How to Fix Imperfect Rice


Cooking a pot of rice isn’t a difficult task most of the time, but sometimes, mistakes will be made and your rice won’t come out the way you want it to. Wet, mushy, burned, or undercooked, people all over the world – no matter how much they’re eating and cooking rice – will experience one of these mistakes every so often. However, we don’t have to let our dishes suffer because of poorly cooked rice.

With rice being a staple food of various cultures around the world, it’s no surprise that there are many different solutions to fix rice problems, no matter what they may be. If you’re cooking rice and encounter an issue, don’t throw away that pot just yet, because there may just be a recipe or hack that will save it. Here are some tips on how to fix imperfect rice.

How to Fix Imperfect Rice

Fix Sticky Rice or Mushy Cooked Rice

Mushy rice happens when we cook rice for too long and it has absorbed too much water, leading to a very soft and gluey texture. You can easily fix mushy rice by turning it into a dessert. Fix mushy rice by adding some milk, a dash of vanilla, and a spoonful of sugar. Stir them together to turn your rice into a rice pudding.

Fix Watery Rice

If your rice has too much water in it, you can drain the excess water and pour it out of the pot using a fine mesh strainer and put your rice back on the stovetop over low heat to let it continue cooking. Once the water has evaporated, turn the flame off and let the rice sit for about a minute before removing it from the stovetop. 

Another method is to place your rice over a baking sheet and place it into the oven to let the rice dry further.

Fix Burned Rice

If your rice has turned black, there is, unfortunately, no way of saving it as truly burned rice is unsalvagable. However, if you’ve gone slightly over your cooking time and your rice has become crispy, this can actually benefit you.

Many different cuisines use this crispy rice in their recipes, so a simple search on the internet will offer you plenty of options when it comes to utilizing this rice texture that’s most often found at the bottom of your pot.

Fix Gummy Rice

If you have rice that’s too hard and chewy in the middle, this means that the rice grains aren’t cooked all the way through. Fix gummy rice by adding a quarter cup of water and let your rice cook at a steady simmer for another five minutes.

This texture can also mean that you may not have rinsed it properly. You can also try rinsing it under cold water to remove some of the excess starch. Your rice will be quite wet after your rinse it, so don’t forget to spread the rice onto a baking sheet and place it in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes to dry it out a bit.

Fix Old Rice

A common recipe used to fix rice that’s been cooked over a day prior is to turn it into fried rice. Fried rice is one of the most popular dishes to go to when cooking leftover rice, and it actually benefits from old rice compared to freshly steamed rice as drier grains give your recipe a better texture, as the latter would make it too wet and mushy as you cook it in the pan. 

Add some salt and garlic and serve this dish with some eggs for a yummy breakfast treat, or partner it with any meal at dinner for some added flavor.

Fix Brown Rice

This type of rice can be a learning curve if you’re used to cooking white rice. You may find that your rice is drier and has a harder texture. This rice requires a slightly longer cook time, and you can also add a quarter cup of water to make your rice slightly softer. Just make sure you don’t add too much water, as no one wants wet rice.

Final Note

When it comes to cooking rice, keeping an eye on it is the one thing that’ll prevent these mistakes from happening. While it’s often said that the cardinal rule of cooking rice is to never remove the lid, lifting up the lid to check on your rice will tell you whether it needs more water or if it’s time to let the rice sit off the heat. Learning tips on how to fix imperfect rice is also a great way to salvage your dishes and keep from wasting perfectly good rice.