How to Cook a Japanese Rice?

Cooking Tasty Rice

Rice is the second most widely cultivated plant in the world, after maize, and is by far the main source of carbohydrates in Asia, where I currently live. But growing up in America, I learned how to make rice in a pot on the stove. Throw in a bit of butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, and you have a delicious side dish to meat n ‘potatoes. Or so I thought.

Well, it’s not in Japan! My companions were surprised (actually terrified) did not know how to use a rice cooker. And it took five months of terrible, sticky rice before a nice old lady finally showed me the secret of making Japanese-style rice. It turns out that like me, many Westerners have no idea how to properly rice in a rice cooker. (However the contrary, most Japanese have no idea how to make the rice on the stove-top, so at least I have that 🙂 Several well done Instructables already exist on how to make pizza and bread and burgers a rice cooker, and even alcohol, but none (that I could find) on how to make ‘ol plain rice. This instructable hopes to remedy that.

This is delicious white rice, fluffy that the Japanese use as a basis for almost every meal. (Although not sushi rice, which uses other ingredients).

So without further ado, let’s begin.
Step 1: Ingredients (ie, rice.) And other things

Image of ingredients (ie. Rice) and other things
pretty basic stuff here. Basically, you need:

hardware –
a rice cooker
a measuring cup

Software –
Short-grain white rice

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Photos 1, 2 and 3 show the rice cooker that I’m using. It is Japanese, which will become important in later stages, but basically it is a metal container that fits inside a device bakers stocky appearance with a few buttons on the front.

Figure 4 shows a close up of rice I’m using. It is a short grain white rice, typical of Japan. It is more starched than their cousins long and medium grain, and that translates into, good for sticky rice sticks (and risotto, but it could be another ‘ble). It is a very common rice in Asia, but you can buy in grocery stores around the world.

EDIT: Ever wonder what brand or variety of rice that I am using, in particular, that is a good question. Buy Koshihikari rice (Wikipedia), as I think most people in Japan do too. I’m not sure if this exact variety is available in all countries, but certainly some form of short grain rice will be.