How to Make Japanese Rice (Gohan)
White Japonica rice has the perfect properties for Japanese cooking (except for sweets, which require glutinous rice). It has a heartier mouthfeel than the long-grain rice eaten by most Americans, and a slight stickiness that makes it easier to eat with chopsticks. To store cooked rice, allow it to cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container. It will keep for three or four days.
- MAKES 2 CUPS
- PREP TIME: 40 TO 70 MINUTES
- COOK TIME: 30 TO 45 MINUTES
- 1 cup white Japonica rice
Making Japanese Rice Using Medium Pot
- Put the rice in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover it, plus
about ½ inch. Use your hands to churn the rice and water until the water turns cloudy, about 15 seconds. Drain the water from the pot, being careful not to lose any rice.
- Repeat Step 1 twice.
- Repeat Step 1 one more time, but leave just enough water in the pot to cover the rice. Gently massage the rice between the palms of your hands for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse, repeating until the water is almost clear.
- Drain the rice thoroughly through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Put the rice in an electric rice cooker or a medium, heavy cast iron or enameled pot with a lid that fits snugly. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of fresh, cold water.
Making Japanese Rice Using Electric Rice Cooker
- Put the lid on the rice cooker. If your cooker includes a soak cycle in the total cooking time, turn it on to the “regular” or “white” setting. Let the cooking process run to completion without opening the lid.
- If your cooker doesn’t have a soak cycle, let the rice soak for 30 to 60 minutes, then turn the cooker on to the “regular” or “white” setting.
- Let the cooking process run to completion without opening the lid.
- If your cooker includes a “rest cycle,” the cooking process concludes when the rest cycle is complete.
- If your cooker doesn’t have a rest cycle, leave the lid closed when the cooking process has finished, and let the rice steam for 15 minutes.
- Open the lid and toss the rice with a rice paddle or wooden spoon to fluff it. Close the lid to keep the rice warm (leave your rice cooker on the “keep warm” cycle, if it has one) until you’re ready to serve.
Making Japanese Rice Using the Stovetop
- Let the rice soak in the pot with the cooking water for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Put the pot on the stove, uncovered, over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat up to high and put on the lid.
- Don’t open the lid at any time during this step. Boil the rice for 1 minute, then turn the heat back down to medium and cook, covered, for 4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pot. If the rice has not completely absorbed the water, turn the heat up to high and cook until the remaining water evaporates.
- Take the pot off the heat and put the lid back on. Let the rice stand for 15 minutes.
- Open the lid and toss the rice with a rice paddle or wooden spoon to fluff it. Cover the pot to keep the rice warm until you’re ready to serve.
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