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My microwave rice

This recipe no longer works with Uncle Ben?s Long Grain Rice. I don?t know why! I?m currently trying to get the same result from Sainsbury?s own product, and will publish the new recipe when I manage this...

This has been a mainstay of my household ever since I bought my microwave - one of the two devices at which I sneered for years: íI donít need a microwave. Iím a real cook.í (The other was a dishwasher. How masochistic can you get?)

Pride comes before a fall. When my friends Chris and Glyn Holt (Chris is another cook whom I respect immensely) were coaxed out of their reluctance because Glynís parents offered to buy them a microwave and refused to give them the money instead, I began to wonder. Then when Martin Smee, who was the chef-Patron of the excellent Remyís French Restaurant in Belper until, sadly, his knees gave up under the strain, told me that he used one to warm (but not to cook) his delicious little side-dishes of seasonal vegetables, I surrendered. (Martin had been a sceptic too, until the Panasonic rep showed him this trick.) To my great joy, Martin found this page on the 6 September 2009 (presumably by using my wonderful ZoomSearch site-search engine) and left a message in the Contact me box.

I canít remember how I worked this recipe out, because Iíve been doing it so long.


  1. Measure 275ml of Uncle Benís long-grain rice (or the whole-grain if you can get it - the only place Iíve seen it lately is the cash-and-carry) and 400ml cold water in a microwavable container.
  2. Add salt, freshly ground black pepper and other seasonings to taste - I like a scant teaspoonful of ground turmeric and as many cardamom seeds as I can be bothered to extract from their pods - they look like mouse droppings but taste wonderful.
  3. Put on the lid or cover with clingfilm (if the film, pierce it a few times with a fork).
  4. Microwave on full power for 7 minutes and on simmer for 17 minutes (I doubt if the results will be very different if you have a 650-watt or 750-watt oven - mine is 700-watt).
  5. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then fork through to separate the grains. There should be no liquid left and the rice should be dry and fluffy. If not, bung it back for another three minutes on simmer.

You can leave the dish lying around and just give it a minute on high when the rest of the meal is ready.

Leftover rice done like this is always tipped into a plastic bag and frozen. Itís best defrosted naturally and microwaved for just a minute - or eaten cold in salads.

Personal site for Paul Marsden: frustrated writer; experimental cook and all-round foodie; amateur wine-importer; former copywriter and press-officer; former teacher, teacher-trainer, educational software developer and documenter; still a professional web-developer but mostly retired.

This site was transferred in June 2005 to the Sites4Doctors Site Management System, and has been developed and maintained there ever since.