How to Fix Undercooked Rice in The Microwave

Cooking rice can be tricky, and even experienced cooks sometimes end up with undercooked rice. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – there’s a simple solution to salvage your rice and turn it into perfectly cooked, fluffy grains. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to fix undercooked rice in the microwave step by step, providing tips and tricks to ensure your rice comes out just right.

Undercooked Rice

Before we dive into fixing undercooked rice, let’s understand why rice can end up undercooked in the first place. Undercooked rice typically occurs due to insufficient cooking time or an incorrect rice-to-water ratio. The rice grains need to be fully hydrated and remain firm or crunchy, making them less palatable and challenging to eat.

Tools and Ingredients You’ll Need

To fix undercooked rice in the microwave, you’ll need the following:


Microwave-safe container with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Microwave oven.


Undercooked rice.

That’s it! You won’t need any additional water or seasonings for this process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Undercooked Rice in the Microwave

Follow these steps to rescue your undercooked rice:

Assess the Rice

Before you start, please look closely at your undercooked rice to determine how undercooked it is. Is it slightly underdone, or are the grains significantly hard and crunchy? This assessment will help you decide how much additional cooking time is needed.

Add a Bit of Water (if necessary)

If your rice is only slightly undercooked, you might not need to add any extra water. However, if the rice is quite hard and dry, sprinkle a small amount of water over it to help with steaming. Use no more than a teaspoon of water for every cup of undercooked rice. Be cautious not to add too much water, making the rice mushy.

Cover the Rice

Place the undercooked rice in a microwave-safe container. If you’ve added some water, ensure it’s evenly distributed. Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss during microwaving. Ensure a small vent or gap allows steam to escape, preventing pressure buildup.

Microwave on Low Power

Set your microwave to its lowest power setting, typically 10% power. Use the lowest cook time setting available if your microwave doesn’t have specific power levels.

Start Microwaving

Begin microwaving the rice on the low power setting for 1-2 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the rice quantity and undercooked rice.

Check and Stir

After the initial microwaving, carefully remove the container from the microwave and check the rice. It should be warm and slightly softened compared to its previous state. Use a fork to fluff and stir the rice, redistributing the moisture evenly.

Repeat if Necessary

If the rice is still undercooked, return it to the microwave, cover it, and continue microwaving on the low-power setting for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat this process until the rice reaches your desired level of doneness. Remember to check and stir after each microwaving session.

Rest the Rice

Once the rice is cooked to your satisfaction, let it rest in the covered container for a few minutes. This resting period allows any remaining moisture to be distributed evenly and ensures the rice grains are uniformly cooked.

Fluff and Serve

After the brief resting period, use a fork to fluff the rice one final time. This step separates the grains and ensures a fluffy texture. Now, your rice should be perfectly cooked and ready to serve.

Tips and Considerations

Here are some additional tips and considerations to keep in mind when fixing undercooked rice in the microwave:

Use Low Power: Microwaving on low power is essential to prevent overheating and uneven cooking. Avoid using high power, as it can quickly dry out the rice or cause it to burn.

Avoid Excess Water: Be cautious when adding water to undercooked rice. You want to add just enough to create steam and soften the grains without making the rice too wet.

Microwave Variability: The cooking time needed to fix undercooked rice can vary depending on your microwave’s wattage and the rice you’re fixing. Be patient and check the rice after each microwaving session to prevent overcooking.

Safety Precautions: When removing the container from the microwave, use oven mitts or a towel, as it can become hot. Be cautious when uncovering the rice, as hot steam may escape.

Multiple Sessions: Don’t be discouraged if you need to repeat the microwaving process multiple times. It’s a gradual process that allows the rice to absorb moisture gradually and evenly.

Use the Right Container: Ensure your container is microwave-safe and can withstand the heat. Microwave-safe lids or plastic wrap with venting options work well for covering the rice.

Common Questions and Concerns

Can I add more water and cook the rice on the stovetop instead of the microwave? You can add a small amount of water to the undercooked rice and finish cooking it on the stovetop. However, the microwave method is quicker and more efficient for small quantities of undercooked rice.

Why is my rice undercooked in the first place? Rice can be undercooked due to factors such as using an incorrect rice-to-water ratio, not allowing enough cooking time, or using a low-quality rice cooker. Ensure you follow proper cooking instructions and adjust ratios and cooking times accordingly.


Fixing undercooked rice in the microwave is a simple and effective method to salvage your meal when things don’t go as planned. By carefully following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide and considering the tips provided, you can turn your undercooked rice into perfectly cooked, fluffy grains ready to be enjoyed in your favorite dishes. Whether it’s a side dish, the base for a stir-fry, or the filling for sushi, properly cooked rice can elevate your culinary creations.

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