It is essential to choose the right type of rice when cooking Japanese food. Normally Japanese food recipes will require the use of Japanese rice which is the short grain rice. This type of rice becomes sticky when cooked that makes it easier to eat using chopstick. Japanese people don’t really use long grain fluffy rice in Japanese cooking.
In some places I found people use long grain rice which is cooked with more amount of water than it normally requires to make it soft and bit more sticky. This can be an option if you really can’t find short grain Japanese rice. However, try your best to find the short grain rice.
How to Cook Japanese Rice:
Japanese food use mostly steamed rice. The correct cooking process will determine the final taste and the aroma of the cooked rice. There are two essential steps in cooking Japanese rice: washing and cooking.
Washing Japanese rice: put the rice into a bowl of clean cold water and then swill and drain the milky colored water. Use your hand to gently squeeze the rice while washing it. Repeat the same process until the water turns clear. Normally we repeat this process for 4 – 10 times depending on the cleanliness of the rice grain. After the rice is drained, leave for for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Cooking Japanese rice: Basically the water used to cook Japanese rice is just a little bit more than the amount of the rice. Put the rice into cooking pot or rice cooker and add cold water up to about 2 centimeters high over the rice.
If you use rice cooker, just switch on the cooking button and wait for about 30 minutes to cook. The best way to have the right texture of the rice is to let the cooked rice rest for another 10 minutes after the cooking process is done. After 10 minutes open the lid and turn the rice from the top to bottom using wooden spoon. Make sure not to break the rice too much.
If you use pot, put the rice and water together (same amount) and bring to the boil in high temperature for about 15 minutes. After that turn the heat down low and cook for another 15 minutes. Stop the heat and let the rice steamed for 10 minutes before cooking,