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The Native Japanese Cooking Guide; How To Cook Rice Perfectly without A Rice Cooker

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I don’t remember where I read IT in the UK or the US, I was so disappointed when I found the package direction on how to cook rice.

“Pour rice in a pot, cover the rice with water and BOIL until rice is cooked.”

I was like, “Are you serious???”

I am talking about long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain (Japanese sticky rice), with Japanese way,

if you think the way of cooking rice is “BOIL”, it never gets the best result.

I am from Japan, and as you know, the Japanese staple food is “Rice”, maybe you guys call, “Sticky rice” or “Sushi rice”.

We never ever boil rice, so we technically “STEAM” it after careful preparations.

If you often fail to cook rice perfectly, maybe you don’t know a few steps for preparing for it.

These steps are very important to make rice fluffy and tasty.

Don’t worry you don’t have a rice cooker.

I have never had a rice cooker since I lived myself and found the perfect recipe without fail.

And my way, it is available for long-grain, medium-short grain, short-grain rice that I have tried so far.

How Ro Cook 2 Cups Of Rice

how to cook rice, 8

Japanese Rice

Today, I am going to tell you how to cook 2 cups of rice, but you can increase and decrease the amount of rice if liked.

You can make just a cup of rice, but in some cases, it will not a good result when you don’t have a small enough pan.

You need to use a measuring cup. Very important in the later process.


how to cook rice, 9

The first important tip is to “RINSE the rice”.

The reason you should rinse the rice is that wash excess starches away, so the rice gets a fluffy and no-starch taste.

how to cook rice, 10

In the Japanese term, rinse the rice is called “(Okomeo) Togu” (お米を 研ぐ), and the Japanese carefully do this when they cook rice.

The Japanese Aesthetic; The Process Of Okome O Togu

Japanese Phrase 26

Cooking delicious rice is said to begin with removing bran and dust from the surface of polished (milled) rice. Therefore, Japanese people are particular about the pure water and how to “Tohu” (研ぐ) – rinse the rice.

Rice absorbs water “when rinsing rice” and “when rice sits in a bowl filled water”. Even when rinsing, rice is easy to absorb water, especially at the beginning of rinsing.

Ideally, the best water to use to start rinsing rice is pure water, such as a water purifier, rather than tap water smelling of chlorine!

When saying, “I want to cook delicious rice!”, I pay particular attention to the water used when rinsing and cooking.

Don’t be slow once you start rinsing rice. Stir rice gently a few times from the bottom, then immediately drain the water.

Start washing the rice. Spread your fingers like holding a baseball ball, stir the rice gently in the same direction. Don’t wash the rice so hard to avoid cracking.

Change the water 3 times.

Don’t worry about even the water is not clear, (In other words, it never get clear), and don’t rinse the rice too many times.

Soak The Rice In The Water

how to cook rice, 1

As the second tip, what you need to do before cooking rice with a pan (*Non-Japanese rice cooker) is to “rinse the rice and let it soak in the bowl filled with water”.

Rice is a kind of “dry food”, and it is necessary to absorb water beforehand so that cooking can be done smoothly in a pan.

Soaking time is “30 minutes in summer and 1 hour in winter”.

Just remember to soak rice in the water for over 30 minutes.

When I skipped this because I was lazy, and the rice wasn’t cooked perfectly, so this step also is very important.

• Japanese Rice Cookers

Most current Japanese rice cookers have the “soaking rice” function so you really don’t need the process of soaking rice in the water before cooking.

In other words, the rice becomes too sticky and watery (soft) when you soak rice in the water and cook it with a current model of the Japanese rice cooker.

What’s the current model of A Japanese rice cooker??? (Jump to Amazon)

What’s the old model of A Japanese rice cooker??? (Jump to Amazon)


how to cook rice, 3

Drain the rice after soaking rice over 30 minutes.

As you know, the ratio of rice and water is the key to cook rice successfully.

I tried many ways to measure the water that recipes said like using a finger, a chopstick, or added the exact amount the recipe said, but I couldn’t get good results all the time.

But if you follow my steps especially soaking rice in water, bring the measuring cup that you used in the beginning, and add water the exact same amount of rice.

Remember, if you don’t soak rice in the water, this way never be successful.

About A Pan

You may wonder what kind of pan you need to use for rice.

I recommend a pan or pot that has a wide bottom, and not so deep and too big. Besides, the pan heats up quickly is great.

I use a fried-pan all the time, for 2 cups of rice, I use the small fried-pan.

Also, the lid is required. (You can use aluminum foil instead. )

*Depending on the size of the pan, the aluminum foil may rise by boiling inside the pan (if only aluminum foil). In that case, put a lid (a lid larger than the diameter of the pot) to press down from above.

Let’s Start Cooking

Did you step the processes properly so far???

Rinse, soak, and measure water.

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  1. Make sure the rice is flat evenly.
  2. Cover with a lid or foil and cook the rice with *medium-high heat until *the water start boil.
  3. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir the rice, and reduces the heat to low and cook for about *7 -12 minutes.
  4. When the rice becomes fluffy and the water is gone, turn the heat off.
  5. If you are not sure it done cooked, turn up the high heat and you can hear a crackling sound, it means done cooking.
  6. Let sit the pan leaving the lid on for 10 minutes. NEVER OPEN THE LID!!!

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*The best heat is that it is enough to boil the inside in 5 minutes or so. If you cook with max high heat, sticky water inside will come out. But, it depends on what types of pan you are using and your stove condition. Just don’t start cooking with low heat.

*The cooking time differs depending on several conditions. What I do is check the rice once at 7 minutes later (after reducing the heat), then if I need to cook more, let it cook 5 minutes more. It may difficult to find out the first time, but you will know it after a few times trying.

Step 6; Let sit the pan leaving the lid on for 10 minutes

how to cook rice, 6

You can see holes in the picture above, this means the rice is cooked perfectly.

Step 6 is called “Murashi” (蒸らし) in Japanese, it is also an important tip to make rice better.

It is not resting for rice, It is an important time to bring out “umami” in the process of uniforming temperature inside of the pan and also the water content of the rice.

To succeed with this process, keep the high temperature inside, that’s why you can’t open the lid while step 6.

Don’t leave a lid for too long, it causes the sticky and watery rice.

After Care

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After “Murashi” (step 6) process done, there is one more important tip to make tasty rice.

Try opening the lid without dropping the water drops on the cooked rice to avoid get the rice watery and sticky.

Mix GENTLY the cooked rice from the bottom. You don’t have to mix the rice completely.

Just GENTLY break down the lump of the rice.

Since mixing the rice after the “Murashi” process, excess water will dry out and make the taste of rice settle down.

Also, it is better to transfer the rice to another bowl or gather the rice in the center.

If you leave it in a pot for a while after cooking, the heat left in the pot will dry the rice.

Wet the utensil used to scoop up the rice to prevent it from sticking.

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After I found out this way, I never fail to cook rice.

However, it may need to practice to improve rice cooking sense.

Japanese sticky rice may little difficult than long-grain, medium-long grain rice, so start these grains of rice if you are a beginner. (But you can’t make sushi with these rice in case you don’t know.)

Also, 2 cups of rice are the easiest amount to cook perfect rice as a beginner.

It because the rice on the bottom easily squished and watery, or overcooked.

If you don’t forget “Rince, soak and Murashi, there is less risk to fail to cook rice.

the bowl of rice

The Perfect Rice

The Native Japanese Guide of "How-To" Cook The Rice Perfectly Without A Rice Cooker
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese


  • 2 Cups Rice Long-grain, Medium-short Grain, Japanese Rice


  • Measure 2 cups of rice exactly with a measuring cup.
  • Rince the rice gently. (change the water 3 times.)
  • Soak the rice in the bowl filled with water for over 30 minutes, and drain the water.
  • Put the rice in the pan (pod), and add the exact 2 cups of water.
  • Cover with a lid or foil and cook the rice with medium-high heat until the water boiled.
  • As soon as it comes to a boil, stir the rice, and reduces the heat to low and cook for about 7-12 minutes.
  • When the rice becomes fluffy and the water is gone, turn the heat off.
  • Let sit the pan leaving the lid on for 10 minutes. Never open the lid during this process.
Keyword Rice

how to cook rice

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