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How to cook Oishii rice -The basics & tircks-

2018-02-13 11:00:57




Have you felt it is difficult to cook Japanese rice or short grain rice?? Maybe it is not only you. Seems simple, but cooking short grain rice can be tricky because the texture and taste can change easily. Let's see "how to cook tasty rice"!




1. Measure rice correctly

Even if you use expensive rice, you can spoil it by mismeasuring rice. When you use rice measuring cup, pour your rice full and lightly shake it to fill gaps between rice.  Do not press rice by hand. Drop extra rice on the top of measuring cup by sliding a stick parallel.

If you are not confident with that, you can use a digital scale. Standard 1 cup(1 go) for rice cookers is 150g. But if you use non-Japanese rice cooker, 1 cup can be different measurement, so please check yours and follow the direction.



2.  Use clean soft water

In Japan, the normal tap water is soft water and not added fluorine in the most areas which is perfect to cook Japanese rice. On the other hand in Australia, the hardness of water varies depending on the areas, but it is harder than Japanese tap water in many places and it is added fluorine to protect tooth from cavities. So, if you pursue the taste of rice, it would be good to use clean soft water without any added chemical from water purifiers or bottled water.  Rice absorbs the fist water the most. It would be good idea to try to use nice water even only for the fist rinse If it is difficult to use it for both rinsing & cooking.



3.  Rinse your rice gently

Even some Japanese people misunderstand the way to rinse rice. It was told that we should rinse rice hard long time ago, but the rice-milling techniques have been improved and no need to rinse rice hard nowadays. If you use old rice, it is better to rub each grains harder to remove the old surface of rice. But especially rice from new crops has more water inside and easy to get broken. And the important thing to rinse rice is "quickly", to prevent rice absorbs the smell of rice bran.

1. Pour measured rice and first water in a bowl (or rice pot) and mix from the bottom 2, 3 times and through out the water quickly.

2. Mix the wet rice with your hand gently around 20 times like to draw big circles. This process is better without water in the bowl to rub each grains of rice enough but gently.

3. Pour water and mix once from bottom not to leave white water there and through out all the water.  Repeat process 2 & 3 about twice until you can see your rice half clear in water but no more than 4 times total. Rinsing too much looses the nutrition of rice and the taste.


4.  The amount of water & temperature

Just follow the line inside your rice cooker. If you cook on stove, put the same cups of water to rice. But, perfect amount of water depends on the type of rice, brand, the season of crops or even the condition of soil where rice grows. That is why we need to adjust the amount of water to cook rice. Generally, new rice absorb more water and tends to get soggy, so need slightly less water, but rice cropped in summer in Japan for example, doesn't absorb as much water and it is better to add extra water to cook.  If the perfect amount of water or feature of the rice are written on the bag, it should be the best to follow.

Also about the temperature of water to cook rice, it is said 6℃ is the best and will give a perfect firmness to your rice. We shouldn't need to worry it in winter, but it might be a good idea to use chilled water in summer.



Usually it is better to soak rice in water before cooking for about half hour in summer, and 2 hours in winter. But when you use Japanese rice cooker, this process is included in the normal cooking setting  and that is why the total cooking time is 50-60 mins (quick cooking setting might not include soaking time depending on brands of rice cooker, so please check the instructions).

The proper way to soak rice before cooking ; Put rinsed rice or no-rinse rice(musenmai) in a bowl or rice pot and fill with enough water. After the time comes, drain rice with strainer lightly shaking it for about 10 times and put the rice in rice pot with measured water for cooking. Leaving drained rice will cause cracking.


5. Mix cooked rice immediately!!

Recent Japanese rice cookers includes resting time in the cooking process. So when you hear the "pi-pi-pi-pi" sound from your rice cooker, open the lid soon and mix your rice immediately!! But please be careful not to burn yourself with the very hot steam... If your rice cooker doesn't have the resting time, wait for about 10 mins before opening the lid. And do not mix only the top or middle of the pot. Mix gently from the bottom & side to spread the steam equally. This last process makes the texture of your rice perfect and prevents drying out only on the top & side of rice pot.  And also if it is possible, better not to keep cooked rice with warm setting too long. The rice will get dry gradually and loose the aroma. Or if you really need, try to put rice in the middle of the pot to minimise areas of rice to touch the pot, and keep the moisture.



If you would like to cook old rice tasty, or to try something different, please try these tricks for quick change! These might make your rice slightly sweeter, shinier and softer.

Mirin                        1/2 tablespoon for 1 cup rice

Cooking Sake       1 teaspoon for 3 cups rice

・ Hight Grade Charcoal(Binchotan)     10g(Sterilise by boiling) for 1 cup rice

・ Olive Oil                  1 teaspoon for 2 cups rice


Did you know all the key points?? All of them seem simple, but the taste or texture of simple rice can change easily. And when you eat it everyday, you can taste the difference immediately.  If you eat rice everyday, it is better to eat nicer one. Please try those key points to enjoy your rice even more ♪