Serving Suggestions 101: How Much Rice Per Person Is Recommended?

How Much Rice Per Person

How Much Rice Per Person

Cooking is one story and measuring how much to cook is another chapter worth exploring. You know, people do not eat the same amount of food every single time. And there are tons of restrictions or reasons that every person has to determine how much he or she will eat. It depends on appetite, allergies, favorites, age and more. And because of this, serving suggestions are born. Though suggested, it doesn’t always get followed. In this post, we will talk about rice and its serving suggestions. Basically answering the question, how much rice per person is recommended?

Rice, it like wheat one of the “holy grains” of the food world. It is the staple food of almost all the people in Asia, particularly in the Southeast region where rice typically grows. Though growing it needs a lot of preparation and care, it grows in no time, very nutritious and also delicious. Asians who grew up eating rice always says that any meal will never be the same without it. Think about it, who would want a sushi without it? Or a Korean Kimbap? Rice is indeed an essential food, not just in Asia, but all around the world.

Asian dishes that uses rice

Cooking rice is easy, but the question is, how much should you cook per person? You will often hear it that the suggested serving size is 1 cup per person per meal. But this is really a very vague considering some characteristics of rice and when and how you are serving it. It also matters what type of rice you are serving.

How Much Rice Per Person?

Measuring rice

A straight from the books answer will be 75 grams or 2.6 oz or more than half cup of uncooked rice per person is the suggested portion for adults. That yields more or less a cup of cooked rice. I personally cook 1 cup of rice for two people and it is a good portion.

In the US and other countries where rice is not a staple food, a cup is a good portion, but in other countries where rice is the heart of the meal, a cup of rice may be considered a very small serving. In some Asian countries, 1 kilogram of rice is cooked in large pots or rice cookers and served for 5-6 people. Actually, some restaurants or food chains offers an “unlimited rice” option on meals. But we know that too much rice is not good for your health. It is high in sugar and carbohydrates that can cause serious health issues.

Rice Pilaf on Buffet

Though the answer above is pretty much accurate and you can totally follow it and just adjust it according to the number of people that will eat. But looking closely to it, if you really want to know more about rice and some things you need to consider before cooking, then continue reading.

If you are serving rice as your main dish, 1 cup of cooked rice is an ideal serving size. If it will be served as a side, on salads and the likes, half or 3/4 cups will do. This grain is pretty dense and a small amount will keep you full because of the high sugar content.

Another thing you need to take a close look into is the type of rice, some rice doubles or triples in size as it cooks, so make sure to ask your rice vendor or read the instructions on the label before cooking.

How To Cook Rice The Perfect Way?

Cooking rice is not the same for every type or kind. You need to know what type of rice you are cooking in order to achieve a perfect consistency and texture. Remember that depending on the dish, it can be sticky, separated or fluffy. To make it easy, let’s take for example a long grain rice like basmati rice which makes a fluffy, light, separated cooked rice.

  • First, measure and wash your rice. This step is essential as this takes out the excess starch, and any dust or dirt present in your rice. Rinse it 2-3 times or put it in a strainer and wash it for a minute or so. Though you need to do this thoroughly, do not overdo it.
  • Put it in a saucepan or pot, or to make things better and easier get your rice cooker. Put the rice in and add your water. The water ratio is one part rice to 1 1/2 parts of water. So if you’re cooking 400 grams or rice, you will need 600ml of water or stock if you want it flavored.
  • If you’re using a rice cooker, your job is done and all you need to do is wait. If not, put it on medium high heat and wait until it boils. Refrain from opening the lid as it steams. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, reduce your fire to low and open then stir the rice to even out the cooking and make it fluffy. Wait 10 minutes more while still covered then it is ready to serve.

Pro tip: Another good tip is to measure how high your rice is in the pan using your hand or finger, and the height of the water above should be in the first knuckle of your finger. This always works for me, easy and always on point.

Measuring water for rice using index finger


If you are using short grained rice and want it still light and fluffy, reduce your water a bit to achieve the needed texture. If you are cooking organic brown rice, this commonly has a harder, nutty texture compared to basmati and other white rice, increase your water a bit to make it softer.



Types Of Rice

Types of Rice

Rice has a lot of types and kinds. It grows in varieties and you would want to know what rice to use in different dishes and what is the best tasting or the healthiest. Rice differs mainly in the size of the grain, you will always hear, long grain and short grain rice. Mainly, the grain size affects how the rice is cooked. Long grain rice is typically fluffy and separated when cooked, and short grained rice is sticky when cooked.

#1. Long Grain Rice– It has long, slim, grains that cook into the perfect fluffy, separated rice. Perfect as steamed. This rice normally a white rice, means that it is polished.

Basmati rice with Masala roasted egg

  • Basmati rice is regarded as one of the best rice, a native rice only grown in India and Pakistan. It has a full, “popcorn-like” flavor which is very tasty and delicious, quick-cooking and fluffy. Another great thing about this rice is that it has a low Glycaemic Index, which means that this rice can keep the glucose levels in your blood stable. This rice is healthy with the best taste and texture.
  • Jasmine Rice is another long grain rice famous for its aroma and great texture. Slightly sticky than most long grain rice available. This rice is one of my favorites and I love to serve it with some dishes that are not so strong-flavored so that the experience in eating the rice will really be enjoyable.

#2. Medium Grain Rice-Medium grain rice cooks into a moist, tender and a bit sticky texture. Really close to short grain rice. This rice though has a very subtle difference that’s why it sits in the middle of fluffy and sticky. You can actually turn it to fluffy rice by using a little water while cooking. This kind of rice is typically used in dishes like risotto and paella. Some of the most common types are Arborio, Valencia and Bomba.

Mushroom Risotto

  • Risotto rice are rice that is white, plump, and maintains it shape when cooked but becomes creamy and sticky. This rice is a native of Italy, where the dish also originated. Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are the most known and the best types that you can use.
  • Paella Rice is another medium-grain rice that cooks sticky but not as creamy as risotto rice. Calasparra and Calrose are typically used as paella rice but Arborio can be a very close substitute.

#3. Short grain rice– This type of rice cooks into a sticky, clumpy consistency. Sushi rice, sweet brown rice is a type of short grain rice.

Sushi rice on seaweed sheet

  • Sushi rice is really sticky and clumpy in order for it to hold the sushi shape together. This rice is also used in making Korean Kimbap or seaweed rice rolls. It is commonly soaked before cooking.
  • Sweet Brown Rice is a round, plump, opaque, chalky rice. This rice cooks very sticky and almost loses its shape. It is commonly used in Asian desserts like rice cakes.

#4. Other rice that you can also use and try are wild rice, brown organic rice, black rice, brown rice and purple rice. This rice is known to be more nutritious and healthier than the other types of rice mentioned. The black, red and purple rice are typically used in desserts in Asian cuisines. The flavor and the texture of this rice are really different and unique. In ancient times, black rice and other rice with deep hues can only be eaten by the Emperor or the King because of its medicinal values and rich, great flavor.

Black, Red and White Rice

There is also type of rice that come pre-cooked. This rice is known to be quick-cooking rice. It is steamed or boiled before or after milling. Quick-cooking rice is boiled after milling and then dried. Par-boiled rice, on the other hand, is another pre-cooked rice which is steamed before milling.

There is lots of different rice that you can use in different types of dishes. I hope that this post helps you out in finding the perfect rice and also helped you in answering how much rice per person is needed and also some tricks and tips on cooking it. Don’t forget to share this if you think it was helpful!


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