How to Cook Japanese Rice
< Tips >
- Measure the water exactly (Check your cup! See the end of this article)
- Prepare the rice quickly
- Never use warm water, always cold water
- Soak in water for at least 30minutes before starting to cook
- Leave the rice with lid on after cooking (15 minutes )
- See cup measures comparison below
There are many kind of rice in the world. Japanese rice is sometimes sold as sushi-rice. It has a short and round shape, and when it is cooked is stickier than long grain rice. Since Sushi became so popular, Japanese rice is available in most big supermarkets in Europe.
Rice is very basic and simple, but is the most important Japanese food. Because it’s simple, you can’t disguise the quality. Good quality rice grains stand up (they don’t lie down!) and are shiny when they are cooked.
It is important to measure the exact amount of water for cooking. Otherwise it’s a disaster! If it’s cooked with too much water, it becomes porridge (called “okayu”, very gentle on your stomach). If cooked with too little water, it’s just dry, hard rice.
We call cooked Japanese rice “Gohan“, and uncooked rice is called “Kome“. Like many people, I use a rice cooker at home. But as long as the rice is soaked, it takes only 15 minutes cooking. Rice for sushi is called Sumeshi in Japanese, and has flavour added by rice vinegar, salt and sugar (“sushizu“in Japanese) after cooking. It’s used for all kind of sushi, such as sushi roll, nigiri, inarizushi, etc.
I love, love rice! I don’t know how much you can enjoy plain rice without any other flavour, but it’s very important for most Japanese meals. If your rice is not shiny, add a touch of “Mirin” and “Sake” before cooking. It gives the rice a bit of shine and flavour.
*NOTE : This cooking method is with a saucepan. If you cook with a rice cooker, please use the measuring cup that comes with the machine (it’s often a cup for rice of 180ml), and add water to the level which the machine indicates inside the bowl.