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Friday, January 28, 2011

Japanese Rice

Rice is the staple food for the Japanese. Japanese rice is of the Japonica type, which is a white, short, wide grain rice with a starchy texture when cooked. Japanese rice when prepared properly tends to be slightly sticky with the grains clumping together, but it should never be mushy.

How to Prepare Japanese Rice

Ingredients

• 4 cups short grain rice
• 4 cups water
• extra water

Method

1. Place 4 cups of the rice into a bowl that holds twice the volume of rice.
2. Pour water into the bowl until it just covers the rice. Holding the bowl carefully with one hand, stir the rice briskly for 10-15 seconds with the other hand.
3. Carefully tip the milky water out, covering rice with one hand.
4. Repeat for a second and third time until the water runs clear.
5. Drain rice in a fine mesh sieve and leave for 30 minutes if you have time.
6. Place the rice and 4 cups of water into a saucepan.
7. Bring to the boil with the lid on and then simmer for 14 minutes.
8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to rest with lid on for 5-10 minutes.
9. Before serving, gently turn the rice over with a moistened rice paddle to allow excess moisture to escape as steam.

Note: When you have left over rice, keep it in the freezer, wrapped with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.

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6 comments:

  1. I have a little comment to add: it is easy to ignore the 'stir the rice' step, but the stirring/rubbing action polishes the rice and this is how the Japanese get the sushi rice to become so shiny!
    Great blog, I love Japan:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment PlanJapan. Hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A very good point to emphasise - the need to wash rice is very important, not just for Japanese short-grain rice. None of our chinese friends do this at all, so I wonder if it's a Japanese-specific style?

    The only point I'd make is that the way we wash the rice is slightly different - we tend to use much less water and rather squeeze lightly (kneading) the water from the rice. Washing too vigorously tends to damage the rice too much (and strips too much off the outside of the rice).

    This also works well with the typical medium grain rice you can buy here in Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks AdelaideBen, Japanese tend to wash the rice and I have even noticed chefs in Australia do this as well. Most Japanese chefs will stir the rice briskly for 10-15 seconds in order to clean it properly. Does work well with Australian style medium grain rice :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Besides the saucepan Chinese people do exactly the same thing Adelaide. Cooking rice is a staple of Asian cuisine not just Japan. Saucepans don't provide an even distribution of heat so you either need to watch the rice like a hawk or end up with burned rice on the sides and bottom of the pan because the rest of it won't cook through.

    Using a rice cooker is much simpler and produces better results. Of course if you want a really good traditional flavor, you should really keep a pot of rice over an open charcoal flame. The rice will have a light scent of the burned wood.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Anon, We usually use s saucepan in Australia because of a lack of quality rice steamers. In Japan, most people would use a rice steamer to cook the rice as it is easier and more useful to cook large amounts of rice for the family.

    ReplyDelete

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