Rice is a staple part of diets around the world, and it can be eaten by itself or used in hundreds of different dishes.
Because many cooks feel that measuring by weight instead of volume is more accurate and creates a better final dish, rice is often measured out in grams or ounces.
This can sometimes make for a more accurate recipe, but if you don’t have a scale, it can be difficult to figure out not only how much rice to add but how much water to use to cook the rice.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to either measure out rice or figure out how much water you need to cook the rice.
Types of Rice
There are dozens of different types of rice, but all rice can be broken down into two classifications.
The first is called long-grain rice, also known as indica.
The second is medium- and short-grain rice, also known as japonica. Japonica or short-grain rice is generally grown in colder regions and higher elevations.
Medium- and short-grain rice tends to have more sticky starches, which causes the grains to clump together as they cook. This type of rice often has a rounded appearance and it’s soft and slightly chewy to eat.
Short- and medium-grain rice varieties include arborio, black or forbidden rice, and sticky rice.
Long-grain rice is generally grown in warmer climates. This rice has, as the name suggests, a longer, slimmer appearance, even after cooking.
Long-grain rice has less of the sticky starch that short-grain rice has and more of a dry starch known as amylose.
This means that the rice doesn’t usually clump together as it cooks, but instead separates, with each grain elongating slightly. Long-grain rice tends to have a fluffier, softer texture.
Examples of long-grain rice include basmati and Carolina gold.
Brown rice, another popular rice, isn’t actually one type of rice or another but is simply any variety of rice that still has its outer bran layer.
Jasmine rice, on the other hand, doesn’t fit neatly into either the indica or japonica classification. Jasmine rice is quite sticky and clumps together as it cooks, but it’s a long-grain rice with an elongated appearance.
Wild rice, which is popular in North America and is the only native grain, isn’t rice at all.
This long, slender rice cousin with a dark appearance and chewy texture is often mixed in with other rice types.
How To Measure Rice Without Using A Scale?
Here are a few methods to use when measuring rice without a scale.
Using Measuring Cups
If you don’t have a scale, you won’t be able to measure out rice by weight, but you can still measure it out by volume.
Most rice weighs 200 grams or 7.05 ounces per 1 cup, so if a recipe calls for a certain measurement, you can simply use that conversion to figure out how much rice you need.
For example, if a recipe calls for 500 grams of dried rice, you’ll need 2.5 cups.
Rice can vary slightly in weight depending on a few factors, including how the rice was packaged, how fresh it is, what type of rice it is, and how tightly it’s packed into the measuring cup.
This can lead to some fluctuations in a recipe, although they’ll most likely be small, so remember to be flexible and adjust accordingly when you’re converting a recipe from weight measurements to volume measurements.
Using the Two-to-One Principle
Almost all rice, including white rice, is cooked with one part rice to two parts water. This makes it easy to figure out how much water to add to your rice because you can simply add double the amount of water.
For example, if you’re using a cup of rice, you will almost always need 2 cups of water. You can also use this method even when you’re not using precise volume measurements.
If, for example, you poured the dry rice into a bowl or pan, remember how far up the side the rice came. Then, simply use the same bowl or pan to measure out water to the same spot, and add that to the pot.
Add the same amount of water again to get an accurate proportion of water to rice.
Using Your Finger
Many people who frequently cook rice don’t use precise measurements. Instead, they either get a feel for how much water needs to be added, or they use the finger method.
To use the finger method, place your rice in a pot. Then, place the tip of your index finger on the top of the rice, just resting it on the rice. Add water until the water comes up to the first knuckle of your finger.
Although this method isn’t foolproof and works best for smaller amounts of rice, it can be beneficial if you need to cook rice quickly and don’t have a way to measure it precisely.
How much rice is enough for one person?
Rice absorbs all of the water it’s cooked in, so this means that it will double in size. If you’re cooking 1 cup of rice, the cooked rice will be about 2 cups in volume.
If the rice is to be the main carbohydrate or main part of the meal, 1 cup of cooked rice per person is a good rule of thumb.
Knowing how much rice expands once it’s cooked can help you estimate how much you’ll want to eat, and you can add more or less dry rice to suit your recipe and your needs.