How to Cook Korean-Style Rice on the Stove

Steaming boiled rice and steaming chopsticks
Doable / Getty Images
  • 21 mins
  • Prep: 1 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings (serves 4)
Ratings (20)

If you live in a typical Korean or Korean American household, the chances are high that you have a rice cooker in your kitchen, but a time may come that will require you to make rice on the stovetop. (Shudder to think!) If you're a rice devotee who's often pressed for time or on the go, it's dreadful to even imagine having to sweat over the stove top making large quantities of rice. You've likely grown way too accustomed to the modern convenience of the rice cooker meeting many of your dining needs.

Unfortunately, even a rice cooker has its limits. There are simply times when you do need to make rice on the stove. This includes if you need more rice than normal for a dinner party or if, God forbid, your rice cooker breaks down. In either of these cases, cooking rice on the stovetop is the only way out of this conundrum. And if you're cooking in someone else's kitchen, especially someone who isn't Korean or Korean American, then it's useful to know how to make rice the old-fashioned way.

With this simple guide, you can learn to make Korean-style rice to perfection. Fear not, you're as capable of a cook as a rice cooker is!

Note: If you're a diabetic watching your blood sugar or have other medical needs or dietary restrictions, you may swap out white rice for brown rice.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups white rice (short grain)
  • 2.5 cups water (or about 1 inch above the rice level)

How to Make It

  1. To begin, you'll need to rinse the rice with water and drain the cloudy water up to three or four times.
  2. After that, put the rinsed rice in a sturdy pot (that has a tight-fitting lid) and cover with water. The water should be about 1 inch higher than the level of the rice.
  3. Next, turn the heat to high and bring the rice to a boil.
  4. Then, turn down the heat immediately to a low simmer.
  5. Do not remove the lid, and continue to steam the rice for 12 to 15 minutes. If you're not sure how long to steam the rice, you can try taking a quick taste to assess its texture and doneness.
  1. Finally, you'll turn off the heat but leave the lid on. This will enable the rice to continue steaming for five minutes. Once you've waited for this amount of time, taste the rice again and assess its texture. Is it still brittle-tasting? It's likely undercooked unless you're using brown rice, which has a crunchy taste. On the other hand, if the rice tastes soft and soggy, you probably overcooked it. There's really nothing you can do to salvage overcooked rice, but you can try again until you perfect your rice cooking skills. Remember that practice makes perfect!
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 348
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrates 77 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 7 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)