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How To Cook Rice Perfectly Like You’re The Japanese On Stove Top: Without Rice Cooker

How To Cook Perfectly Rice Like You're The Japanese On Stove top Without Rice Cooker Food & Recipes
Food & Recipes

I was so disappointed when I found the package direction on how to cook rice in other countries.

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

I was like, “Are you serious???”

When talking about white rice, you’ll never get fluffy and delicious rice since it is boiled in water…

If you often get terrible mushy cooked rice, maybe you don’t know a few steps to cook the rice.

When following these steps to cook perfect white rice, you can get fluffy and tasty cooked rice you never had.

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 white rice that I have tried so far.

Rinse The Rice Before Cookig

The first important tip is to rinse rice before cooking except for you’re making pilaf.

To make fluffy, shiny, non-starchy rice,
you should remove excess starch from the surface of the rice.

how to cook rice, 10

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

Use Purified Water For The Initial Rinse

Use pure water for rinsing the rice at first rather than tap water containing chlorine since dry rice absorbs water from the initial rinse mostly.

Only by changing the water for the initial rinse, you can step up further to make the perfect rice.

You don’t need to use the purified water throughout the rinse& wash process.

Only the first and second rinse for the rice, use the purified water.

In a large bowl, fill enough purified water to rinse the rice.

Using your fingers, gently lightly agitate and drain the water. Rinse repeat.

How To Wash The Rice After The Initial Rinse

After the initial rinse, drain the water. Make a claw and gently swirl the rice around, and rinse with tap water.

Repeat this a few times until the water will be almost clear.

Approximately, rinse &wash 3 times for 2 cups of rice.

Avoid over-washing since the rice grain will be cracked.

Soak The Rice In The Water

  • To let the rice grain absorbs the water to the core
  • To reach effectively the heat temperature for letting the starch broken down
  • To make the cooked rice fluffer

Soaking the rice is the tip to cook the rice effectively and deliciously quickly.

The second tip is to let it soak in the bowl filled with water.

After the rice is soaked in water and cooked, starch is broken down into glucose quicker by heating the water absorbed in the rice grain, which makes the rice sticky (in a good way) and fluffy.

How Long You Should Soak The Rice

  • Any time between 30 minutes to 1 hour in the summer season
  • Any time between 1 hour to 2 hours in the winter season

Personally, soaking the rice for 30 minutes should be fine though out the year.

Is It OK To Soak The Rice In Water Overnight?

Leaving the rice soaking at room temperature, rice grains will be breakable, and also there is concern about the growth of germs.

Store the bowl in a refrigerator if you want to soak the rice overnight for up to 12 hours.

You can add a little salt to prevent the growth of germs.

What You Should Do In Case You Don’t Have Enough Time For Soaking

In case you forget to soak the rice but you need to cook the rice soon, soak the rice with lukewarm water for 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

However, there is good news for you if you have an instant pot/pressure cooker.

Actually, it is the best way to cook white rice more than any way.

Besides, you can cook the rice without soaking it!

What Is The Ratio Of Water To Cook The White Rice On The Stovetop

how to cook rice, 3

As you know, the ratio of water is the key to cooking perfectly the rice without undercooking it and becoming mushy, too sticky.

I’ve tried many ways to measure the water in the recipe, such as using fingers and chopsticks, adding the exact amount in the recipe, but I didn’t get good results.

But especially if you follow my procedure of soaking the rice in water, bring the measuring cup you used first and add water to exactly the same amount of rice.

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

In my recipe, just add the same amount of water as the rice.

How Much Water To Add For 2 Cups Of White Rice

Add 2 cups of water.

Do you like soft and sticky rice like me?

Add more than 1/4 cup of water.

Tne Best Pot To Cook The White Rice On Stove

To make fantastic rice on the stove, the best pots to cook rice has a tight-fitting lid (It’s important to hold steam), a flat wide bottom.

I recommend a pot that has a wide bottom, is not so deep, not so big.

It is important for cooking rice perfectly to reach the high temperature quickly and evenly, so it is better to choose a pot with a wide bottom that heats up quickly.

Besides, the pan heats up quickly is great because of the rice gelatinization phenomenon, which is simply making the rice sweet and delicious.

I use a frying pan all the time, for 2 cups of rice, I use the small (8-inch) frying pan.

Can You Cook The Rice In A Cast-Iron?

I would say…cooking rice in cast-iron is not for a beginner…

The enameled cast iron material is easy to clean (it’s important, right?) and has the perfect wide flat bottom with a heavy lid.

Its heavy tightly fitted lid can hold steam, resulting in perfectly fluffy rice, even more, you have no worries to overflow on the stovetop.

When using a cast-iron, I recommend transferring the cooked rice to another container as soon as cooed to prevent it dried out.

However, cooking the rice in the cast iron pot will require more experience and techniques to adjust the heat while cooking rice.

Try and repeat!

Cook Rice On High Heat Or Low Heat?

In Japanese rice cooking term, we say “High heat until the water boiled, low heat until the rice cooked.”

After placing the rice in proper cookware and add the same amount of water as the rice you’re going to cook.

Bring the water to a boil over high, medium-high heat.

*For cooking to 2 cups of rice, medium-high heat should be enough to bring the boiling water.

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 7-12 minutes.

The best heat is the heat enough to boil the water in about 5 minutes on your stove and what you are using for.

Just keep your eyes on the rice until the water is boiled because the sticky water will blow over when using a lightweight lid.

The cooking time differs depending on your situation such as the stove, the cookware, and the type of rice.

What I do is check the rice at 7 minutes after reducing the heat, then if I need to cook more, add any time 3-5 minutes more.

Finding cooking time for the first time can be difficult, but you’ll find it after a few tries.

Remember, the cooking time may change every time.

If you think it is too much, I recommend starting cooking the rice in an Instant Pot.

Can You Open The Lid While Cooking The Rice On The Stove?

Yes, you can open the lid and stir the rice occasionally, which helps to cook the rice evenly and avoid the rice burnt.

However, you shouldn’t do this too much.

Maybe, once when boiling water, and once when cooking process over low heat.

Only the timing you should not open the lid is in the Murashi process that I explain below.

I recommend moving the pot off the stove after the rice is cooked to avoid the rice will be over-cooked.

Wait Opening The Lid For 10 Minutes After Cooked Rice (Murashi Process)

Although You can open the lid and stir the rice while cooking the step before, you need to be patient to open the lid after turning off the heat.

It is called “Murashi”, which lets the rice sit in the steam for about 10-15 minutes after cooking and it is an important process to make the rice fluffy and delicious.

By this Murashi process, the rice can be cooked even to the core.

To keep the steam inside, wait for uncovering the rice after the rice is cooked.

By the way, the rice cooker includes this Murashi process, so you don’t need to wait for 10 minutes to open the lid.

Also, “natural release” can be this Murashi process when you cook the rice in the Instant Pot. (So, don’t do “quick release”)

Fluff The Cooked Rice

It’s time to open the lid after sitting the rice covered for 10-15 minutes.

You can see the rice pops up and make some bumps when you cook perfectly the rice.

To dry excess moisture of the cooked rice, fluff the cooked rice from the bottom of the pot and turn it over.

It also works stopping the rice over-cooked.

Just GENTLY loosen the lump of the rice.

Try to not break the rice grains.

This process can the flavor of rice combined and rounded.

To fluff the cooked rice, you can use any tool that you think, and wet it before fluffing.

So, the rice doesn’t stick on it.

Transfer the cooked rice to another container since it will be dried out and be unable to eat.

You can use a traditional Japanese rice keeper called Ohitsu.

Ohitsu is a special container to keep the cooked rice warm and delicious.

It can keep effectively foods warm and moderately moist.
Not only cooked rice, but it’s also suitable for meat, seafood, veggies, and, steamed dishes without getting cold and watery them.

The cool side is about this product is Microwave and Oven-safe.

When you have to leave the cooked rice in the pot for some reason, place a paper towel or a cheesecloth under the lid to avoid the water dripping on the rice.

The Bottom Line

Cooking rice is required experience and techniques for sure, and I still often fail to cook perfectly the rice today.

Japanese sticky rice may little more difficult than other white rice such as short, medium, and long-grain, (but not risotto rice,) so start these grains of rice if you are a beginner.

(But you can’t make sushi with this rice in case you don’t know.)

Also, 2 cups of rice are the best amount every time you want to cook without a rice cooker.

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

You Should But An Instant Pot Rather Than A Japanese Rice Cooker


the bowl of rice

How Do The Japanese Cook White Rice Without A Rice Cooker

The Native Japanese Guide of "How-To" Cook The Rice Perfectly Without A Rice Cooker


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


Rinse The Rice

  • Add enough water to cover.
    *When using purified water for the initial rinse, the rice will be more delicious since the rice absorbs more water at this moment.
  • Drain the first water, and rinse the rice again.
    *You can use a mesh strainer if desired.

Wash The Rice

  • Make a claw and agitate the rice drawing a large circle. (about 10-20 times)
  • Add new water and rinse.
    *Tap water is fine from this time.
  • Repeat this washing process until the water becomes ALMOST clear.
    *As a guide, 2-3 times should be fine. Besides, avoid over-washing since the rice grain will be damaged.
  • Drain the water.

Soak The Rice

  • In the bowl, soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes.

Cook The Rice

  • Drain the water and place the rice in cookware.
    *Check out my post which cookware is better to cook the rice.
  • Add 2 cups of water. (the same amount of water as the rice.)
    *Use the same cup that you measured uncooked rice.
  • Cover tightly the rice (the cookware) with a lid or foil and cook the rice, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high, high heat.
  • Stir the rice occasionally to cook evenly.
  • Once the water boiled, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 7-12 minutes.
    *Check out the rice at 7 minutes once. Add 3-5 minutes to cook.
    When you see the water still boiling, you need to cook the rice more. or eat a spoon of rice to make sure whether cook more or not.

"Murashi" process

  • After around 12 minutes, turn off the stove.
    *If you are not sure the rice is done, slide the lid and check out. When you open the lid to check out the rice, turn the stove again, and heat the pot for seconds to back the steam on.
  • Let sit the rice covered for 10-15 minutes.
    Never open the lid during this process.

Transfer The Cooked Rice

  • After Murashi process, transfer the cooked rice to another container.
    *To avoid the cooked rice drying out.
  • If you want to freeze the cooked rice, it is better to wrap rice at this point. (while it is still warm.)
    For more details, read this post.
Keyword Rice


Do You Know How To Freeze Cooked Rice?

Do you still cool the cooed rice down before freezing it or do you still use a freezer bag?

If so, please check out my hacks to freeze the cooked rice.

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