Rice is rice right?
Not a chance. In the Americas most people are raised eating the long grain rice used in the beans and rice of the southeastern United States. Japanese rice differs in many simple ways. The most common Japanese rice is hakumi. This variety has a shorter grain and is more moist and sticks together more when cooked properly. Another common variety is sweet rice which is used in making mochi and sekihan (two of the dishes featured in this blogg). Sweet rice goes by many other names such as glutinous rice, mochi rice, botan rice and a few others. When cooked properly, sweet rice is even stickier than hakumi. It is important to keep these facts in mind when preparing Japanese meals as the texture and taste can be affected dramatically.
1. Wash with cold water repeatedly until the water becomes clear
2. Soak the rice in warm water for 30 min. to 1hr. –longer in cold weather (if using sweet rice soak overnight)
3. Drain and set aside
4. Place the rice in a pot and add water in proportion to the rice: 5:4; water to rice (Long grain rice is usually prepared approximately 2:1)
5. Place a lid on the pot and cook on high heat until the water is boiling vigorously.
6. Turn down the heat to very low and let the rice cook for 15-20 min until the water is almost gone.
7. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for 10 min before lifting the lid
8. Serve with whatever other dish you have prepared to go with it!