For us Japanese, RICE is very important.
Most of Japanese eat white rice at least once a day, and some people eat it in every meal.
We eat rice even with a hamburg steak not in a rice bowl, but on a flat plate.
When I was in Japan, I have never thought it is strange, but now I think it is a little strange.
Rice is our main staple, so there are vairious kinds of (really) good rice cookers.
I believe 90% of Japanese family own them and use them every day.
I used to have one, but I donated it to some organization about 10 years ago because I found out there was a better way for cooking rice.
What is that?
That is to cook in Le Creuset (or any cast iron pots)!
It is difficult to get the same quality of rice here as Japan has, and to make most out of rice here, Le Creuset does a really good job.
Also it takes less time than cookers need.
Today I will show how I cook white rice in Le Crerset.
You might think just cooking rice is EASY task.
Yes, it is a simple and easy task, but there are some important points we need to pay attention to.
I cook white short grain rice whenever I prepare Japanese dishes.
It has more moisture and sweetness than regular rice.
Rice could absorb water very quickly in the first 30 seconds.
Not to let rice absorb remained rice bran, the very first rinse must be done very quickly.
Also we had better use distilled water for the first rinse. That makes a big difference.
Once adding the distilled water,,,,,,,
using the hand, swirl the rice gently but quickly. (sorry repeating the word “quickly”, BUT it has to be QUICK!!)
Then, get rid of the first rinse water immediately.
For the next few rinses, you could use regular tap water.
After the first rinse, using the palm of the hand, polish the rice without any force. (rice would be broken if you apply strong force.)
Then pour the tap water again, and polish rice about 5~10times.
If you don’t see any milky colored water any more, the rice is ready.
Rice is ready, but we have to wait at least 30 minutes for it to dry out.
After 30 minutes, rice gets very dry, and
when you drop it, it falls easily from the palm with dry sound.
Put the rice in a pot, but we need to be patient one more time!
Put the distilled water or bottled water (about 10 % more amount of rice ) and we have to wait at least another 30 minutes.
Traditionally Japanese have rice for the breakfast, so it can be done the night before and you can soak it in the water over night in the kitchen.
Then we could finally cook rice, and here is my new weapon which makes rice more delicious.
Can you guess what they are?
They are the character of one old tale “MOMOTARO”.
They are made of one type of pottery, BIZEN.
BIzen pottery is made in the Okayama prefecture which is located the west part of Japan.
Recently they found Bizen pottery has some specific power.
One of them is that it makes rice fluffy and soft when cooked with this Bezen balls by its infrared effect.
Here is the link about some interesting other powers it has.
I always put those cute balls in rice.
Finally we could cook rice!!!
For the first 6-7 minutes, use a medium to large flame.
After 6 minutes, open the lid just a little bit QUICKLY not steamed air to escape, and if it is boiling, that is the sign of that you could turn down to a small flame and keep cooking for another 12-13 minutes.
After 12-13 minutes, turn off the flame, and wait for 10 minutes, with lid closed.
Now we could open the lid!
I have to save those cute guys first!
Now we stir the rice not to break it. If you think it is dry, return the lid on the pot.
It will keep steaming. If you think it is wet, just leave the rice without the lid.
Like this, you could adjust the texture of rice even after cooking.
This works every time.
This method works even any other kinds of rice.
You might think it is a little complicated, but it is not.
Once you learn, there is no other simple way and delicious way for cooking rice! Now I have to think what I want to cook besides this rice for tonight’s dinner,,,,,,