Reviving Undercooked Rice: Mastering the Microwave Method

Fixing Undercooked Rice in the Microwave: A Comprehensive Guide

A staple in many cultures around the world, rice is known for its versatility and ease of preparation. However, it can be frustrating when rice comes out undercooked, making it tough and unpleasant to eat. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to saving undercooked rice using a common kitchen appliance: the microwave. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of fixing undercooked rice in the microwave, along with some helpful tips and recommendations.

I. Understanding Undercooked Rice

Undercooked rice is a common cooking mishap that can occur when rice is removed from the heat source prematurely. It can result in rice that is hard, crunchy, or unevenly cooked. While overcooked rice can be mushy and difficult to salvage, undercooked rice can be corrected using the microwave method.

II. Correcting Undercooked Rice in the Microwave

To fix undercooked rice in the microwave, follow these simple steps:

  1. Transfer the rice: If the rice was cooked on the stovetop, carefully empty it into a microwave-safe bowl. If it was originally cooked in a microwave-safe bowl, you can leave it there.
  2. Add water: To provide additional moisture, add extra water to the rice in the bowl. The exact amount of water may vary, but a general rule of thumb is to add about 1/4 cup of water for each cup of undercooked rice.
  3. Cover the rice: Place a paper towel over the rice bowl. The paper towel should be slightly damp, but not dripping wet. This will act as a steaming mechanism to continue cooking the rice.
  4. Microwave: Place the bowl of rice with the paper towel in the microwave and cook on high power for up to 2 minutes. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the amount of rice and the wattage of your microwave.
  5. Caution: Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave as it will be hot. Take care when removing the paper towel as it will also be very hot.
  6. Fluff and serve: Gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains and distribute the moisture evenly. Your previously undercooked rice is now ready to serve.

III. Advantages of using the microwave method

There are several advantages to fixing undercooked rice in the microwave:

  1. Saves time: The microwave method allows you to quickly salvage undercooked rice without having to start the cooking process from scratch.
  2. Moisture retention: By adding water and covering the rice with a damp paper towel, the microwave method ensures that the rice absorbs moisture, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
  3. Even cooking: The steaming action of the paper towel helps distribute heat evenly throughout the rice, ensuring that all grains are thoroughly cooked.

IV. Microwave Rice Steamer

While the paper towel method can effectively fix undercooked rice, investing in a microwave rice steamer can improve the overall cooking experience. These specialized kitchen tools offer convenience and improved rice cooking results. Here are three highly recommended microwave rice steamers:

  1. Progressive International Microwave Rice Steamer: This 4-piece set allows you to make perfectly steamed rice in minutes. It comes with a locking lid, rice paddle, measuring cup and cooking instructions. The non-stick surface makes it easy to clean, and the dishwasher-safe material adds to its convenience.
  2. Homestyle Microwave Rice Steamer: This portable and efficient rice steamer optimizes heat distribution and gradually releases steam for evenly cooked rice. Made of BPA-free, durable plastic, it is dishwasher safe and comes with a rice spoon for added convenience.
  3. New Tupperware microwave rice cooker: Trusted by many, this rice cooker produces consistently delicious rice. It is mess-free, easy to clean and can be used not only to cook rice but also to store and reheat leftovers.

V. Common rice cooking mistakes

To avoid undercooked rice in the first place, it is important to be aware of common mistakes and how to avoid them:

  1. Burned bottom: Cooking rice on high heat can result in a burned bottom. To avoid this, cook rice on the lowest setting for the last portion of cooking and use a heavy-bottomed pot to distribute heat evenly.
  2. Mushy rice: Using the wrong ratio of rice to water can result in mushy rice. Follow the recommended guidelines for the appropriate water-to-rice ratio based on the type of rice you are cooking.
  3. Crisp rice: Make sure the lid is tightly closed during cooking to prevent steam from escaping. Placing a kitchen towel between the pot and lid can help trap steam and prevent crunchy rice.
  4. Lumpy rice: Rinse uncooked white rice before cooking to remove excess starch, which can cause the rice to become clumpy when cooked.

VI. Conclusion

Microwaving undercooked rice is a simple and effective way to salvage a cooking disaster. By adding extra water and using the microwave’s steaming action, you can turn undercooked rice into a fluffy and delicious side dish. In addition, investing in a microwave rice steamer can further enhance your rice cooking experience. Being aware of common rice cooking mistakes can help you avoid undercooked rice in the first place. With these tips and techniques, you can confidently cook perfect rice every time and enjoy the satisfaction of a well-cooked meal.


Can undercooked rice be reheated in the microwave?

Yes, undercooked rice can be easily repaired using the microwave method. By adding water and taking advantage of the microwave’s steaming action, you can rescue undercooked rice and achieve a fluffy texture.

How much water should I add to undercooked rice in the microwave?

A general rule of thumb is to add about 1/4 cup of water for each cup of undercooked rice. However, the exact amount may vary depending on personal preference and the amount of rice being cooked.

Why should I cover the rice with a damp paper towel?

Covering the rice with a damp paper towel serves as a steaming mechanism. It helps distribute heat evenly, allowing the rice to absorb moisture and cook more thoroughly.

How long should I cook undercooked rice in the microwave?

Cooking time may vary depending on factors such as the wattage of your microwave and the amount of rice. Start by microwaving on high power for 1-2 minutes and adjust as needed. It’s important to check the rice regularly to avoid overcooking.

Can I use the microwave method for different types of rice?

Yes, the microwave method can be used for various types of rice, including white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice. Adjust the cooking time and amount of water according to the type of rice you are cooking.

Are there alternatives to microwaving undercooked rice?

If you prefer not to use the microwave method, you can transfer the undercooked rice to a saucepan, add water, and continue cooking on the stove until the rice reaches the desired texture. However, the microwave method is generally faster and more convenient.