How to Cook Thai Red Rice

Thai Red Rice is a whole-grain rice produced in Thailand.
Thai Red Rice is a whole-grain rice produced in Thailand. (Image: Statue at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand image by Gina Smith from

Thai red rice is a a type of whole-grain rice with red-colored bran on the exterior of its kernel. Called "kao gorng" in Thai, red rice has a chewy consistency and a nutty flavor. High in fiber, Thai red rice is a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin B1. It cooks in less time than brown rice, and pre-soaking helps soften the rice and lessen cooking times. You can easily prepare Thai red rice for curries, soups and other Thai dishes.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium saucepan
  • 1 cup Thai Red Rice
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • Colander
  • Wooden spoon

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Soak one cup of Thai red rice with two cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan for 30 minutes. The pre-soaking will allow for shorter cooking times.

Drain the soaked rice into a colander. Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh water and the soaked rice into your medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the water is boiling.

Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for another 20 minutes or until the Thai red rice is done. Be sure to stir the rice a few times during cooking. It will have a chewy texture, unlike white rice.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can cook Thai red rice like wild rice, by adding 4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. After 20 minutes of cooking, drain the rice in a colander.
  • Thai red rice does not cook that well in a normal rice cooker.
  • Thai red rice can be used in non-Thai dishes like rice salad or risotto.
  • Use caution when cooking on a hot stove. Keep children away from boiling water.


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