This guide will show you how to use your rice cooker to make perfect parboiled rice. In addition to the water ratio, this guide will teach you about what makes parboiled rice different than other kinds of rice. You'll also learn nutrition facts, storage tips, and recipes to use with your parboiled rice. Let's dive in!
Rice cookers are appliances specifically designed to make cooking rice super easy. Most people use their rice cookers to cook brown rice or white rice, but you can use it for any type of rice, parboiled rice included!
I spent a lot of years mistakenly believing that parboiled rice, also sometimes called converted rice, was the same thing as Minute or instant rice. This is not so my friends! Let's find out what it really is.
What is parboiled rice?
All varieties of rice start out as a grain with an inedible hull or husk on the outside. When rice grains are harvested that husk is removed and it either becomes whole grain brown rice, or another layer is removed and it becomes white rice.
Parboiled rice grains, however, are partially boiled in their inedible husks before they are removed. This was originally done to make it easier to remove that tough outer layer. Later it was discovered that parboiling rice actually increased the nutritional value of rice grains. Parboiled rice is also very fluffy and doesn't stick together, which makes it great for pilafs or people who just don't like sticky rice. I think it's very similar to regular white rice, but the grains just seem more puffy.
Just like all varieties of rice, there are various ways to prepare this grain, like on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot (aka electric pressure cooker), or in a rice cooker. Different cooking methods require different water ratios to make perfect rice. Today we're focusing on the rice cooker method, which happens to be my favorite cooking method.
The thing I love about using a rice cooker is that it's pretty impossible to burn your rice. You can just turn it on and walk away!
If you know me and my blog, you'll know I love shopping in the bulk bins of the grocery store (because it's cheaper and better for the environment). You'll most likely be able to find parboiled rice in the bulk bins. Sometimes it's listed as "converted rice" but it is the same thing. I recommend looking for it there.
Let's get started!
All you need for this recipe are two simple ingredients!
- parboiled rice
- pinch of salt (optional)
There are several ways you can add more flavor to your rice, but I purposely left this recipe very plain so that it could be used with pretty much any recipe. Check out the substitutions section for flavor-adding ideas.
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Start by rinsing your uncooked rice under cool water. This removes any dust or extra starch that has built up during storage.
Add 1 cup of rice and 1 ½ cups of water to the bowl of your rice cooker. (You can cook more than 1 cup at a time, just keep the water ratio at 1:1.5).
Place the lid on the rice cooker and press the button to start the cooking process. If your rice cooker has different settings, use the "white rice" setting.
Once the rice cooker has indicated that it is done, your rice is ready to be fluffed up and served! Great job, you just made perfect parboiled rice!
Here are some ideas on how to jazz up your rice.
- Broth - instead of water, you can use vegetable, beef, or chicken broth to add more flavor.
- Spices - you can add a bit of spice, such as garlic or cumin, to the water at the beginning as well. Make sure the spices complement the dish you are serving the rice with.
- Salt, Pepper, and Butter- Once your converted rice is done cooking, adding a tablespoon of butter and a little salt and pepper makes it taste AMAZING! You could use olive oil instead of butter.
- Soy Sauce- drizzle a little on top of your cooked rice for an Asian flavor.
You really don't need a fancy rice cooker to make delicious and perfect brown jasmine rice. In fact, I've been using the most basic model for the last 15 years and it's still rockin'!
Just in case you are in the market for a new rice cooker, here is my favorite, as well as some highly recommended models from around the web.
I also recommend using a fine mesh strainer to rinse your uncooked rice. It's great that the holes are too small to let the rice grains slip through. Also, if you are purchasing a new one, buy a metal one if you can! Whenever I've had plastic mesh strainers, they always tear or melt in the dishwasher.
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Just like regular rice, leftover parboiled rice should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The longer it is stored, the more dried out the grains will become, so I recommend reusing them as soon as possible.
The simplest way to reheat your rice is in the microwave. You'll want to use a microwave-safe container that has a lid. Add the rice and break up any large chunks of rice with a fork. Add a few sprinkles of water to help create steam and rehydrate the grains.
Cover the container and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the lid, (watch out for steam) and test the grains. If they are still cold or dry repeat until you're satisfied.
Compared to traditional white rice, parboiled rice is a healthier option because it has fewer calories and carbs, while also having more fiber and protein. Studies also show that parboiled rice has a lower impact on blood sugar levels than both white and brown rice. This makes it a great choice for people with diabetes.
Check out the full nutrition label below.
- Every electric rice cooker is different, and if yours has a lot of advanced settings, you should consult your user's manual and follow any specific instructions it lists before following this recipe.
- Because each rice cooker is different, cook time may vary.
- Oftentimes rice cookers will come with a measuring cup, but they can vary in size. I recommend using a standard measuring cup to measure out the rice and a standard liquid measuring cup for the water for best results.
- One cup of uncooked rice usually makes about 2 cups of cooked rice.
- The average recommended serving size is ½ cup of cooked rice per person.
Yes! You can use a rice cooker to cook parboiled rice. Just follow the simple steps on the recipe card listed below or the instructions that came with your rice cooker.
Each rice cooker works a little bit differently, so cooking time may vary. But for me, it takes about 30 minutes to cook 1 cup of parboiled rice in my rice cooker.
Another thing to remember is that the more rice you make, the longer it may take to cook when using a rice cooker.
Different types of rice require different amounts of water to cook them to perfection. Parboiled rice does need a bit more than certain types of rice, like long-grain white rice, but less water than brown rice.
How much water is needed also depends on how you like the texture of your finished rice. If you like softer rice, you should add more water, while adding less rice would give you firmer rice.
The water ratio I prefer is 1 ½ cups water to 1 cup rice. If you like an even softer rice, you can do 2 parts water to 1 part rice.
Parboiled rice is the perfect side dish to so many recipes. Here are some of my favorites.
Want to cook a different kind of rice? Here are some more rice recipes and tutorials.
I hope this rice cooker parboiled rice tutorial was helpful to you! Help me out by giving this recipe a rating!
Thanks for reading!
How to make parboiled rice in a rice cooker
- 1 cup rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- pinch of salt optional
- Start by rinsing your uncooked rice under cool water. This removes any dust or extra starch that has built up during storage
- Add 1 cup of rice and 1 ½ cups of water, plus a pinch of salt, to the bowl of your rice cooker*.
- Place the lid on the rice cooker and press the button to start the cooking process. If your rice cooker has different settings, use the "white rice" setting.
- Once the rice cooker has indicated that it is done, your rice is ready to be fluffed up and served! Great job, you just made perfect parboiled rice!