How To: Cook Rice the Easy South Louisianan Way

Cook Rice the Easy South Louisianan Way

It's every home cook's nightmare...burnt on the bottom, mushy on the top!  RICE, the simplest of foods, but not so simple to cook...or is it?  I'm from South Louisiana (think New Orleans then go further south) where rice is served with everything and cooking it is second nature.  You can be sure we keep it simple, I gar-on-tee!

Cook as much or little rice as you want with this recipe!  No measuring!  No timing! No fancy equipment! And most importantly, NO STIRRING!  Cook like an ol' Cajun pro!

Step 1 Pick the right container.

You'll need any sauce pan with a lid. 

Rice expands 4 to 5 times when cooked, so take any sauce pan with a lid and be sure not to fill it more than 1/5th full with uncooked rice.  1 cup, 2 cups, 5 much as you want!  I don't even measure it!

Step 2 Rinse the rice.

Run some cold water through the rice and stir it up with your fingers to make sure all the rice gets rinsed.  (I'm assuming your hands are clean since you're cooking...right?)  Pour as much of the water out as you can each time.

I usually do this 3 or 4 times.  Make sure there are no "floaties"

Step 3 Add water.

THIS IS THE FIRST SECRET!  Fill the pan until the water covers the first knuckle on your index finger.

That's right! (1) Make sure the rice is flat in the pan, (2) touch the top of the rice with your index finger, and (3) fill the water to cover your knuckle.  Simple right? It works!

Step 4 Cook.

Salt (if you like).  Put the lid on the pan and turn the eye on about 8 or 9 out of 10.

When the water starts boiling out of the top, turn the heat down to about 5 or 6 and put the lid back on crooked so some steam can escape.



Step 5 Done.

You're done when all the water is boiled out of the pot.

How do I know when it's gone?  Watch for reduced steam, listen for bubbles, or get a spoon and dig down.

That's it.  Pretty simple, all you really need to remember is first knuckle and DON'T STIR!  No measuring cups, special timing, or fancy equipment.


  • Crispy on bottom + Unfinished on top = Cooked too fast, turn down the heat
  • Mushy throughout = "Who stirred my rice!?"
  • The water's gone and still isn't done? You might have short fingers, pour a little more water in and let it cook out.  DON'T STIR IT!

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