Do you use a rice cooker to make rice or do you cook rice the traditional way in a pot? Today let’s get back to basics and I’m going to show you how to cook Japanese short grain rice on the stove as I’ve received a lot of requests from readers for this recipe.
Growing up in Japan, where rice is the primary source of protein and a staple food, cooking rice is a basic kitchen task, but an extremely important one. While a rice cooker (this is the one I have) with all the bells and whistles seem to be an essential kitchen gadget in most Asian kitchens, I know not everyone eats rice on a daily basis and may not own a rice cooker. It’s also handy to know how to make rice over the stove in case your rice cooker breaks out of the blue or you’re craving for rice while camping.
Japanese short-grain rice is different from long-grain basmati or jasmine rice. So if you want to cook Japanese rice at home, please follow this simple method to cook a perfect pot of glossy and tender rice!
There are 4 important points to remember when cooking Japanese short grain rice!
1. Always soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Rice has been sitting in the bag dried after milling and needs moisture. It’s important that you give it enough time for rice to absorb water so that rice has a nice fluffy texture after it’s cooked.
2. Drain the rice completely, at least for 15 minutes. Why? If you don’t drain thoroughly, you’ll be using more water in cooking than you intended. The rice might come out all mushy.
3. DO NOT open the lid while cooking! That’s a big no no when it comes to cooking Japanese rice. I learned from my experience to catch the indication of “boiling” by the sound. However, until you do, it’s okay to “quickly peek” inside to see if it’s boiling. The last 10 minutes of steaming is an extremely important part of cooking rice, so continue to keep the pot covered till the end and do not skip this step!
4. Use a heavy-bottom pot with tight-fitting lid that keeps the steam in. If your lid fits loosely, put a clean kitchen cloth between the lid and the pot.
I made a video for you so you can watch the whole process in less than 2 minutes. Also, this is our first video which we included some clips of outtakes! We are still learning how to shoot videos and we make quite a few mistakes.
By the way, you may wonder how to keep the leftover rice. And here’s what I do: freeze the rice! If you already know how much rice you will be using, then pack away the unused rice immediately to seal in the moisture (let it cool before freezing)!
- 1 cup premium Japanese short grain rice
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
- Put rice in a large bowl. Rice absorbs water very quickly when you start washing, so don't let the rice absorb the unclear water. Gently wash the rice in a circular motion and discard the water. Repeat this process about 3-4 times.
- Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain for 15 minutes.
- Combine the rice and water in a heavy-bottom pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Take a quick peek to see if water is boiling (otherwise do not open the lid).
- Once water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook covered for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed (take a quick peek!). If you see there is water left, close the lid and continue cooking for a little longer.
- Remove the pot (with the lid on) from the heat source and let it steam for another 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a rice paddle when it’s done.