This is the basic way to cook rice. It's called Khao Plow in Thailand. In Thailand, jasmine rice is always prepared without added salt or oil. The first step involves rinsing the rice in water two to three times, until water is clear of starchy residue (which results in a fresher, cleaner taste). The second step involves cooking the rice until it boils, and then letting it steam to a perfect finish.
If using a rice cooker: measure rice, wash it thoroughly, then cook it according to manufacturer's directions. If there are no water-to-rice proportions listed, use measurements in this recipe.
Rinse rice: Add rice to a 2 1/2-to-3 quart heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and cover rice with cold water by 2 inches. Swirl rice around in water several times with your hand, and drain. Repeat procedure 2 more times, or until water runs clear. Drain rice well in a sieve to remove all water.
Return rice to pan and add enough water (about 3 3/4 cups) to cover rice by about 3/4 inch. Measure by placing the tip of an index finger in the surface of the rice and ensuring that water surface is at the first joint.
Bring water to a boil, uncovered, and boil rice 15 seconds. Cook rice, covered, over very low heat without lifting lid, 15 to 29 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Turn rice gently with a flat wooden spatula and keep warm, covered. Rice is best served within 1 hour of cooking.