Cooking Perfect Japanese Rice Without a Rice Cooker

Japanese rice is great! I eat it with everything these days, even things you wouldn’t expect to go with it. It’s truly versatile and has replaced bread and potatoes for me as my staple carbohydrate.

As well as being delicious, contrary to popular belief, it’s also really easy to cook perfectly! You don’t need a fancy rice cooker to make excellent Japanese rice (though they are great for keeping your rice warm so you can eat it later).

Here’s how I cook Japanese rice in the absence of a rice cooker. It takes about 5 minutes of preparation and 25 minutes to cook.

1. The standard measurement of rice is by the cup. Japanese rice cups hold 180ml, which is roughly the size of a small mug. A cup will serve one person, so measure out your portions accordingly. Place as many cups of rice as you need in a regular saucepan.

2. Next, you’ll need to wash the rice. Pour in some clean water and swirl and scrunch the rice with your hands. The water will quickly go a milky white. When this happens, pour the water in the sink, being careful not to lose any rice. I usually do this by tipping the saucepan and using my hand as a barrier of sorts. You don’t need to get rid of all of the water, just a reasonable amount.

Wash the rice one or two more times. The water will never go completely clear, so don’t worry about getting it perfect. Ensure that you have drained as much of the water as possible, otherwise the excess will significantly add to the amount we measure to cook the rice with.

4. When your rice has been washed, take the same cup you used to measure the portions, and add the same amount of water to the rice (2 cups of water for 2 cups of rice). At this point, I usually add a little bit more – around 1/4 of a cup for 2 cups of rice, or 1/3 for 3 cups.

If you pour the water into the saucepan along the inside, you will catch any stray bits of rice that may be clinging. Every grain is important!

5. Next, place your saucepan on the smallest hob on your cooker and put a lid on it. Set the flame to the lowest level and leave it for 25 minutes.

It really is as simple as that! In 25 minutes, you can enjoy delicious, fluffy, sticky Japanese rice, as good as any rice cooker will give you!

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

Expert tips before traveling Japan, including reviews of Japanese food and restaurants to help you make your trip as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

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