I am going to share how to cook rice, the Japanese way that my father taught me. My father knew how to cook absolutely perfect, Japanese plain steamed rice.
Which Rice? What types of Rice?
Short grain Japonica preferably, “Koshihikari”. If you can get “Koshihikari” this is the rice I would buy. If there are Japanese or Asian grocery stores near you, get Koshihikari. They are not cheap compared to the other types of rice, like Jasmine rice or long grain rice. See below for options in US.
Generally speaking, many rice GI values are quite high. Although Koshihikari is not. Koshihikari is actually low GI and it’s GI value is 48. So I continued to consume koshihikari rice when I was on low GI diet.
Fluffy Rice is a big NO NO
Japanese people love anything fluffy, like fluffy pancake and fluffy bread. But never ever fluffy rice. Perfectly cooked rice is shiny and firm but perfectly cooked through. It is like how the Italians fuss about cooking pasta al dente professionally.
My surprise to see how the rice is cooked in Australian households
I came to Australia about 20 years ago. Everything is so big and spacious, with friendly people. I fell in love instantly with Australia except for one thing, the way people cook rice. It was my jaw dropping moment when I saw they cook rice in a saucepan with a lot of water, and draining the water when the rice is cooked with sieves. What!?
How Japanese people cook rice at home?
Japanese people are so big on cooking delicious rice. There are so many great rice cookers available in Japan. In Japan, Rice is cooked mainly in Rice Cookers. There are some trends and it is popular to cook rice in clay pots too.
My father’s tips on how to cook perfect rice, the Japanese way
No matter what you use to cook rice, whether you use a rice cooker or clay pot or Staub Cast Iron rice cooker. I always follow my Dad’s tips.
Rice and water ratio is 1:1
It does not have to be a proper measurement cup. I even use a mug. One mug of uncooked rice, and using the same mug, add the mug of water to pour in.
Wash and rinse until the washing water becomes clear
Never ever open the lid
You need to be patient even though it is hard to resist. Do not open the lid, because opening the lid lets out the built up steam. So for that reason, do not open the lid.
Allow 10 minutes after the heat is turned off
After the heat is turned off, allow 10 minutes so the rice is cooked further with remaining steam.
Turn the rice gently from the bottom
How to store the leftover rice
Cooking more rice yields a better result. So I usually cook a minimum 2 cups of uncooked rice. Divide the leftover rice to the amount you will eat at a meal. Wrap them gently with cling wrap while it is still warm, place them in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them. It will keep for about a month.
Koshihikari Available in US
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Using Rice Cooker
- Wash rice thoroughly until the washing water become clear in a large bowl.
- Drain the washing water completely.
- Place washed rice and water into the rice cooker.
- Follow the instructions of your rice cooker now.
- When the rice is cooked, turn the rice from the bottom few times.
- If there is leftover, wrap the rice with cling wrap and place them in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze them.
Using a clay pot or cast iron cooker
- Wash the rice thoroughly until the washing water becomes clear in the clay pot or a cast iron cooker that you are going to use for cooking rice.
- Drain the washing water completely, and add the equal amount of water to cook.
- Place a lid on and start to heat, over high heat.
- Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low medium. From this point, never open the lid, and cook a further 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the rice cook in the remaining steam inside the cooker for 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and turn the rice a few times from the bottom.