Need to know how much rice per person? If you’re having guests over for dinner and are serving rice, this calculator will help you figure out how much rice you’ll need to prepare, both cooked and uncooked amounts. The calculator will help you with figuring out the number of servings for just a few guests, or 10, 20, 50+ or more people.

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What Is The Average Serving Size Of Rice?

For reference, the per person average serving size of cooked rice as part of a main dish is one cup of cooked rice, and 1/2 cup of cooked rice if used as a side dish. So for the average meal, you would need one third cup of raw, uncooked rice per person.

Rice is always a good option for a meal. According to the University of Hawaii, Americans eat 26 pounds of rice each year; whereas Asians each almost 300 pounds each per year.

How Many People Will One Cup Of Uncooked Rice Serve?

One cup of raw uncooked rice would be enough to serve 3 people after cooking.

How Much Water To Add Cook To Rice?

The amount of water to use for uncooked rice is largely dependent on the type of rice you are using and your cooking method. This calculator is based on using white long grain rice cooked over a stovetop, which is usually ready within 15-20 minutes. For long grain rice, the standard water to rice ratio is 2:1. That results in 3 cups of cooked rice when using 1 cup of raw, uncooked rice to two cups water.

How To Cook Rice On A Stovetop

The Science Behind Cooking Rice

There’s an excellent article on Science Meets Food about the science behind cooking rice. In this article, they explain that rice starches need both heat and moisture to gelatinize. The right amount of heat causes the starches in the rice to break down the starch’s molecular bonds, or separate enough, to then allow water absorption.

If you stir rice after the gelatinization process is complete, or if you cook rice too long, the result will be “pasting”. Pasting occurs after the rice starches have fully absorbed water and begin to break down further and release enzymes. Additional cooking or stirring after the rice has fully absorbed water causes the swollen starches in the rice to break down further, which gives the rice and any remaining liquids in the pot a sticky or mushy consistency.

What You Add To Your Water Matters

Adding salt to your water actually reduces the temperature the rice starches need for gelatinization; that’s a good thing especially during the simmering process.

Adding sugar to your water increases the temperature requirement of the rice starches, as well as the time the rice needs to cook properly.

Adding fats (milk or butter) to the water acts like a film on the rice grains and will slow down water absorption, which will require a longer cooking time before the rice is ready.

Should You Rinse The Rice Before Cooking?

If you are using enriched rice you probably shouldn’t rinse your rice, otherwise you are rinsing off some of the added nutrients. This coating of added nutrients is added to rice to make up for the nutrients that were lost during rice milling process. Although, the FAO suggests only 10% of the coating is lost during a normal washing prior to cooking due to a final coating that is applied.

Rinsing rice prior to cooking does help remove the extra starch powders on the surface of the rice and will reduce the overall starchiness, so that the individual grains are less likely to stick together.

From a health perspective, the FDA has cited studies that showed that rinsing rice was said to remove up to 15% of the arsenic content in rice.

How To Cook The Rice On A Stove

The secret to light, fluffy rice is to cook the rice in a way that quickly boils the rice to a high enough temperature to allow the starch molecules to break down and separate, and then simmering the rice at a lower temperature long enough to allow the rice to evenly absorb moisture. Containing the heat and moisture with a lid during the simmering process is important; think of it as a steaming process. You don’t have pre-rinse the rice, but we always do.

The salted water should be boiling before you add the rice.Boil the rice for an additional 2-3 minutes after the water returns to a full rolling boil and you can see white starch bubbles popping all over the surface of the water.Immediately reduce the heat, cover with a lid, slide the pot off the heat until it stops boiling, and then return the rice to continue cooking at just under a low simmer (not bubbling) for about 10 to 15 more minutes.Total cooking time should be between 15 to 20 minutes.During the simmer, don’t lift the pot lid to check the rice until a just a few minutes before it should be ready. Otherwise you will be letting moisture and steam escape.Don’t stir, fluff or season the rice until just before serving.

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Cooking Rice For Fried Rice Recipes

The secret to using cooked rice for fried rice recipes is to let the cooked rice rest in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using it to your recipe. When letting the rice “rest” in the refrigerator, the starch molecules actually contract closer together (after having been separated during the boiling process). The rice doesn’t lose moisture; it just becomes firmer because the starch molecules are closer together. Firming up rice by letting it rest reduces the rice’s tendency to paste (as described previously) when it is reheated, resulting in a lighter, less sticky fried rice.