Fluffy Japanese White Rice Techniques

19 stir mix your rice japans kitchen

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 Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rice Resting time 40 minutes
Cuisine Japanese


  • Large Strainer
  • Electric Rice Cooker


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


  • 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.
    01 measure rice japans kitchen
  • Adding straight into the rice pot we plan to cook in.
    02 pour rice into pot
  • 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.
    03 wash rice under cold water japans kitchen
  • This cloudy water is exactly what we want, so being careful not to loose any valuable rice, drain that cloudy water.
    04 drain the water
  • Run the water over the rice & wash it again.
    05 wash the rice again japans kitchen
  • Drain the water again.
    06 drain the rice
  • Wash it again.
    07 drain the rice again japans kitchen
  • Drain it again.
    08 drain the rice again
  • The water should be clearer so you can see the rice lurking under the surface.
    09 cleaner water with rice underneath japans kitchen
  • Now it's time for its first rest & relaxation session. 20 minutes. Start timer for 20mins.
    10 let the rice rest
  • Drain the rice through a strainer & brush out every single grain. Waste nothing.
    11 strain rice japans kitchen
  • Set the strainer over the pot & rest again for another 20 minutes.
    12 rest the rice
  • Tip your rice back into the pot.
    13 pour rice into pot japans kitchen
  • Stand back & admire your clean rice. It's already looking fluffier.
    14 admire your clean rice
  • 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.
    15 add water to rice japans kitchen
  • Lower the pot.
    16 lower the pot
  • Set your rice cooker | 20 minutes resting = 20 minutes cooking.
    17 set your rice cooker japans kitchen
  • It's cooked but resist the urge to open, it's still steaming & we leave our rice in there for a good 10 minutes.
    18 dont open rice cooker
  • Open & mix the rice around gently & look how fluffy it is.
    19 stir mix your rice japans kitchen


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.
Keyword Japanese rice, how to make Japanese rice

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