How to Cook Jasmine Rice in a Microwave: Easy Steps & Tips

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine the delicate, floral aroma of jasmine rice wafting through your kitchen, but without the hassle of pots and stovetops. Cooking jasmine rice in the microwave isn’t just convenient; it’s a game changer for those busy evenings when you need a quick, yet satisfying side dish. Originating from Thailand, this fragrant rice variety is beloved for its slightly sweet flavor and silky texture, making it a perfect accompaniment to a myriad of dishes.

Whether you’re pairing it with a spicy curry or a simple stir-fry, mastering the art of microwaving jasmine rice will save you time and energy. This method ensures you’ll end up with fluffy, perfectly cooked grains every time. Let’s dive into how you can achieve this with just a microwave, some water, and a few minutes of your day.

Equipment You’ll Need

To successfully cook jasmine rice in the microwave, you’ll need a few basic kitchen items. These tools ensure a hassle-free cooking experience and help you achieve that perfectly fluffy rice.

Microwave-Safe Bowl and Measurements

Select a large microwave-safe bowl, ideally with a capacity of about 2 to 3 quarts. This size allows room for the rice to expand without spilling over. You will also need a measuring cup to accurately measure both the rice and water you’ll be using. The proportions are crucial for achieving the ideal texture in your jasmine rice.

Kitchen Tools

Besides the microwave-safe bowl and measuring cup, ensure you have a fork or a rice paddle. This will be used to fluff the rice once it’s cooked, helping to separate the grains gently and preventing them from turning mushy. Additionally, a kitchen towel or a microwave-safe plate is needed to cover the bowl during cooking. This helps to simulate the steam environment of a traditional rice cooker.

Ingredients for Jasmine Rice

To kickstart your microwave jasmine rice cooking journey, gather a few simple ingredients. Ensure you have everything on hand for a hassle-free experience that results in delicious, fluffy rice.

Rice to Water Ratio

The key to perfect microwave jasmine rice is getting the rice to water ratio right. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 1 3/4 cups of water

First, rinse your jasmine rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and helps prevent the rice from becoming gummy. Add the rinsed rice and water to a microwave-safe bowl that’s large enough to allow the rice to expand.

Optional Ingredients for Flavor

Enhancing your jasmine rice with a few optional ingredients can elevate the dish from simple to spectacular. Consider adding any of the following to the rice before cooking:

  • A pinch of salt
  • A tablespoon of butter or a drizzle of olive oil
  • A bay leaf or a few cardamom pods for a subtle aroma

Introduce these ingredients to the rice and water mixture before placing it in the microwave. These additions infuse the rice with delightful flavors and aromas as it cooks, making it a perfect complement to a variety of dishes.

Preparing the Rice

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients and understand the essential rice-to-water ratio, it’s time to prepare the jasmine rice perfectly in your microwave. This step is pivotal to achieving the fluffy and aromatic finish that makes jasmine rice so delightful.

Rinsing the Rice

Begin by measuring the amount of jasmine rice you need. Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and run cold water over it. Stir the rice gently with your hand or a spoon as the water pours over it. This process is essential to remove any excess starch from the surface of the rice, which helps prevent clumping and stickiness. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear, which typically takes about 1 to 2 minutes. Allow all the water to drain completely to ensure your rice doesn’t become too soggy.

Soaking for Enhanced Texture

For an even better texture, soaking the rice before cooking is a splendid idea. After rinsing, transfer the rice to a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with water. Let the rice soak for about 15 to 30 minutes. Soaking the jasmine rice like this helps the grains expand to a more uniform length, which aids in achieving a wonderfully soft yet separate grain structure upon cooking. After soaking, drain the water using your sieve. Your rice is now ready for cooking in the microwave, primed to deliver the best texture and flavor.

Cooking Jasmine Rice in the Microwave

After preparing your jasmine rice by rinsing, soaking, and draining, you’re ready to move on to the actual cooking in the microwave. This method is not only quick but also preserves the rice’s delightful aroma and texture.

Setting the Timer and Power Levels

To begin cooking your jasmine rice in the microwave, you need to set the appropriate power levels and timing. Place your prepped rice into a microwave-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid. For every cup of rice you have, add 1.5 cups of water. This ratio ensures the rice has enough moisture to cook without becoming too wet.

Set your microwave to 50% power. Cooking the rice on full power can cause it to cook unevenly and become mushy. At 50% power, the rice steams more gently, providing a fluffier finish. For an average microwave, set the timer for 10 minutes. After this initial phase, let the rice sit in the microwave for an additional 10 minutes without opening the door. This allows it to finish cooking in its own steam, solidifying the perfect texture.

Cooking Phases Description

First Phase: During the first 10 minutes of cooking at reduced power, the water gradually heats and begins to penetrate the grains. The rice absorbs water slowly, which is crucial for retaining its distinctive texture and aroma. The lid on the dish ensures that steam is trapped inside, providing an ideal cooking environment.

Resting Phase: After the microwave timer beeps, do not rush to open the microwave door. The next crucial phase is the resting time where the rice continues to cook in the trapped steam. During these 10 minutes, the grains become fully tender and fluff up as they soak up the remaining moisture. This final resting period helps prevent the rice from becoming sticky or overcooked.

By following these steps, you should achieve perfectly cooked jasmine rice that is fluffy and aromatic, enhancing any dish you pair it with. Remember to gently fluff the rice with a fork before serving to separate the grains and optimize the texture.

Finishing Touches

After your rice has completed its cooking cycle in the microwave, a few simple steps can elevate it from good to great.

Fluffing and Resting the Rice

Once you’ve allowed the rice to steam in the microwave, let it sit for about 5 minutes. This waiting period helps to distribute moisture evenly, ensuring that each grain of rice becomes perfectly tender. After these few minutes, take a fork and gently fluff the rice. This action separates the grains, preventing them from clumping and sticking together. Fluffing also helps to release any remaining steam, promoting a light and airy texture that is ideal for jasmine rice.

Adding Optional Ingredients

To enhance the flavour and aroma of your jasmine rice, consider adding a dash of optional ingredients after cooking. A pat of butter or a drizzle of sesame oil can introduce an appetizing richness, while a sprinkle of chopped herbs like cilantro or scallions adds freshness and a pop of color. For a subtle aromatic touch, stir in a bay leaf or a cardamom pod during the resting phase — just remember to remove any whole spices before serving. These simple additions make your jasmine rice an irresistible side dish that complements any main course beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

After mastering the art of making fluffy, aromatic jasmine rice in the microwave, the next exciting step is serving it. This staple grain pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, elevating every meal with its subtle fragrance and soft texture.

Pairing with Meals

Jasmine rice is incredibly versatile, making it a perfect accompaniment to numerous cuisines. For a classic Asian-inspired meal, serve your jasmine rice alongside stir-fried vegetables, grilled teriyaki chicken, or beef. The rice’s subtle sweetness complements the bold flavors of Asian sauces and spices beautifully.

If you’re leaning towards a lighter meal, pair the rice with steamed fish and a splash of soy sauce or a squeeze of lemon for added zest. Jasmine rice also supports the rich, spicy flavors of curry dishes, whether it’s a robust Indian curry or a creamy Thai green curry. The rice acts as a soothing balance to the heat and depth of spices in curry.

Not limited to just Asian-inspired meals, jasmine rice can also serve as a base for tropical dishes. Top it with jerk chicken or combine it with black beans and cilantro for a Caribbean twist. Even simple, everyday ingredients like baked vegetables or a sunny-side-up egg can transform a bowl of jasmine rice into a comforting meal.

For an elegant touch, mold the rice into a round shape using a small bowl or a cup before placing it on the plates. This simple presentation trick adds visual appeal to your dish, making it as delightful to look at as it is to eat.

Storage Tips

Proper storage extends the shelf life of your microwave-cooked jasmine rice while maintaining its delightful fluffy texture and aromatic flavor.

Refrigerating Leftovers

To refrigerate your leftover jasmine rice, ensure that it cools down to room temperature within two hours of cooking. This reduces the risk of bacterial growth. Spoon the rice into a shallow, airtight container or a resealable plastic bag to maximize freshness. Flatten the rice to remove excess air before sealing the container. Properly stored, your jasmine rice will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, simply reheat the rice in the microwave until it’s hot throughout, adding a tablespoon of water per cup of rice to help restore its moist texture.

Freezing Cooked Rice

Freezing jasmine rice is a great option if you’re looking to extend its usability beyond a few days. Cool the rice as directed above and portion it into serving sizes that will suit your future needs. Place each portion in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label these with the date of freezing as frozen rice maintains best quality for up to six months. Thaw the rice in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to use it, and reheat it in the microwave, sprinkling a little water to help refresh its texture. This method is perfect for ensuring you always have tasty jasmine rice on hand for quick meals or side dishes.


Cooking jasmine rice in the microwave is a breeze once you’ve mastered the simple steps outlined above. By following the tips on preparation and storage you can enjoy perfectly cooked rice that complements any meal. Whether you’re serving it alongside a spicy curry or mixing it into a fresh salad the aromatic qualities of jasmine rice make it a delightful choice. Don’t forget to experiment with adding different ingredients to suit your taste and make every meal a bit more special. With these skills your jasmine rice will turn out fluffy and flavorful every time making your dining experience wonderfully satisfying.

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