How To Cook Parboiled Rice In Three Easy Methods

Cooking parboiled rice is easy, but for the uninitiated, you can overcook it, add more or less salt to it, under-cook it or even make it too sticky. You don’t want to end up throwing those precious grains, do you?

That’s why in this article, I will give you three surefire methods to cook parboiled rice. These methods are easy to follow and depending on what kind of cooker you have, you just pick what applies best.

Parboiling is basically soaking and steaming the rice while it’s still in the hull before being dried. After the grain is dried, the hull is removed to get the parboiled grain. This process will return some of the essential minerals and vitamins back to the grain so that you end up eating not only the carbohydrates but the nutrients and fibers as well.

Parboiled rice has an altered texture and when properly cooked, it will give you a firm and separated grain. The steaming process does not cook the rice and that’s why it still takes 15-20 minutes to prepare.

Three Main Nutrient You’ll Get from Parboiled Rice

The advantage of having parboiled rice compared to other preparations is that it’s guaranteed to be free from gluten and cholesterol. You don’t only get carbohydrates like in the case of polished white rice, you’d also get Vitamin B Complex and a host of other minerals too. The estimates below is based on a serving of 1 cup of cooked parboiled rice.

1. Carbohydrates



A serving of parboiled rice will give you 41 grams of complex carbohydrate, that is a third of the daily requirement of 130 grams, that your body uses as energy. It has 1.4 grams of fibers which satisfy 4% of men and 6% for women’s daily fiber needs. It has twice the fiber and has way lower glycemic index of 38 compared to white rice which has 89 according to a Harvard Health publication. This means that if you eat parboiled rice, you won’t get a huge spike in your blood sugar.

2. Vitamin B-Complex

Vitamin B-Complex

In one cup of cooked parboiled rice, you will get 4 milligrams of niacin and that amounts to 23% of our daily recommended intake. You will also get 19% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6. Our body needs B-complex vitamins not only to metabolize food but also to produce hormones and neurotransmitters. It also removes high levels of amino acids called homocysteine from your bloodstream which is associated with increased risk cardiovascular diseases.

3. Minerals


A serving of parboiled rice supplies 3 percent of the daily recommended intake of magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. You will also get 0.58 milligrams of zinc which amounts to 5% of men’s and 7% of women’s daily needs. Zinc is known to strengthen the immune system and produce cells that fight bacterial infection. Without zinc, your immune system will be impaired opening you up to all sorts of diseases.

Things You’ll Need to Cook Parboiled Rice

  • Large saucepan
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Butter if you like it
  • Salt
  • Stirring spoon
  • Fork

Rice Cooker/Steamer Method

Rice Cooker Steamer Method

  • Most packaging has an instruction on how to cook rice using the rice cooker or steamer because this is the preferred way. The rice cooker can detect when the rice is cooked and will just automatically turn itself off preventing you from overcooking it.
  • You just add all the right proportions of the ingredients (2 cups of water to 1 cup or rice) into the vessel before turning it on.
  • Cover the rice cooker and wait for 15-20 minutes for the rice to cook. You can review your yoga moves while you wait.
  • When the rice is fluffy, serve it while it’s hot.

Stovetop Method

Stovetop Method

  • Add the right amount of water (2 ½ cups) into the saucepan. Make sure that it’s the right amount if you don’t want an overcooked rice. If you like, you can add butter and salt.
  • Set the saucepan on top of the burner and wait for it to boil. It will usually take 15-20 minutes for the water to reach a full boil. When the water is in full boil, add 1 cup of rice and constantly stir it. Set the heat to medium-low to prevent overcooking.
  • Allow the rice to boil for another 15-20 minutes until it gets fluffy enough to eat.

Microwave Method


  • Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice in a 3-quart microwaveable container. If you prefer, you can add 1 teaspoon of salt and butter.
  • Make sure to cover the container and cook it for 5 minutes at maximum heat.
  • After 5 minutes, make sure to reduce the heat to 40% and let the rice cook for another 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

Pro Tips for Cooking the Perfect Parboiled Rice

  • It all starts with the rice grain. While there are many types of rice, not all of them are the same. Choose the good quality long grain parboiled rice to get that good separation. The short-grained variety is usually starchy and will give you that sticky result.
  • Wash the rice well to remove all the excess starch. Remember that it’s the starch that makes the rice sticky and removing a lot of it at the washing stage will already ensure that you will get a well-separated grain.
  • Soak the rice for 30 minutes to ensure a fluffy result. Make sure not to soak it too long because you will also damage the grain. Soaking time varies with different varieties of rice but 30 minutes is the accepted average.
  • Boil the rice in a rapidly boiling water. While stirring is important, avoid over doing it because it will break the grain and you will have sticky rice issues in the end.
  • After five minutes of rapid boiling, test the texture of the rice. If the rice grain breaks into three parts, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the rice to cook to a fluffy consistency.

Final thoughts

Health is the primary reason for choosing parboiled rice over other varieties. There are far more complex carbohydrates, vitamins, fibers, and minerals in it compared to white rice. To ensure a healthier result, look for grains that are labeled as “Gluten Free”, “MSG Free”, “Preservative Free”, or “Allergen Free”. If you really want to push it, you can go for the organic variety although it can get pricey too.

There are organic parboiled rice varieties that you can also find in local shops or online stores. If it’s possible to know the producers of the grain, so much the better. But if you can’t, try to find some customer reviews before buying it or ask your friends for brand recommendations and experience.

Do you have any parboiled rice experience that you’d like to share? Or maybe you have a recipe that you swear by? Please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.

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