Do you have to drain rice after cooking (how to drain water from cooked rice)

By | May 8, 2022

Draining rice is one of the steps of cooking rice.

Probably you knew that draining rice before cooking can remove the starch to avoid the rice becoming sticky after cooking.

But draining rice after cooking also could be one of the rice cooking steps.

Here I am going to discuss draining rice before and after cooking.

I Hope what I discuss here could help you in cooking rice.


Do you have to drain rice after cooking?

The answer could be yes or no. Depending on what cooking method you are using to cook the rice. For normal rice cooking methods, you just have to wash or rinse the rice before cooking, then put in the water and rice into the rice cooker with correct ratio, then turn on the rice cooker and the rest will be done after 30 minutes without draining the rice after cooking. But for parboiling rice, after the rice has been cooked for 5 minutes in the hot boiling water, you got to drain the hot water, then wash and rinse with cold water until the water becomes clear, after that the parboiled rice will be ready for the next steps of other dishes preparation, example Nasi Briyani with Basmati rice.


Rinse the rice before cooking to remove starch.

For common rice cooking methods (boiling, absorption, and steaming) the rice is rinsed before cooking.

Before cooking, put the rice into a container and fill with water.

You may use the rice cooker inner pot as the container, for me I use that way as it is convenient to me.

Shake the pot and the rice starch will go to the water.

The water will turn into a cloudy color.

After that, drain the cloudy rice water, you may keep the drained rice water as it is useful.

Then repeat the steps a few times until the water color is clear.

You may use other methods to drain rice, probably use a tool like mesh strainer.

Simply put the rice into the mesh strainer, then run the rice under cold water (use water that is already filtered and suitable for drinking) for about 1 minute, in between shake the mesh strainer to remove the starch from the rice grain.

After that, put the drained rice into the rice cooker inner pot to cook.

Why drain rice before cooking?

Drain rice before cooking for hygienic purposes as it can remove unwanted things like dirt, dust, debris, chemicals, and bugs from your meal.

Imagine the rice grain from the paddy rice farm, go through the harvesting process, then manufacturing process, packaging, and transportation to the market, those activities can actually add in the unwanted particles into the rice.

Drain rice also can remove the starch from the rice grain surface.

The benefit of removing starch from rice is being able to cook the rice with a fluffy texture and avoid the rice to be sticky or gummy.
Fluffy rice is most likely to increase the appetite of someone to eat the rice compared to mushy rice.


With a rice cooker you don’t need to drain rice after cooking.

If you own a rice cooker, you don’t need to drain rice after cooking.

As I mentioned earlier above, drain the rice to remove starch before using the rice cooker.

Just pour water and rice into the rice cooker with a 1 to 1 ratio, turn it on, and it will automatically stop cooking when rice is done cooking.

That’s easy and simple.

Don’t open the rice cooker to peek at the rice while it is cooking as the hot steam will heat up your face.


In case you are using a pot & stove to cook rice, you may need to drain rice if you are putting too much water into the cooking pot.

Actually you don’t need to drain the rice after cooking by using a stove to cook rice, but you still need to drain the rice before cooking.

As long as you are using the correct ratio of water to rice.

In case you’re putting too much water with the rice (water to rice ratio is high, more than 2 to 1 ratio), you may need to drain the additional water from the rice. Too much water would make the rice not fluffy and sticky, which means not achieving the tasty standard.

To use the stove and pot for rice cooking, the water to rice ratio is 2 to 1.

Pour the rice and water into the pot, close with the lid.

Set the stove temperature with low heat, and cook for about 20 minutes.

Don’t open the lid during cooking.

Once 20 minutes finished, remove the heat and let the rice sit and cover for about 5 minutes.

After that the rice is ready to serve.


Drain rice is needed for the parboiling rice cooking method.

What I discussed above is a common cooking method for rice which only involves drain rice before cooking, probably used by most people.

There is another rice cooking method called parboiling.

Parboiling rice is a cooking method where the rice is partially cooked, and it is just a first step to prepare rice for other dishes like nasi briyani, jollof rice, and Nigerian ofada rice.

Why parboiling rice? Because this is the best way to cook perfect fluffy and light rice.


How to drain water from cooked rice (Parboiling)?

Parboil means pre-cooking or partially cooked.

First boil a pot of water until boiling.

Secondly, pour the rice into the hot boiling water, before that you can wash the rice by option.

The water level in the pot should be two times the level of the rice.

Boil the water and rice for 5 minutes.

Then drain away the hot water from the cooked rice (parboiled) with a sieve or colander.

After that, wash or rinse the cooked rice (parboiled) with cold water (make sure the water is filtered and chemically clean) and drain the rice water away, repeat the steps until the water becomes clear.

Finally the rice is ready for the next cooking steps.


Final Thought

There are different kinds of rice cooking methods.

Some drain rice before cooking and some drain rice after cooking.

They are not wrong or right, just depending on what kind of rice dishes you want to make, what kind of rice grains you are using, which kind of rice cooking method you prefer, and what kind of rice quality you want to achieve.

As long as you achieve the result you like.

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