Know the number of grams of rice per serving of raw rice, cooked rice, fried rice—and a few special dishes like paella and congee.
How many grams are in a serving of rice?
The answer depends on a few factors that can affect the overall weight, calorie count, and consistency of your home-cooked rice dish.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to measure a serving (or portion) of rice, so that you can plan how much to cook and, subsequently, how much to eat.
How Many Grams in a Serving of Uncooked Rice
Situation: You’re cooking dinner, and you’re in the process of deciding how much rice to make so that you don’t get stuck with mounds of leftovers the next few days.
If rice will be the main starch of your meal, allot about 100 to 120 grams of dry rice per person. That’s equivalent to about ½ a cup per serving. For example, if you’re cooking for 4 people—or planning to have 2 servings of rice per person—you need 2 cups of uncooked rice.
Half a cup doesn’t sound like a lot now, we know , and you may be tempted to increase your serving size. However, rice soaks up the cooking water and expands after it’s cooked, and some varieties, like brown rice or red rice, can be quite filling.
“Serving” also assumes that rice is an accompaniment to some sort of main meal. But if rice is the main ingredient (like, say, you’re making maki or rice balls), then you may want to double up.
How Many Grams in a Serving of Cooked Rice
Situation: You’re on a diet, and you’re measuring your rice because you’re watching your calorie or carb intake.
When plating your dish, most restaurants will serve you a cup of rice. That’s approximately 200 grams per cup. If you’re watching your nutritional intake, that’s about 270 calories, 55.28 grams of carbs, 7% of fat, and 8% of protein.
But you’d be surprised to know that most calorie-counting apps consider a serving of rice to be half a cup. So when you’re piling your rice on your plate—or going back for seconds—you could just as well be eating about 4 or 5 servings of rice in one sitting!
That’s why it’s still more accurate to measure your cooked rice in grams, and consider your diet goals and total calorie needs. Cosmopolitan gives these general guidelines to help you get started:
- If you’re a man, eat 130 grams of rice in one serving to maintain your weight and 50 grams of rice to lose weight.
- If you’re a woman, eat 104 grams of rice in one serving to maintain your weight and 37 grams of rice to lose weight.
Yes, you read that right! A serving of rice if you’re on a diet can be as tiny as 37 grams, about 0.14 cups or 6 teaspoons. That’s painfully small for people who love rice, but that’s because most diets will limit processed carbohydrates.
If you want a healthier option, you can try using brown rice. While the calories are the same, it’s more filling and has additional fiber.
How Many Grams of Rice in a Serving of Fried Rice?
Situation: You’re cooking up a quick, one-dish meal for family and friends.
You can use different seasonings, and add any proteins you have on hand. At HCW, we love making this to finish up leftovers in the fridge, or when we’re doing Asian-themed dinner with the test kitchen team—it’s a definite crowd-pleaser!
Typically, a serving of fried rice is about 198 grams. The calories can vary wildly, depending on what you put on it. Adding beef, chicken or pork (like ground meat or slices) can raise its calories to as high as 352 per serving. If you’re on a diet, consider high-protein and low-calorie toppings like tofu or egg.
A simple fried rice sautéed with garlic and butter is a very satisfying side dish. In this case, a serving can be kept to a half-cup or about 100 grams of cooked rice.
How Many Grams of Rice in a Serving of Congee?
Situation: You’re cooking congee, and want to know how many cups of rice to add to the broth.
Congee is a classic Chinese comfort dish, and a simple one to prepare at home. All you have to do is to boil rice in broth, then add your favorite seasonings and toppings (traditionally, that’s sesame oil, fried garlic bits, boiled egg, and others).
The water-to-rice ratio you use will change your congee’s consistency. Adding more water makes it soupier; adding more rice makes it creamier. There’s no right or wrong answer—this is purely a matter of preference!
For a thick congee with the consistency of a creamy oatmeal, you will need about ½ cup or 100 to 120 grams of rice for every 8 cups of water. The broth gets thicker as you cook it, as the rice releases starch into the broth.
For a medium-thick congee, you will need about ½ cup or 100 to 120 grams of rice for every 10 cups of water. This is the usual consistency of congee that’s served with a lot of toppings.
For a runny congee that’s closer to a soup, you will need ½ cup or 120 grams of rice for 12 cups of water. This is the best consistency if you are serving the congee with other dishes, or if you’re sick and just need a light but nourishing meal that’s easy to digest.
How Many Grams of Rice in a Serving of Paella?
Paella is a delicious Spanish dish spiced with saffron and cooked with a richness of ingredients, including seafood and chicken.
The rice, despite the overwhelming presence of all kinds of fish and poultry, is clearly the star of the dish. (Especially the yummy burnt bits that you scrape off the bottom of the paellera pan—heaven!). You simply can’t scrimp on the rice servings, no matter what your calorie-counting app is telling you.
So for one serving of paella per person, measure at least 120 grams of dry rice. That is about 1 cup of rice. You can decrease the serving size to about 60 grams if the paella if you’re serving other small dishes or tapas.
If you’re using a paellera, a medium one that typically serves 8 people will usually need about 414 grams or 2.3 cups of rice. Scale that measurement based on your paellera’s size, while considering that you need to add more broth for every cup of rice.
Get Your Rice Right
Rice is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in different ways.
By knowing the number of grams per rice for every kind of meal, you can prepare the right amount and even estimate the amount of calories you’re consuming.