I would like to know how much rice I should cook per person. Preferably in some "fast" measurements - like cups, spoons, etc.

It would also be nice to know how much water should I add to the rice-cooker.

Edit: I want to have the rice as a side dish, usually with some kind of stew.

Edit: The cup I've been using is 300ml filled about 3mm below top edge (which is what i consider "full").


11 Answers 11


I usually use 1/4 cup per person for a smallish portion, and 1/3 cup per person if you're a bit hungrier. You'll probably want to check the instructions for your rice cooker to check exactly how much water you should add as different manufacturers vary. I believe the one I used in the past needed an equal quantity of water to rice.

  • Worked fine with ~1/3 cup rice and little more water. Commented May 21, 2012 at 12:09
  • In my house, it's about a half cup of uncooked per person.
    – Escoce
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 17:35

The standard rice cup measure is one go (long o sound) ~180ml, which was at some point based on a Japanese government opinion about how much raw rice an average person would consume. 1 koku is 1000 x 1 go, so this implies that a typical person would have consumed almost one go per meal. But this would likely have been defined during a period in which most people were living agrarian lives, and perhaps might have had limited access to a wide variety of vegetables, meat and fish. They might have needed a lot of calories from carbohydrates like rice just to maintain weight in a physically demanding lifestyle.

In practice, I find I eat a lot more side dishes when I have rice, so I'm more than satisfied with about 1 Japanese bowl of rice, which on average only takes about 180ml cooked rice (~90ml raw rice) to fill up. Other Americans, who tend not to consider rice an important part of the meal, may find even less rice adequately filling.

But in most countries, the amount of rice served actually depends quite a lot on what food is being served. If you're served curry or something that's kind of a one plate meal, like donburimono, you're likely to be served a larger amount of cooked rice (potentially up to 360ml cooked/180ml raw). If several main dishes or one large dish and several side dishes are served, that small 180ml rice bowl would be more typical. As for me, I tend to serve mine a little light compared to the rest of my family, but when estimating rice for a dinner party I assume about 90ml per person, or a bit more if I'm worried about big eaters.

(Apologies for not using weight measurements for those who prefer them; my rice cooker is tuned for volume measurements).

  • 1
    Very much agree with volumetrics for rice - and I'm from a culture where most measurements are weight ones. No need for excuses IMHO, especially as OP asked for them.
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 7:55

The USDA recommended serving of rice (PDF) is 1/2 cup cooked, which should be 1/4 cup raw, as rice about doubles in size.

The reality, though, is that the amount someone should eat and the amount someone does eat is not usually the same.

This can be seen in the wide variation of serving sizes listed on various sites. This one that talks about serving sizes specifically and recommends 1/2 cup uncooked per person or less:

When it comes to rice the norm seems to be about ½ cup (90g) per person, although some people prefer to use a bit less – about 1/3 cup (60g) per person. And remember we are talking about uncooked rice here, which means that when it’s cooked it’s usually about a cup per person, as rice doubles in size. For a main meal this is definitely enough!

While this FAQ from a US rice brand clarifies that the portion size listed on their packages is 1/4 cup uncooked:

The serving size refers to 1/4 dry (uncooked) product; this is the equivalent to 3/4 cup of cooked rice.

(Their rice is apparently really fluffy when cooked)

This is likely because they're following the USDA guidance for serving size in their package labeling.

So, if you're cooking for just a few people, I recommend erring on the high side (1/2 cup uncooked per person) but if you're cooking for a big crowd, you'll probably be ok with smaller portions (1/4-1/3 cup uncooked).

The general rule for white rice is to double the amount of rice to get the amount of water you should use but your rice maker should have instructions about this.

  • 2
    Wow, I'd starve if I was served just 1/2 cup of cooked rice! Yes, for me, 1/2 cup (or more) uncooked would be suitable - and I'm not someone who eats a lot. I guess I don't consider rice as a side dish but a major part of a main course.
    – Jude
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 4:40

I usually cook 1/2 cup (measuring cup 8oz) rice per person...in the rice cooker or on the stove you want to double the water....ie 1/2 cup rice to 1 cup water....1/3 cup rice to 2/3 water...2cup rice to 4cup water...etc...

  • That would be 4oz or 120ml.
    – Zenadix
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 3:17
  • How much water depends on the rice. The rice I use works best with a touch less than double. 1 cup of rice gets about 1 and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water depending on whether I am slow cooking, fast cooking or resting as when making for fried rice.
    – Escoce
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 17:37

Generally 60-80g or so if you are just having a sauce and rice. If you are having starters, sides, or vegetables then 50-60g, or if it's someone very hungry, 80-100g.


The information here sometimes astounds me. The answer accepted as correct is 100% wrong and full of misinformation. If you cook the same amount of water as rice you will end up with burned, half cooked rice.

The recipe for rice is one part rice to two parts water, by volume. That means if you put in 1 cup of rice, add 2 cups of water. It can be 250ml of rice to 500ml of water.

As to how much rice per person, it depends on how much you need for a meal . The general rule is 1 cup of rice will yield 3 cups, or 3:1. So if you were to add it as a bed of rice for fish about 1/3 a cup per person would work. If you wanted it as a side to soup, about 1/2 a cup per person would work. And if you were anyone I know it is about 1 cup per person.

  • 1
    This sound too 'strict' too. In my experience it depends on 1) the kind of rice, 2) whether you start with rice in cold water or add it to boiling water, 3) the total amount of rice you are cooking.
    – user34961
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 7:56

After many years of large portions of rice with our meals we've cut down to 50g (dry weight) of rice or pasta per person as the main carbohydrate of the meal. As a side (with another carb) I'd usually halve the portions.

This advice came from reading The Hairy Dieters, explained by the fact that they were used as easy ways to bulk out meals in history, when physical labour jobs were the norm and money was scarce. Their advice was to have less of the carbs and more of the protein, which is supposed to be the main part of the dish anyway.

As for water, we usually weigh 2:1 water to rice, so 100g of water to 50g of rice. Of course the type of rice you're using and the equipment you're using will have a bearing on the required amount of water.


As a rule of thumb, I generally use 1/2 C. of uncooked rice per person, more or less. Further, I almost always use 2x the rice volume for water. For example, 1 C. uncooked rice (which serves 2 people) uses 2 C. water. Brown rice requires more water. Depending on what you're serving with the rice or "how hungry" everyone is, the amount of rice is somewhat discretionary.


I am in Thailand and my rice cooker states 60g uncooked White Rice to 75 g water per person and it's always perfect and fluffy, double as required or multiply equally i.e.

90 g uncooked White Rice to 100 g water per person (if you're really hungry).

  • I don't know why someone marked you down (maybe they don't like grams, and prefer the less accurate "cups" when we have no idea what size the cups might be?). But you make a fair point about the second part of the question -- the rice to water ratio is often specified by the rice cooker manufacturer.
    – Joe
    Commented May 15, 2021 at 12:45
  • It could be because these ratios are not consistent. Commented May 18, 2021 at 14:59

It should be 1/2 cup maybe for an average person.


I just made 1 cup of Jasmine rice and it required 2.5 cups of water. I was cooking for myself and it made about 4 times more then I could eat in one sitting. I had some beef with broth on top. No veggies this time around.

  • Thanks for the info. I don't really understand the downvote you received, so I upvoted to make it zero :) Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 19:55

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