How to cook Thai Fragrant Rice

How to cook Thai Fragrant Rice

How to cook Thai Fragrant Rice.

Do I need to tell you how to cook Thai Fragrant rice? Probably not.

But in case there are a few of you who are not sure of how to cook Thai rice this is for you.

What is Thai Fragrant rice?

Well, Thai’s call this rice “Kao Horm Mali” which means “Rice Fragrant Jasmine”  or Jasmine Fragrant Rice to you.

Thai Fragrant rice is a type of long grain rice. It has a thin and long shape and when cooked has a subtle scent, hence the name. The fragrance you get when you are cooking the rice is very similar to the smell of Jasmine and so the reference to Jasmine in the name.

Rice is essential to Thai culture in every way. When Thai meet, they greet each other with “gin kao ruu yang” which loosely mean “how’s it going?” but if you were to translate it word for word? It means “have you eaten rice yet?”  

To Thai’s, rice is the main meal. The star of the show and not a supporting act like a side dish. The stir fry, curries and dips are the side dishes to rice.

So what is a “Perfect Thai fragrant rice?”

Someone once said to me that the perfect Thai fragrant rice should move gracefully on the plate!

Not so wet so that it is a splodge on your plate but at the same time it should not be too dry and running all over your plate. This is not easy to achieve with Thai fragrant rice.  

How to cook the perfect Thai fragrant rice

There are 2 ways to do this.

1st: is in a saucepan over a stove.

2nd: is in a rice cooker. This is how I cook my rice most of the time unless I am away from my trusted rice cooker. It is my favorite gadget in the kitchen. It makes life so much easier. All you have to do is wash the rice, add the water and turn it on. You can then continue to cook your dinner knowing that your rice is done. If you have room in your kitchen and you are eating rice at least once a week? I would get yourself a rice cooker.

You will need about 2/3 cup of rice per person.

1, Give the rice a rinse with cold water, you can do this in the pot that you are going to cook the rice in (save on the washing up). Try to use small but tall saucepan rather than larger saucepan, it will cook better this way.

Add cold water to the rice and comb your hand through the rice. Drain the water don’t worry if you cannot pour all the water away. Repeat a few more times until the water is clear. This will help the rice to not be stoggy. I normally rinse the water 3 times as that was what I was told to do. Don’t ask me why?

2, How much water? You want enough cold water to cover the rice up to the first line on your index finger. No matter how much rice you are cooking that will be the amount of water you will need. Level the rice up in the pot (there is no need for sprit level here) put your finger on top of the rice. The water should just get to the first line on your index finger.  

I know it sounds weird but trust me it works 9 out of 10 times and this is how I, and most if not all of the population in Thailand, have done it all our lives.The only person I know that it has not worked for is my husband MrM.

If you are a non believer then it is about 3 ½  cup of water to 2 ⅓ cup of rice. Which should serve about 4 people depending on what you are having with the rice and who you are feeding, of course.

3, Bring the rice to the boil with the lid off, then turn the heat down to simmer with the lid on leaving a very small bit of space to let the steam come out. I normally do this over the lowest heat on the smallest ring on my stove.

Simmer for about 10-15 minutes depending on the amount you are cooking. 2 cups of rice should take 12 minutes. Do not stir the rice.

Once the rice looks dry and cooked at the top turn the heat off, leave the lid on and stand for 5 minutes. The rice will continue to cook in this last 5 minutes. This is very important step. Use a fork to fluff the rice and it is ready to serve. The rice should keep warm for about half an hour with the lid on.

If you are using the rice cooker follow step 1 and 2 then ensuring that the bottom of the rice cooker is dry, place it back into the main pot and press cook and walk away. Once the rice is cook using a fork fluff the rice up and leave it to stay warm in the rice cooker.


Note: English is not my first language. Please excuse any spelling and gramatical error.  


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