Last Updated 27/10/2022

Want to know how to parboil rice?

Then you are in the right kitchen. Because in this post you'll discover the absolute best way to parboil rice and more.

Let's get to it right away... 

How to parboil rice

Before we start the rice parboiling process, here are the things we need:

Ingredients List

  • 3 cups of long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 12 cups of water
  • Salt, to taste (optional)


  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 5 mins
  • Total time: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 - 6 people.

Steps on How To Parboil Rice

  1. Add 12 cups of water to a pot and add about 2 tablespoons of salt, or according to preference. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. While the water is boiling, rinse uncooked long grain rice in cold water till the discarded water runs clear.
  3. Transfer rinsed uncooked rice to the boiling water.
  4. Cook rice for about 4 - 6 minutes or till you see the starchy content coming out or until you check a grain of rice and it’s firm but chewy (al dente).
  5. Take off heat. Pour the parboiled rice into a strainer and rinse with room-temperature water. This is to slow the cooking process and to also rinse off the starchy content. Rinse two to three times
  6. Leave in the strainer for all the water to be drained.
  7. Set aside to be used in any of the rice dishes.


The same technique as above can be used to parboil rice for your Jollof rice, Fried rice, Coconut rice and all other rice dishes.

Anyway, if you want to proceed to make just white rice after this parboiling method, then follow these steps:

  • Bring water to a boil on medium heat 
  • Re-introduce your precooked rice to the boiling water
  • Add salt to taste and a drop of olive oil (optional)
  • Allow to cook till soft. Take off the heat, and let it sit undisturbed for a while.
  • Stir together with a fork and serve.

What is parboiled rice

Parboiled rice is simply rice that has been pre-cooked or partially cooked. Parboiling rice is usually the first step or technique in cooking lots of rice dishes.

There is a bit of confusion with the word “parboiled rice”.

While the term “parboiled rice (also known as converted rice)” is actually long-grain rice that was partially boiled with its outer husk before getting processed further, a lot of us call pre-cooking rice “parboiling rice”. 

How To Parboil Rice

The reason for the commercial parboiling method is simply to make the husk easier to separate from the rice. I also hear it adds more nutrients to the rice. 

Why parboiled rice?

The two major reasons for parboiling rice are: 

  1. To get rid of as much starch (carbohydrates) as you can in the rice
  2. The second reason is you want the rice to absorb other ingredients without getting burned, especially Jollof and fried rice dishes.

Other reasons people may parboil rice are for meal-prepping purposes and to offer the convenience of freezing with the ability to cook from frozen.

How to cook parboiled rice

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Servings: 2 - 3 people.

Here is what you need to cook parboiled rice:

Ingredients List

  • 1 cup of rice

  • 2 - 4 cups of water

  • Salt, to taste 

  • A teaspoon of olive oil or any other regular oil or unsalted butter (optional)


  1.  Add 2 to 4 cups of water to a pot, place on low heat and bring to a boil
  2. Add salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of olive oil (optional).
  3. While the water is boiling, wash the rice till the discarded water runs clear. You can soak rice in enough water for about 20 minutes. (This helps to reduce cooking time). 
  4. Add rice to the boiling water. Allow to cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or till soft.
  5. Drain excess water if any. Return the rice to the pot and allow it to sit undisturbed for a while.
  6. Stir cooked rice with a fork. It’s ready to serve!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Parboiled rice

Here are the most common questions about parboiled rice and their quick answers:

Can pre-cooked rice be stored for later use?

Yes, pre-cooked rice can be stored for two to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or Frozen using a Ziploc bag.

can brown rice be parboiled as well?

Yes, brown rice can be parboiled. However, it might take a longer time to be parboiled. 

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