Plain Boiled Rice:

Plain Boiled Rice:

Prep:           2 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.      

Course:        Starter or main

Serves:        2  

Rating:         1: Very easy

 (See Tricks’n’Tips for variations, i.e. saffron rice – also very impressive)

Saint Delia (the amazing, wonderful and incredible Delia Smith) really has the perfect recipe for plain white rice. I have her permission to reproduce this – see credits on the home page.

It is just waiting to be used to impress your guests.  It’s specific, accurate, down to earth and to the point.  No messing about at all.  Just follow her recipe to the letter and you will not go wrong. 


I have used the method hundreds of times and never (not even once) been disappointed.  It is 100% reliable.  It’s probably as reliable as 2000 following 1999 – and that went ok, as I recall.

If it DOES actually go wrong, you must have strayed from the method.  Honest.  Trust me.  The recipe is in her book “Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course”.   This book has to be first on your ‘must have’ list.  Delia has kindly given permission for it to be replicated here:

Delia’s Perfect Rice:

Ingredients for two people:

  • Long grain white rice measured to the 5 fluid ounce level in a glass measuring jug.
  • Boiling water or stock measured to the 10 fluid ounce level in a glass measuring jug. (In other words, twice as much volume of liquid as volume of rice).
  • 1 dessertspoon oil or ½ ounce (10g) butter.
  • Salt.
  • One small, solid based saucepan or flameproof casserole
  • Shallow serving dish, warmed.


Begin by heating the oil or butter gently, just to the melting stage, then add the rice and, using a wooden spoon, stir the grains to get them all coated and glistening with fat.

Now add the boiling stock or water and salt, stir just once as the liquid comes up to the simmering point, then put on a tight-fitting lid.  Turn the heat down to the gentlest simmer – then go away and leave it completely alone.  Don’t take the lid off and, above all, don’t stir it.

After exactly 15 minutes for white rice I give you permission to have a look and test a few grains.  If they’re tender and, when you tilt the pan almost on its side you can see no trace of liquid left, the rice is cooked.

Now tip it out into a warmed serving dish, using a rubber spatula to dislodge any grains that refuse to leave the base.

Lightly fluff the grains with a skewer.  Serve immediately.

So there we are.  That is her perfect way to cook rice.  It will work.  Quite simply, it will work.  It’ll probably also be just about the best plain rice you’ve ever had, too.  There are variations on the basic theme included in her book, so that particular book should be on the top of your MUST HAVE list.  How about taking the old and battered version (pardon the culinary pun) as Mummy replaces it with a new and pristine copy.  

I like to use Basmati rice, as it seems to give a better texture then long grain or some other types (see Ingredienty-type thingies, or Tricks’n’Tips).

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