups instant rice
    • Saucepan with lid or microwave-safe bowl with a lid
    • Fork


    • If you have access to a stove, you may add additional ingredients, such as red or black beans or a healthy stir fry. If you are on the trail or in a dorm or hotel room, you may add cold ingredients, such as assorted nuts, dried fruit or soy sauce.

      You can also make instant rice while camping. Heat the water in a fire-safe saucepan over your campfire and proceed with the rest of the instructions.

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