As the dietary staple of Japan, knowing how to cook Japanese rice is an important first step to becoming a Japanese cooking master. Perfectly prepared Japanese rice should be light, fluffy, and slightly sticky when cooked, and this popular Japan Centre recipe will have you making sublime rice every time. This recipe will also show you how to season your rice for sushi making.
Wash Rice : Measure out the rice and put it into a deep sauce-pan or use a bowl at this stage. Add plenty of water to the pan/bowl then gently stir and mix the rice with your hand. Pour the water away, keeping the rice in the pan/bowl with your hand when the water becomes cloudy with starch. Repeat this step up to 3-5 times or until the water becomes clear. After washing the rice soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
Boil Rice : Add the rice and 390ml of water to your sauce pan and put on the stove at maximum heat until the water boils. Once the water boils, turn down the heat to low and let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes. (Make sure to keep the lid on the sauce pan at all times).
Steam Rice : Once it has simmered, remove the sauce pan from the stove and leave the rice to steam for a further 10-15 minutes for authentic Japanese stickiness.
Serve and Enjoy : Once the rice has finished steaming, mix well with a shamoji, or Japanese rice paddle, and serve into bowls. You can then use a choice of toppings such as furikake, Japanese pickles (tsukemono) or sauce for extra flavour.
Now to turn it into Sushi Rice.
Requirements: Sushi Vinegar 80ml
Wooden Sushi Bowl (Optional)
To make sushi rice, the cooked rice needs to be mixed with sushi vinegar, which is Japanese rice vinegar mixed with salt and sugar. Mix 80ml of sushi vinegar (or about 12% of the total cooked rice weight) with the rice. To get the best flavour, the vinegar needs to be folded into the rice while it is still warm. As you are mixing the rice and vinegar together, use a fan to cool the rice and remove the moisture. Your sushi rice is now ready to be used in all types of delicious sushi. For best results use a wooden sushi bowl (sushi oke) to mix and cool the rice.
- You can vary the amount of sushi vinegar slightly according to your taste.
- See our Japanese Rice How To page for even more facts and information about Japanese rice and the different varieties available.