Put the washed rice in a pot with plenty of water to cover and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook at a simmer until some of the grains have begun to burst and all are starting to become tender, about 30 minutes. The time will vary with the rice used. Turn off the heat, pour off the water, and return the pot to the stove. Cover it tightly and let stand for the grains to steam and finish cooking, about 15 minutes. Gently fork the grains apart and serve, seasoned with butter or oil, salt to taste, and pepper.