I have been asked many times “how to cook white rice” at my Japanese cooking demonstrations. From that experience, I realized that many are looking for detailed explanations, cooking methods and tips for cooking rice for Japanese meals. And I also know that many of you are more familiar with long rice for ethnic food; like Indian, Chinese and Thai.
Long rice is not suited to Japanese food, particularly sushi. I’m glad I have the chance to teach you the proper way to cook white rice. As you cook rice on the stove top you may sometimes make mistakes, but with practice it becomes easier and you will get better at cooking Japanese style rice. The smell and slightly sweet taste of rice is really suited to the simplicity of Japanese food.
Short or medium grain white rice is perfect for Japanese cuisine. It’s a little sticky and easier to eat with chopsticks. You can use ‘sushi rice’ as well which is also a short grain rice.
Wash the rice and leave it for 20-30 minutes
*Tip- When I demonstrate cooking rice, my audience will often ask with surprise "Are you washing the rice?" I didn’t know that people are not washing rice, so I was surprised too. Some information said 'white rice that is polished doesn’t need to be washed' or for fluffy rice 'you rinse after cooking'. The Japanese way is to wash before we cook.
How to wash rice;
*Tip- Leave the rice for 20-30 minutes -- this is the proper way but I don't always do it, sometimes I cook straight after washing. You can do the same if you are in a hurry.
Using a rice cooker will give you a perfect result every time.
*Tip- Each rice cooker has special cup. (A rice cooker cup does not equal 1 measuring cup)
Check out this quick video for cooking perfect rice in your rice cooker..
Ingredients --- (All measurements are metric 250ml cup)
2 cups of Short or medium grain rice
*Tip- 2 cup of raw rice makes 4-6 cups of cooked rice
Step by step instructions
I usually turn over top to bottom because the top can be quite dry and bottom section has more moisture than the top. For this motion - folding rice, it is better to use a wooden or plastic spatula.
*Tip- Wetting the spatula first using water makes this process much easier. Please take care not to mould or squash the rice grains.
I can hear your excitement now that you have learnt “how to cook white rice “ the proper Japanese way. Now you want to cook some more Japanese food? Or maybe you want to get good advice for buying a rice cooker. Yes I assure you, it’s a good investment!
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