Korean-Style Rice on the Stove

Steaming boiled rice and steaming chopsticks

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Prep: 1 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 21 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
103 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 28mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 if your cooking equipment does not include this handy tool, the stovetop will be the method of choice for cooking this ubiquitous Asian ingredient. By following a few steps, you can learn to make Korean-style rice to perfection. All you need is a pot with a tight-fitting lid, good-quality short-grain white rice, and water. Make sure to rinse the rice first and use the correct rice-to-water ratio.

Once you master making this slightly sticky rice, you can incorporate it in a variety of Korean dishes, including soy and honey chicken, ground beef bowls, and kimbap rolls.


  • 2 cups short-grain white rice

  • 2 1/2 cups water (or about 1 inch above the rice level in the pot)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the rice in a colander and rinse under running water, shaking the colander as you rinse until water runs clear.

  3. Put the rinsed rice in a sturdy pot with a tight-fitting lid and cover with the 2 1/2 cups water. The water should be about 1 inch higher than the level of the rice, so add more if need be.

  4. Place the pot over high heat and bring the rice to a boil.

  5. Turn down the heat immediately to a low simmer and cover the pot.

  6. Without removing the lid, 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.

  7. Turn off the heat but leave the lid on. Allow the rice to continue steaming for 5 minutes off the heat.

  8. Taste the rice again and assess its texture, fluffing with a fork before serving.


  • When rinsing the rice, if you are finding it challenging to pour off the water without losing some grains, you can use a colander. If you'd like to monitor the cloudiness of the water, place the colander over a bowl; run the water over the rice, and dump out the bowl 2 or 3 times.
  • If the rice is soft and soggy, it is probably overcooked. There's really nothing you can do to salvage overcooked rice, but you can try again until you perfect your rice cooking skills.

What Makes the Rice Sticky?

Rice has two kinds of starch: amylose and amylopectin. Short-grain white rice is high in amylopectin (and low in amylose), giving the rice a sticky texture. When amylose is high and amylopectin is low (like in basmati), the rice doesn't stick together once cooked. Thus, it is important to use short-grain rice with high levels of amylopectin when making Korean-style rice.