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How to cook rice in a vegetable steamer

Updated July 20, 2017

There are several ways to cook rice. The most popular way is the one most prone to complications: boiling water and rice, lowering the heat to a simmer, leaving the rice covered and not opening the lid until the time is up. Since different varieties of rice cook for varying amounts of time and require different amounts of water, this method can lead to soggy, dried-out or burnt rice. Rice cookers and microwaves can also be used to cook rice, but one underused method is to steam the rice in a vegetable steamer. You don't have to measure the amount of water precisely, and you can check the rice's progress without wrecking it.

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  1. Soak the rice in water for about half an hour, then drain through a fine sieve. Be sure the holes are smaller than your grains of rice, or you will lose the rice.

  2. Put the rice in the vegetable steamer.

  3. Bring a pot of about 3 inches of water to a boil.

  4. Place the steamer over the boiling water, cover and cook for the same amount of time you would if you were simmering: 20 minutes for white rice and 45 minutes for brown rice. Make sure that the rice does not touch the water.

  5. Check the rice at the end of the time to make sure it is done; if not, steam for longer, but also check that the water has not run out, or you will burn the pot.

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Things You'll Need

  • fine sieve
  • steamer

About the Author

Judy Antell was the editor of Big Apple Parent for 13 years and continues to write for the monthly publication. Antell has been published in "The New York Times," "Parents" magazine and on numerous websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and a Master of Arts degree in literature and drama from Washington University.

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