How To Cook Japanese Rice on the Stove

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  • No rice cooker? Learn how to cook Japanese rice on the stove! My simple tips and tricks will ensure your rice comes out fluffy with intact grain each time.

    Cooked white rice in a bowl.

    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.

    Watch How to Cook Rice

    How to cook rice on the stove tutorial: It is simple to make Japanese (short grain) rice on a stove. Soak the rice, let it drain, and cook on low heat for 12-13 minutes.

    Growing up in Japan, where rice is a staple food and primary source of protein, cooking rice is not only just 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!

    Cooked white rice in a bowl.

    4 Important Tips 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, hence it needs moisture to revive the texture.  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 5 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.

    And if you 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. Be sure to let it cool before freezing.

    How To Store Cooked Rice (Keeping your rice moist, fresh, and delicious) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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    5 from 15 votes
    How To Cook Japanese Rice | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    How To Cook Japanese Rice on the Stove
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    50 mins

    No rice cooker? Learn how to cook Japanese rice on the stove! My simple tips and tricks will ensure your rice comes out fluffy with intact grain each time.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: japanese rice, white rice
    Servings: 2 (for 1 cup uncooked rice)
    Author: Nami
    For an American Measuring Cup (240 ml)
    For a Rice Cooker Cup (180 ml)
    To Prepare Rice
    1. For Japanese short-grain rice, the ideal rice to water ratio is 1 : 1.1 (or 1.2), which is 10-20% more water. For easy American "cup" measurement, I used 25% in this recipe (rice to water ratio is 1 : 1.25). If you have a precise milliliter measuring cup or kitchen scale, use the following measurement. 200 ml water for 1 rice cooker cup (180 ml). 400 ml water for 2 rice cooker cups (360 ml). 600 ml water for 3 rice cooker cups (540 ml). 800 ml water for 4 rice cooker cups (720 ml). 1000 ml water for 5 rice cooker cups (900 ml).

      How To Cook Rice Ingredients
    2. 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. Drain to a fine-mesh sieve and shake off excess water.

      How To Cook Rice 1
    3. In a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, put well-drained rice and measured water. Soak the rice for 20-30 minutes before cooking.

      How To Cook Rice 3
    To Cook Rice
    1. Close the lid 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).

      How To Cook Rice 4
    2. 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.
      How To Cook Rice 5
    3. Remove the pot (with the lid on) from the heat source and let it steam for another 10 minutes.
      How To Cook Rice 6
    4. Fluff the rice with a rice paddle when it’s done.
      How To Cook Rice 7
    To Store Rice
    1. Transfer the rice in airtight containers and close the lid to keep the moisture in. Let cool completely before storing the containers in the freezer (read my tutorial post).

      Glass airtight containers with steamed rice in them.
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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