Rice is the second most cultivated plant on earth, after corn, and is by FAR the dominant source of carbohydrates in Asia, where I currently live.  But growing up in America, I learned how to make rice in a pot, on the stove.  Throw in some butter, a pinch a salt and pepper, and you've got yourself a delicious side dish to those meat n' potatoes. Or so I thought.

Well, not so in Japan!  My coworkers were amazed (appalled really) that I didn't know how to use a rice cooker.  And it took 5 months of terrible, gooey rice before a nice old lady finally showed me the secret of making rice the Japanese way.  It turns out that like me, many Westerners have no idea how to make rice properly in a rice cooker.  (Conversely however, most Japanese have no idea how to make rice on the stove-top, so at least I have that :-)  Several well done Instructables already exist on how to make pizza and bread and hamburgers in a rice cooker, and even alcohol, but none (that I could find) on how to make plain 'ol rice.  This instructable hopes to remedy that. 

This is delicious, fluffy white rice that the Japanese use as a base for almost every meal.  (Though it is not sushi rice, which uses other ingredients.)

So without further ado, let's get started.

Step 1: Ingredients (ie. rice) and other stuff

Pretty basic stuff here.  Basically, you'll need:

Hardware -
a rice cooker
a measuring cup

Software -
short grain white rice

Pictures 1, 2 & 3 show the rice cooker I'm using.  It's Japanese, which will become important in later steps, but basically it is a metal bowl that fits inside of a squat bread-maker-looking device, with a few buttons on the front. 

Picture 4 shows a close up of the rice I'm using.  This is a short grain white rice, typical of Japan.  It is more starchy than its long and medium grain cousins, and that translates into a stickier rice, good for chopsticks (and risotto, but that might be another 'ible).  It's a very common rice in Asia, but can be purchased in most grocery stores everywhere.

EDIT:  It has been asked what brand or variety of rice I'm using in particular, which is a good question.  I buy Koshihikari rice (Wikipedia), as I believe most people in Japan do as well.  I am not sure if this exact variety is available in every country, but undoubtedly some form of short grain rice will be.
<p>this is the most comprehensive break down of rice cookers <br>I've ever seen. Great review! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. <br>I think I'm pretty convinced to get the rice cooker! I found this site earlier <br>and it has great reviews <u>http://www.kitchmag.com/</u></p>
<p>A lot of the instructions on how to make japanese rice tells us to soak the rice in water for 30 minutes before cooking. I'm wondering why you've neglected that step from the instruction. </p>
It stated walk away for 20-60 minutes before pressing COOK button.
<p>She didn't neglect it.... she wrote: Now we are ready for water... For one cup of rice, fill to the &quot;1&quot; line.....Then just close the lid, and walk away for 20 minutes to an hour.</p>
Cup measurement difference is irrelevant. You use the rice measuring cup that comes with the cooker. And you use the water line for cups of rice you used.
Thank you for including picture and video..very helpful!
<p>Great post and instructions. For those of you asking, here's a quality resource for finding more information and reviews on cookers: <a href="http://www.nmhmf.org/" rel="nofollow">http://www.nmhmf.org/</a></p>
<p>Thanks for this. I eat tons of Japanese rice at home, but I'm usually too lazy/hungry to do it &quot;right&quot;. But on my last trip there, my best friend gave me a few batches of her family's homegrown rice, and I intend to show it the respect it deserves.</p>
<p>I love the differences in perception of <br>flavor from Asians to Westerners on rice. To me, for the most part, they <br>all taste the same. I do not use chop sticks so sticky is not <br>an issue. I have tasted many rices from Asia and the US and Italy , and <br>while some are indeed more &quot;stickie&quot;, when I does it with butter or <br>cover in sauce I do not taste teenie diff betwixt them. Brown rice and <br>wild rice do taste differently. I like brown rice I hate wild rice. <br>Jasmine rice...... ehh, it has an aroma I do not taste. I believe it <br>goes away with cooking, kinda like the cool colored cauliflowers that <br>turn white if boiled. </p><p>And yes I have eaten it plain, it is quite <br>boring worse then (dare I say it), Wonderbread! Yes Yes Yes rice is the <br>Wonderbread of Asia, eaten alone. A plain baked or boiled spud salted is <br> nice alone.</p><p>But in fairness to all the rice lovers out there. If <br>it were my only carb I would be as picky and sensitive to its infinite <br>variety as they are. I will wash my rise now and see what a difference <br>it makes, when next I use rice. </p><p>My biggest chuckle over rice was <br>an artticle I read many years ago about rice cookers. A Japanese gent <br>said how he is new rice cooker ($900) was a piece of junk and he was <br>waiting for a new version due out for $1400, he went on to say the older <br> unit did not make rice fit for a dog.....I make gourmet food on/in a <br>$700 oven/range. I could make the same stuff in a $200 unit. The <br>difference is size and oven precision. </p><p>Thank you for this ible as I will now wash my rice. (you should for other reasons as well). </p><p>I <br> have an Asian market near me that has dozens of rices to choose from, <br>and a Korean market that has even more! Sprouted rice is nice and in <br>theory is better for you.</p><p>happy cooking</p>
<p>Jessica: for Jasmin or Basmati rice (which are longer grained and less starchy) you do the same, just have to polish it less. the result will be less sticky.</p><p>Brown rice is a whole different matter, don't rely on this method.</p>
<p>does this also apply for brown or jasmine rice?</p>
<p>Being married to a Thai for 14 years and having lived in Thailand for 8, I'll offer this on the subject of <em>Jasmine</em> rice... <em>Jasmine</em> rice is from Thailand. It is not intended to be prepared as a 'sticky' type of rice, but should be 'loose' when fully cooked. The preferred <em>Jasmine</em> rice is 'old' as in having been stored for more than a full season and dried (not 'green'). The importance it this is that when cooked it doesn't cook up 'wet' and 'sticky'. As a rule of thumb, two cups uncooked Jasmine rice with 3 cups plus about 3/4 cup water. Wash the rice several times, until the wash water is clear. If you're using a rice cooker, press the cook button. If you're cooking over flame, bring the water to a slow boil then reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes [<em><strong>do not open</strong></em> the lid during the 20 minutes!]. Adjust the amount of water by tablespoons, more if it cooked too dry or less if it cooked too moist, for the next time your prepare the <em>Jasmine</em> rice. Note that <em>most</em> Asian countries other than Thailand expect their rice to be more or less sticky [<em>unless</em> it is for frying].</p>
<p>Thank you!!!!</p>
I use Jasmin rice and it turns out okay. Is this other rice better?
I wouldn't say 'better', I'd say different. Jasmin rice is really good in lots of dishes, and usually (I think) it is less sticky. This rice is particularly good for chopsticks, because it is stickier. Both are delicious.
oh okay, where can it be found? I might try it was well, since I do like rice. :) BTW where did you find the light-saber chopsticks, those are too cool.
Probly really late to answer, but a lot of markets in the US handle this, the most common is calrose rice, there are other ones, but this is the cheaper and most common one.
I buy mine in Japan, But I have no idea if it is available everywhere.<br><br>The chopsticks come from ThinkGeek.com I believe. They rock.
Got my Rice Cooker from Amazon and I really love it. I'm so excited that I would like to share the reviews and discounts that I received: http://amzn.to/17FWw8X - One happy lady here. <br>
Made rice last night using the method described in this instructable and it was WAY good!! Kudos definitely. I just used normal long grain rice as it was all I had on hand and I had to rinse it 8 or 9 times before it finally wasn't very cloudy then soaked for a half hour or so. <br> <br>It turned out really nice, excellent taste and texture. Plus it didn't have that weird rice sludge that always builds up on the top of my rice cooker when I cook rice. I'm a huge fan so I'll be using this method from now on. Thanks :-)
So happy to hear it. :)
nom nom.. im try make this<br>try making Iran rice(Persian)<br>its nice and has a flavour instead of english rice that is kinda tasteless to me<br>-regards-<br>
Not a bad instructable, However, rice is not just rice. What is they typical type of rice that the Japanese use? Or a specific brand name. They don't use Jasmine rice either and I can't stand the stinky smell of Jasmine rice. So What do the real Japanese connoisseurs use?
As a Japanese, we use Japonica rices.<br>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_rice<br>I hope grocery stores nearby your home sell those from Japan :)<br>
I wonder if some Korean stores might sell it, I'll have to check it out, we have like 4 here where I live.
Good question, and I've added the answer to the 'ible above. <br><br>I personally buy Koshihikari rice, which as it turns out is what most people in Japan eat. I have no clue if this variety is available in every country, but it is far and away the most popular type in Japan.
We once had a &quot;rice tasting&quot; at a party. Picked up about 7 kinds of rice (in much smaller bags than yours!) at a couple of the local markets, prepared each as per the package directions, and served them all up. Japanese &quot;sushi&quot; rice, Basmati, brown Basmati, black japonica, red rice, jasmine rice, and US-style &quot;converted&quot; rice. It was really interesting, and I recommend such an experiment if you have a community that will provide a variety of products.<br><br>The amount of water needed seems to vary a great deal depending on type of rice. The &quot;correct&quot; amount of water used for a US converted rice will turn Japanese rice into mush, for example.
Thank you so much for this! Here I have been suffering from gooey-rice syndrome for years and have been using solely brown, red, and wild rice to avoid my nasty white rice goo. I'm making white rice again tonight because of your polishing tip.
Ha, no problem. :-) White rice is good stuff.<br><br>But as a native Minnesotan, I gotta give props to wild rice too, that stuff is taaaaaa-sty.

About This Instructable


147 favorites


Bio: a long time member of Instructables, I only recently began posting my own. Feel free to check them out, rate, comment, question, and copy!
More by ATTILAtheHUNgry: Urban "Survival" Kit Holiday Six-pack Wallet Free 'Portal 2' inspired mirror
Add instructable to: