White cooked rice garnished with parsley in two red bowls.

How Much Does Rice Expand?

Rice is a versatile food choice, traditionally incorporated in many different cuisines. And being one of the world’s most-produced grains, rice has thousands of varieties worldwide. You have Asian rice such as jasmine rice, basmati rice, tinawon rice, black rice, and African rice like red rice, brown rice, and purple rice. 

The different varieties of rice come in different colors, lengths, sizes, and even flavors. But rice grains are typically small and expand when cooked. The question is, how much does rice expand? 

How Much Does Rice Expand

When you cook rice, you notice how it does not weigh or measure the same way as it did beforehand. That’s because rice expands when cooked. But how much it expands depends on the type of rice you are cooking. 

A scoop of white rice grain in hand.

Barley

Adding four cups of water to a cup of barley and cooking it for 45-50 minutes will yield you at least four cups of barley.

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is prevalent in India. Adding one ¾ cup of water in a cup (240 mL) of basmati rice and cooking it for 15 minutes will make it expand. And you will yield about three cups of cooked basmati rice.

Black Japonica

Cooking a cup of black japonica with two cups of water will get you three cups of cooked japonica rice in 50 minutes.

Brown rice

Adding two or two ½ cups of water in a cup of brown rice and cooking it for 45-50 minutes will get you at least three-four cups of cooked brown rice.

Jasmine rice

Most commonly used in Thai dishes, Jasmine rice creates a floral aroma. A cup of jasmine rice with two cups of water cooked for 15 minutes will yield you at least three cups of cooked rice.

Parboiled rice

Adding two or two ½ cups of water in a cup of parboiled rice and cooking it for 20-25 minutes will get you three-four cups of cooked rice. 

Quinoa

A portion of Quinoa with Mango slices in a bowl.

One cup of quinoa with two cups of water cooked for 15 minutes will result in you having three-four cups of cooked quinoa.

Sushi rice (Calrose)

Adding one ¾ cup of water to one cup of sushi rice and cooking it for 18-20 minutes will get you at least two ½ cups of cooked sushi rice perfect for a jap-themed meal.

Sticky rice

A cup of sticky rice cooked for 15 minutes with two cups of water will get you about three cups of cooked sticky rice. 

Texmati rice

Water measuring one ¾ cups added to 1 cup of texmati rice and cooked for 15-20 minutes will yield at least three cups of cooked rice for you to enjoy.

White medium grain rice

Adding one ½ cups of water to a cup of white medium grain rice and cooking it for 15 minutes will provide at least three cups of cooked rice.

White long-grain rice

A cup of white long-grain added with one ¾ or two cups of water and cooked for 15 minutes will yield three cups of cooked rice.

Wild rice

Cooking one cup of wild rice will get you three cups of cooked rice. 

Reason Why Rice Expands

Rice, along with potatoes, bread, pasta, and cereals, is one of the starchy foods you consume that plays a critical role in your diet. Rice granules are around 2μm in size. And starch molecules in one grain of rice are arranged in a semi-crystalline state.

Fluffy cooked white rice.

Preparing and cooking rice involves washing it and putting it on top of your stove to be cooked. When you heat rice, the starch becomes soluble in water, moving the threads and tangling them up. They then swell and burst, losing their semi-crystalline state. 

Then, amylose, a polymer-linked sugar chain, leaches out and forms a network that lets it soak up the water and expand more in size. That’s why your rice does not stay the same size when cooked. 

Converting Uncooked Rice to Cooked Rice

Cooking rice is not rocket science. However, there is no one-size-fits-all method of doing so. There are many ways you can convert uncooked rice to cooked rice, depending on what you want for your food. Here are ways you can cook your rice

Transfering white rice to a bowl using a spatula.

Simmering or Steaming

Measure your rice to liquid ratio and bring the measured liquid to a boil. Then, add your measured rice, disperse the grains by stirring, and lower the heat temperature to a simmer. Cover and let it simmer until rice becomes tender and absorbs the liquid. 

After, remove from heat and let it stand to cool for five minutes. Remove the lid or cover and use a fork to fluff the cooked rice to release steam. 

Boiling

Another way to cook your rice is through the boiling process. Bring a large pot of measured salted water to a boil before adding your measured rice. Disperse the rice grains by stirring them, then cover and bring the rice to a boil until tender. Drain the rice carefully. 

Pilaf Method

For the Pilaf method, you will need to saute onion in oil or butter before adding rice. Saute until lightly toasted, then add hot liquid and stir to disperse. Please bring it to a simmer before you cover until rice is tender and absorbs the liquid.

Then, remove and let it stand to cool for five minutes before removing the cover and fluffing the rice with a fork.

Risotto

To cook Risotto, saute onion in the pan with butter and stir in the rice to coat. Pour wine and let it simmer until it absorbs all the liquid while stirring often. Add in the stock in small increments, just enough to cover it.

Stir with each addition to let it absorb before adding the next. And before the last increment is absorbed, add and stir in the herbs, vegetables, poached seafood, grated cheese, or butter.

Paella

In a wide, shallow pan, saute your meat and vegetables before adding rice and seasoning. Stir until it becomes aromatic, and add liquid. Bring the rice to a simmer.

Then cover until it is barely tender. Then mix in your seafood and other additional vegetables before covering and cooking until the seafood becomes firm and rice forms a light crush at the bottom of the pan. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What happens if you overeat rice?

A man sitting and feeling full after eating a lot.

Rice is rich in carbohydrates. And if you overload yourself with too much of it, you risk developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and other cardiovascular diseases. Plus, rice naturally has inorganic arsenic, which can be debilitating to your health if consumed at low levels for a prolonged period. 

What is the shelf life of cooked rice? 

When left at room temperature, your cooked rice can only last for two hours. Beyond that, you should put your rice in the fridge or your freezer for longer shelf life. Rice in the refrigerator can last up to four-six days and even up to six months when frozen. 

Conclusion

Cooking rice, I think, is something that all adults must learn.

And knowing how much your rice will expand when cooked should help you estimate the amount you’ll need to serve to everyone. Or, if you want to prepare your meals ahead of time, this will help you plan them almost accurately. It will help you even avoid having leftover rice at the end of the day.

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