Rice is the principal staple food in Japan and is cooked every day in most homes. In recent years automatic electric rice cookers have come into wide use. Yet, people who insist on the best tasting rice still prefer using a heavy iron cooking pot. The kind of rice eaten in Japan is the short-grained variety, which can be cooked to a fluffy texture with just the right amount moisture.
- 3 cups short-grain rice
- 3 cups water (same or a little much amount of rice)
- Wash rice for take away bran as follows; Put rice into the bowl and add plenty water. Mix rice lightly in water and immediately drain (rinse out white water). Then stir as you press rice hard with the palm of your hand. Repeat 3-4 times until water becomes almost clear. * You can use white water to put manure to the base of a tree or to wipe the wooden floor with a cloth.
- Put drained rice into the bowl and pour 3 cups (540ml) water. Leave for 30 minutes.
- If you are using an automatic electric rice cookers, you only turn on. If you want to have better rice, please get next step. Place the pot on stove and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, gradually bringing to vigorous boil, mix rice by scoop. Then reduce heat to keep water from bubbling over. Keep boiling for 10 minutes. Turn heat to high for the last 20 seconds to evaporate excess water, and turn off heat. Let stand and steam for 10 minutes with lid tightly closed.
- Remove lid quickly, so as not to let drops of moisture fall from lid onto rice, and let steam escape. Wet a wooden spatula and mix rice lightly with folding motion from the bottom up to make it fluffy. Dish out into individual bowls. Cover any rice remaining in pot with cloth and replace lid. If core of cooked rice remains hard, it needs more moisture. Sprinkle with sake (1 tablespoon sake per 2 1/2 cups of rice) and simmer on low heat 7-8 minutes.
- After steaming rice, transfer rice into ohitsu (wooden rice tub). Insert dry cloth under lid and let stand for 5-10 minutes. This way you can enjoy the fullest taste of cooked rice.
- Ohitsu is made of soft, plain wood and is specifically designed for keeping cooked rice. The soft wood material absorbs excess moisture from rice and keeps it in the best possible condition.