Also known as minute rice, is rice that has been precooked and dehydrated so that it cooks rapidly. Regular rice requires approximately 20 minutes to cook while instant rice usually needs between five and 10 minutes, or 90 seconds in a microwave. Because it has already been cooked, all that is necessary to prepare instant rice is to re-hydrate it with hot water.
Instant rice is made by using several methods. The most common is similar to home cooking. Rice is blanched in hot water, steamed, and rinsed. It is then placed in large ovens for dehydration until the moisture content reaches approximately twelve percent or less. The basic principle involves increasing moisture of the milled white rice by using steam or water to form cracks or holes in the kernels.
The fast cooking properties happen at recooking. Water quickly penetrates into the cracked grain.