How to Cook Red Rice, What is the Best Way to Do It

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Cook Red Rice, What is the Best Way to Do It

Hi everyone! So remember how we’ve talked about the different rice varieties basmati, jasmine, and brown rice? Well, now we move on to another rice type common to health conscious people, today you will learn how to cook red rice.

It’s important to know how to cook it the best way possible in order to get that perfect nutty and earthy flavor and aroma then, do read through to know more 🙂

What is Red Rice

Red rice, like jasmine rice has white and brown rice types, also has rice varieties under its name. A few are the most common types which are Thai red cargo rice and Bhutanese red rice.

A variety of red rice from Thailand is characterized by long grains similar to jasmine rice. A red variety of rice also occurs in Europe. Ermes in Italy and Camargue in France.

Red rice is very expressive in taste. It also integrates well with various spices. Bordeaux color gives this variety of rice a quite exotic appearance that is interesting with many dishes. Generally, red rice refers to the “unhulled or partially hulled rice that include a red husk” (HealthBenefitsTimes 2017).

The origin of red rice is in Mainland China at around the time of the Tang dynasty. During this time, red rice was used either for culinary or medicinal purposes.

How Important is Red Rice

How Important is Red Rice

The very importance of red rice lies in its nutritional benefits.

Its husk for example is colored red because of its anthocyanin content. This particular pigment is a good source of antioxidants that could likely help in a variety of health issues like poor eyesight and tumor growth.

Another characteristic of red rice that improves our health when consumed is its unpolished rice grain that gives it a higher nutritional value compared to white rice and other polished rice varieties.

According to experts, red rice is particularly rich in fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins that can all contribute in lowering our cholesterol and sugar levels as well as decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. With all these health benefits in red rice, it is only right to perfect its cooking so that its nutrients will be kept intact.

How to Cook Red Rice the Traditional Way

The pot over stove absorption type of cooking of red rice is almost the same as brown rice since both take a while to cook.

Because of this, the ratio of water to red rice is almost twice as much as the ratio of water to white rice.

Here is the step-by-step procedure of cooking red rice traditionally:

  1. Rinse your rice twice by sifting your fingers through the red rice grains with water.
  2. After rinsing, add your rice and water in a pot. The ratio of red rice to water is 1:2 ½ or 3.
  3. Put the pot over the stove and cover with a tight lid as you bring the water to a boil.
  4. After the water has boiled, set the stove to low heat and wait for 30-45 minutes for the rice to absorb all the water.
  5. Fluff and serve.

Watch the video below for a demonstration:

What is the Best Way to Cook Red Rice

Although you still can achieve great output in traditional cooking, you need more effort than when using a rice cooker which practically does most of the work for you and more often than not, produces the perfectly cooked rice.

Since rice cookers function differently depending on its type, I’ve chosen one in the top rice cookers post to explain the cooking of red rice in a rice cooker.

For this post, I’ve chosen the Zojirushi NP-HCC XH rice cooker.

The procedure of cooking red rice:

  1. Use the provided measuring cup of your Zojirushi NP-HCC XH when pouring rice over your inner cooking pan. This is necessary because the cup has a different measurement than your regular rice cup for it was made to match the water levels of your inner cooking pan.
  2. Before adding the right amount of water for cooking, firstly rinse your rice twice by sifting your fingers through the red rice grains with water.
  3. After rinsing, adjust your water. The ratio of red rice to water is 1:2 ½ or 3.
  4. Make sure to wipe the outer surface of the inner cooking pan before putting it in your rice cooker’s main body.
  5. When your inner cooking pan is inside the rice cooker’s main body, attach the inner lid set and steam vent set. Close the outer lid and then plug in the power cord.
  6. Select the MENU setting for brown rice (note that brown and red rice have similar cooking methods so you don’t need to worry much with the setting since most of the time the rice cooker does the job for you).
  7. Press the START button. You will see a display of the estimated number of minutes before completion. Red rice usually takes approximately an hour and a half to be completed.
  8. When you hear a beep signaling cooking completion, you can now open the lid and check your rice. Loosen your rice and serve. Remember to clean your rice cooker after use.


Always remember that no matter how healthy or tasty rice is as indicated in its package, you cannot achieve so if you don’t cook it properly.

For the case of red rice especially since it has more nutrients than brown rice, cooking it to perfection is necessary to preserve altogether its nutty and earthy flavor and aroma as well as its nutritious content.

I hope this post helped you in finding out the best way to cook red rice. If you have any additional comments and suggestions from your own experience in cooking red rice then feel free to comment and share it with us down below 🙂