Fluffy Japanese White Rice Techniques

Good rice to Japanese people is like good bread to us western folk & as you may or may not know, there is a kind of artisan craft to making ‘good bread’. There are techniques one learns over many years, patience is one, handling gently is another, and generally give a crap is a huge one. When it comes to ‘good rice’, the Japanese certainly have an opinion about it. While it’s perhaps common knowledge for them, I don’t think I’ve ever seen western folks make rice quite the same way. Gluggy, soggy, starchy & over watered are the adjectives that come to mind. It might be time to start making rice a little better because everything is better with good rice.

Fluffy Japanese White Rice

Not really a recipe but a visual demonstration on how to make super fluffy Japanese white rice. We use Nishiki rice in our shops & the real key takeaway here is how much we wash the rice & then rest the rice before cooking.
Prep Time1 hr
Active Time20 mins
Rice Resting time40 mins
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese rice, how to make Japanese rice

Equipment

  • Large Strainer
  • Electric Rice Cooker

Materials

  • 2 cups Japanese white rice (we use Nishiki brand)
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • We're going to measure the rice quite precisely as the ratio of rice to water can throw off the balance | 2 cups rice = 2 cups water.
  • Adding straight into the rice pot we plan to cook in.
  • Run the rice under cold water & use your hand to wash in a circular & then a scrubbing motion, beacuse we want it to be clean & mostly free of that cloudy starchy water.
  • This cloudy water is exactly what we want, so being careful not to loose any valuable rice, drain that cloudy water.
  • Run the water over the rice & wash it again.
  • Drain the water again.
  • Wash it again.
  • Drain it again.
  • The water should be clearer so you can see the rice lurking under the surface.
  • Now it's time for its first rest & relaxation session. 20 minutes. Start timer for 20mins.
  • Drain the rice through a strainer & brush out every single grain. Waste nothing.
  • Set the strainer over the pot & rest again for another 20 minutes.
  • Tip your rice back into the pot.
  • Stand back & admire your clean rice. It's already looking fluffier.
  • Add your water to the rice | 2 cups rice = 2 cups water. And we must stress here, dry your pot before you lower it into the rice cooker or you will burn your pot, create hot spots where rice will over cook & leave black singe marks on your pot.
  • Lower the pot.
  • Set your rice cooker | 20 minutes resting = 20 minutes cooking.
  • It's cooked but resist the urge to open, it's still steaming & we leave our rice in there for a good 10 minutes.
  • Open & mix the rice around gently & look how fluffy it is.

Notes

Key takeaways:
  1. Washing the rice is super important to get rid of all that starch clinging to the little husks. Soaking it in a water bath of clean water helps the rice to relax & unwind after a hard day working in the fields.
  2. Rinsing & resting is paramount to fluffy white rice & once you've made it this way a few times, you'll wonder what you've been eating all these years.
  3. The resting time & the cooking time should be the same.
    ie. 20 minutes resting = 20 minutes cooking.
If you follow these techniques, you too can be a rice fluffer.

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