Unlocking the Secret: The Surprising Reason Why Rice Packets Recommend Swilling with Boiling Water

Have you ever wondered why the instructions on your packet of rice recommend rinsing the rice with boiling water after it’s done cooking? This seemingly odd step is often overlooked in many cooking recipes, leading to confusion among home cooks. However, this step is not just a random suggestion but has a scientific basis that can significantly impact the final outcome of your dish. Let’s delve into the surprising reason behind this recommendation.

The Science Behind Rinsing Rice

Rice, like many other grains, is often coated with a layer of starch. This starch can make your cooked rice stickier than desired, especially if you’re aiming for a fluffy, separate grain texture. Rinsing rice with boiling water after cooking helps to remove this excess starch, resulting in a better texture.

Why Boiling Water?

While rinsing rice with cold water can also remove some of the starch, using boiling water is more effective. The heat from the boiling water helps to dissolve the starch more efficiently, making it easier to rinse off. Additionally, using boiling water helps to keep the rice hot, which can be important if you’re serving it immediately.

Does It Apply to All Types of Rice?

While this technique can be used for all types of rice, it’s particularly beneficial for long-grain varieties like Basmati or Jasmine rice. These types of rice are often used in dishes where a fluffy, non-sticky texture is desired. However, if you’re cooking a dish that requires sticky rice, like sushi or certain types of desserts, you might want to skip this step.

How to Rinse Rice with Boiling Water

  1. Once your rice is cooked, drain it in a colander.
  2. Boil some water in a kettle or a pot.
  3. Slowly pour the boiling water over the rice, making sure to cover all the grains.
  4. Let the water drain out completely.
  5. Your rice is now ready to serve!


So, the next time you’re cooking rice and see the recommendation to rinse it with boiling water, don’t skip this step. It’s a simple technique that can make a big difference in the texture of your rice. Whether you’re making a simple side dish or a fancy pilaf, this little trick can help you achieve the perfect fluffy rice every time.