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How to Fix Mushy Rice, Wet Rice & Salty Rice

How to Fix Mushy Rice, Wet Rice & Salty Rice

Last Updated on 15th September 2022 by Pauline Loughlin

It’s not too difficult to make rice that tastes good and has the right consistency, but bad things can happen sometimes. You forget the rice on the stove and it turns out burnt.

Or you accidentally add too much water and end up with rice that doesn’t have the right texture. Maybe you tried to add some seasonings to the rice and you misjudged, and that caused it to end up in a mess.

We all have those times where our rice doesn’t quite turn out the way we had hoped it would and where it won’t really work for the dish we are making.

What to do with the mess of a rice? How to fix mushy rice? I want to show you a few methods I use whenever my rice goes bad as well as a few ways to fix the most common problems that can happen when rice doesn’t turn out like it is supposed to.

Why Does Rice Go Mushy?

Mushy or wet rice is caused by overcooking rice. Overcooking causes the rice grains to absorb too much water and the grain splits open which creates a starchy, gummy texture. 

Fixing Soggy Rice
Yield: 4

How to Fix Mushy White Rice

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

If you have overcooked, added too much water or over sti your rice during the cooking process you can end up with mushy rice. Heres how to fix it.

Tools

  • Sieve
  • Large Pan

Instructions

Let the Water Evaporate If There is Water Still in the Pan

If your rice is still in the pan but there is water remaining and the rice looks mushy, the best thing you can do is take the lid off the pan and let the steam out of the pan. Cook the rice with the lid off for a further 5 minutes and your rice should be cooked with no water remaining in the pan. 

Drain the Water with a Sieve 

If the rice looks cooked but there is still water in the pan, you can simply drain the excess water using a fine mesh sieve.

Bake the Rice

If your rice is really mushy and there is no water to boil off, you may need to spread your mushy rice evenly on a baking sheet and bake for around 5 minutes at 175°C to remove the excess water from the grains. 

Repurpose the Rice

When the rice gets mushy, that probably means that you cooked it too long with too much water. This can cause the rice grains to split open and make your rice squishy and gooey. If you want to fix that, one of the simplest solutions is to make it even mushier and turn it into a rice pudding.

Notes

Sometimes the rice just can't be rescued and making a fresh batch is the only way. Rice is relatively cheap so it's ok to make a few mistakes.

How to fix mushy brown rice or white rice and make it into rice pudding?

Add some milk to your rice, along with some sugar and a little vanilla. You are only using a small amount of vanilla and sugar, and once you mix all of that together, you have a lovely rice pudding.

How to Fix Mushy Brown Rice

If you have cooked brown rice and that has gone mushy, the best process to follow is both option 2 and 3 from above. Firstly, drain the water from the rice in a sieve and then spread the rice on a baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes on 175°C.

How to Fix Cooked but Wet Rice

Maybe your rice hasn’t become too mushy yet and it is just overly wet. If the grains haven’t begun to split, then you can still salvage it and use it as a regular rice dish- no rice pudding needed.

Wet Rice Versus Mushy Rice

You can keep in cooking the rice, on low heat. This will evaporate the water and dry out the rice a bit. The low heat is essential so that you don’t force the grains open. You can cover your pot to keep on cooking, but pay close attention to the rice so that you don’t overcook it.

You could also turn the rice into fried rice by simply frying it off which will help to remove some of the excess water. 

This works for Spanish rice as well. You just need to keep on cooking it on a low heat until the water boils off. How to fix mushy Spanish rice without using the pot? There is another way you can use for any kind of wet rice that hasn’t gone mushy yet. That would be to remove the rice from the pot and place it on a baking sheet. Then, bake that in the oven for a few minutes to evaporate the water.

You could also try to drain the water off the rice. You can do that by draining the rice through a fine mesh sieve or just opening the lid slightly on the pit and turning it on its side to drain out the water.

How to Fix Mushy Rice in the Pressure Cooker

The best way to prevent your rice from becoming sticky and mushy in the rice cooker is to rinse it first and then be careful about how much water you use. Too much water can make it mushy and sticky. Rinsing the rise gets ride of the starch, which can also cause sticky rice.

rice on spoon over pressure cooker

How to fix mushy rice in rice cooker, though? You will probably have to make it into rice pudding, unfortunately. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with mushy rice if that texture bothers you.

The only time mushy rice is really acceptable is as a rice pudding. You can always turn all of your mushy rice into a pudding and then store in the freezer what you are not going to use in the next few days.

Then, you can just take out what you need when necessary. It’s not a bad idea to separate the rice pudding into small bags in your freezer so you can portion it out later on.

How to Fix Mushy Fried Rice

When you make fried rice, the rice can turn out kind of mushy. There is a great way to prevent that, though, and it is fairly simple. You will need to refrigerate your cooked rice in the fridge overnight before cooking it up as fried rice.

This is a secret to avoiding mushy fried rice. Doing this will separate the rice and prevent it from becoming mushy as you cook it up. Another method is to air out your freshly made rice and then place it into the fridge for a couple of hours before you try to cook it.

You could also try adding more vegetables or some potato to the fried rice to absorb some of the water – but be sure to use starchy vegetables so you’re not adding more water:

  • Corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Green peas
  • Turnip
  • Butternut squash

All of these vegetables are popular in Indian fried rice recipes

How to Fix Rice That Is Too Salty

What if you have a pot of rice that is very salty because you accidentally overdid it on the salt? That can easily happen if you just overestimate how much salt your rice needs.

Once you taste the rice, you will be able to tell if the salt content is too high There is a pretty simple fix for this, though.

If you have some rice that hasn’t been cooked left, you can simply make up another pot. Don’t bother to add any salt to that rice. Once it is done cooking, combine your two pots of rice into one and mix. You can then taste test it again to see if the salt content is right or if you need to add a bit more to flavour the rice.

Some Other Ways to Fix Salty Rice:

  • Add some chopped up vegetables 
  • Rinse with water 
  • Add tofu
  • Add Milk
  • Add Potatoes 
  • Add a dash of vinegar 

How to Keep Rice from Becoming Soggy and Mushy

What if you want to make sure you don’t end up with mushy rice at all? There are some steps you need to follow to ensure that your rice isn’t soggy and squishy.

Directions:

  1. Using the right amount of water to rice ratio is crucial. Many recipes will call for 1 ½ cups of water for every cup of rice, but the actual measurement should be 1 ¾ cups of water for each cup of rice.
  2. You should wait to add the rice until the water is boiling.
  3. You can add in salt at that point as well. If you put the rice and water into the pot at the same time, then that can cause the rice to absorb more water over time and make the grains split open as they burst with the absorbed water. So, hold off on adding the rice to the pot until the water has begun boiling.
  4. When you add the rice, be sure to stir it gently. You only need to stir enough to separate it so that it does not clump up together.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid as it cooks. Be sure to cook on low heat.
  6. For three cups of rice, it takes about 20 minutes to cook. You should check the rice after about 10 minutes to see if it is done. Better yet, you can use a pot with a clear glass lid so that you can see the rice as it cooks.
  7. When the rice is done cooking, fluff it with a fork.

It’s not tough to cook rice properly, but you do need to know the proper steps and follow them exactly to get fluffy rice that isn’t too dry or too wet and that doesn’t split and become mushy.

Can you Reheat Rice?

Rice can contain a bacteria called bacillus cereus which isn’t killed during the cooking process like with many other foods so reheat with caution. 

If you are planning on reheating your rice, make sure it is stored in the fridge in an airtight container and reheated within 4 days of cooking. However if you freeze your rice, it can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months and be reheated and used for my recipes such as cooking rice pudding in a microwave.

The simplest way to reheat rice is in the microwave. Add a teaspoon full of water for every cup of water and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring the rice every 30 seconds to keep it fluffy. 

Alternatively you could cook it on the stove top which will take longer but may give you better results. Add a teaspoon of rice for every cup of rice and a knob of butter and steam the rice on the stove for around 5 minutes – stir occasionally. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my fried rice mushy?

If you are using a wok or frying pan and add too many ingredients to the pan, the pan doesn’t get hot enough and your ingredients will become soggy and clump together.

Can you make rice cakes with overcooked rice?

Yes! Simply mix the overcooked rice, garlic, shallots, parmesan and leek to a bowl, create patties with the mixture and fry them in a pan with a little oil until they are crispy.

Is it safe to eat overcooked rice?

You can eat overcooked rice but there are some potential negative effects such as it is less digestible and and when overcooked the vitamins in rice are destroyed so you won’t see any health benefits from overcooked rice.

Why do you need to wash rice before cooking?

Washing rice before cooking removes any excess starch that is coating each of the grains. The starchy coating is what causes rice to be mushy and stick together so it’s a crucial step when trying to achieve perfectly cooked rice.

What is scorched rice?

Scorched rice is rice that has a thin crust of browned (crunchy) rice on the bottom which is caused by the rice being cooked over direct heat from a flame. This is different to overcooked rice.

References:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/548444-hazards-of-eating-overcooked-rice/

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I Really Like Food | Website | + posts

I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here

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Krystal

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Another thing you can do if your rice came out overcooked and mushy??? Season it up, add some veggies, maybe some meat and call it congee, kind of a rice pottage that's popular as comfort and sick bed food in some Asian cultures.... kinda like we treat chicken soup.

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