You don't have a rice cooker? Don't worry. You can easily cook fluffy and delicious Japanese short-grain rice in a pot! Let's learn how to do it!
Japanese short-grain rice is our staple food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we eat all day, every day.
A rice cooker is a must-have kitchen tool in Japan, but I don't have it because I found it's so easy to cook on the stove, and it's so tasty.
So if you don't have a rice cooker like me but want to cook Japanese rice, you are at the right place!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese rice
- You want to cook Japanese rice
- You want to know how to cook Japanese rice on the stove
Let me show you how to make it! Let's get started!
About this recipe
- How to cook Japanese short-grain rice
- Cooking time: Less than one hour
- Use a pot(not rice cooker)
First of all, let's talk about ingredients. Like you already know, we will need these:
Japanese Short-Grain Rice
The shape is short, plump, and rounded oval.
When it's cooked, short-grain rice is very starchy, soft, sticky, and sweet compared to long-grain rice.
So, thanks to the stickiness, it's easy to pick with chopsticks.
This is how we serve meals. We serve rice, mains, sides, and soup on a different plate like the picture above.
Japanese rice brands
We have more than 300 varieties in Japan. It's grown all over Japan, but mainly in the northern region as the weather is suitable for rice cultivation.
These are the top 3 area and famous brands.
Koshihikari is the most famous and popular rice brand, and it is originated in Niigata but now grown in many various areas.
It represents Japanese short-grain rice, so I guess you can find it easily in your local Asian grocery store.
Also, if you live in the US, I found that it's grown in California(Shirakiku Rice, Koshihikari), so you can try this one.
We use tap water in general. In Japan, our tap water is soft, and it is said that soft water is suitable for cooking Japanese short-grain rice.
The water cluster is small, so plenty of water soaks into the rice grain, and the cooked rice will become moist and chewy.
On the other hand, because hard water contains more minerals, it is hard to soak into the rice grain, and the result would be drier.
I haven't tried hard water, but if you use it and have trouble getting a moist texture, you might want to consider changing water to soft water.
Here are eqipment for cooking rice.
- Staub cocotte pot (cast iron pot)
- Shamoji (rice paddle)
- Rice cup
I love Staub pot, and I use it every day for cooking rice. You can use any pots if it comes with a lid, but I found the rice cooked in Staub pot more delicious than the one in a stainless steel pot.
It's great because the lid is heavy so that the steam stays inside the pot and makes the rice fluffy.
If you are looking for a pot for coking rice, here is my recommendation.
- Staub cocotte 18cm: This is what I use.
- Staub rice cooker: This Staub pot is designed especially for cooking rice.
- Kamadosan donabe: If you love Japanese-style pot, this is highly recommended.
Shamoji (rice paddle) is like a big spoon, and we use it to stir and scoop rice. Traditionally, it is made of wood, but now it is made of plastic like the one I have.
The surface is embossed, so the rice does not stick to it, and it's easy to serve rice.
In Japan, we use a rice cup which is 180ml only for measuring rice.
We also use a regular measuring cup which is 200ml for cooking, so please don't confuse.
"Masu"(square wooden cup) is used as a unit for measuring rice until the '60s before following international measuring guidelines. 1 masu is 180ml, and this tradition remains for some reason.
Well, now it's time to cook! Let's go over how to do it. You can also watch this video.
Each step are easy and simple.
- Rinse rice and soak in water
- Bring to a boil
- Simmer(10 minutes) on low heat
- Turn off the heat and steam (10 minutes)
- Stir gently
Here you go! It's tender and fluffy and goes well with any dishes!
Here are 5 tips to make delicious Japanese rice.
#1 Rinse rice quickly
Rice is like dry food. From the moment the rice gets into the water, it sucks up the water, so it's important to rinse it quickly.
First rinsing is to remove dust and dirt from the rice, so put water and drain it immediately.
Next, put plenty of water, stir with your fingers gently but quickly and drain the water. Repeat this 2-3 times(up to 5 times).
The water doesn't need to be clear.
This dull color in water is starch that determines the rice's sweetness, so do not rinse too much.
#2 Soak in water
Soaking in water is the key to have fluffy and chewy Japanese rice.
If you skip this process, the center of the rice grain will not be cooked through and remain hard.
Soaking time is at least 30 minutes in summer and 1 hour in winter.
#3 Rice to water ratio
In general, the amount of water is 1.0 to 1.2 for 1 cup of rice.
If you have a Japanese rice measuring cup that is 180ml, then water is 180ml-216ml.
If your measuring cup is 200ml, then water is 200ml-240ml. I usually use the ratio of 1: 1(this recipe is also).
But this depends on the rice you choose. I always purchase the same rice brand, but I have to tweak the amount of water when I purchase a different rice brand.
So you might have to learn how much water your rice will require. Try 1:1 first, and if it's hard, then add more water up to 1.2 ratios.
Please do not open the lid right after turning off the heat and let it steam. While steaming, the rice inhales enough steam, so that excess water does not remain in the pot.
For that purpose, it is ideal for keeping the inside of the pot at the same temperature as when the heat is off.
Also, moisture is evenly distributed throughout the rice, and the rice at the bottom is also fluffy and delicious.
#5 Stir gently to loosen the rice
Open the lid and stir from the bottom gently with a shamoji(do not smash the grains) and loosen rice. This will remove excess water.
By exposing the rice to the air, more air comes in and the texture improves.
If you leave without loosening rice, the grains stick together and get hard when it gets cold.
If you are going to eat it all right away, it's unnecessary, but if you are planning to eat later, you should definitely do this step.
Japanese Rice Recipes
If you want to enjoy Japanese rice the most simple way, you might want to try these classic foods with rice.
- Natto: Fermented soybeans. It's sticky and not easy to eat but nutrient-rich food. (See more: How to eat Japanese natto: Natto over rice)
- Umeboshi: Pickled plums. It's sour and salty.
- Furikake: Mixed seasonings for rice. made especially for sprinkling on top of rice
- Ajitsuke nori: Toasted and flavored nori(seaweed) sheet.
Natto might sound weird if you haven't heard of it?! but why don't you give it a try?? It is healthy and goes very well with fluffy rice.
We eat natto almost every day. Our usual breakfast is like this: rice with natto, miso soup, tamagoyaki, pickled vegetable(tsukemono), and cherry tomatoes.
If you want to challenge more, you might like these recipes!
- Simple onigiri without nori sheet
- Japanese vegetable curry rice
- Tempeh dry curry
- Corn stir-fried rice (chahan)
If you have leftover rice, wrap one serving in cling wrap and keep them in the freezer. It will last up to one month.
When you store, the important point is to wrap the rice in cling wrap immediately, even if it's still hot.
Because if you wait for cooling down, then the water on the rice will evaporate and not be moist.
Also, I don't recommend storing it in the fridge because the rice will dry, and the texture will not be good.
Mixing in other grains
If you want more color or nutrition or want to have fun, you can mix in these grains:
- Mochimugi: It's chewy barley. The dietary fiber is 20 times more than white rice. It's getting popular as diet food.
- Quinoa: It's super food originally from South America. It's famous for rich in good quality protein.
- Black rice: It's ancient rice. As you can see from this color, it contains anthocyanins which have benefits for antioxidants.
- Zakkoku rice: A mixture of various grains. In addition to the grains described above, red rice, green rice, amaranth, other barley(and so on) are included. The picture above contains 10 different grains.
You can add a couple of tablespoons to this recipe and cook.
Thanks For Stopping By
It's a lot of information, but the actual steps are simple and easy. I hope you can adapt Japanese rice to your everyday meal.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you’ve tried this recipe(or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes include vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Rice Recipes You Might Like
- Brown rice in a pressure cooker
- Brown rice with black soybeans
- Sekihan (Azuki bean rice)
- Onigiri rice balls without nori
Watch How To Make ItPrint
You don't have a rice cooker? Don't worry. You can easily cook fluffy and delicious Japanese short-grain rice on the stove! Let's learn how!
- 2 cups Japanese short-grain rice (300g/360ml)
- 2 cups Water (360ml)
- Rinse: Rinse rice under running water 3-4 times quickly.
- Soak: Soak in water for more than 30 minutes.
- Bring to a boil: Drain the water in the pot, add water (360ml), and bring a boil over medium heat.
- Simmer: Put the lid on and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Steam: Turn off the heat, and leave it for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Stir: Open the lid, and stir from the bottom gently.
- Equipment: Staub cocotte pot 18cm, Shamoji (rice paddle), Rice cup.
- Storage: If you have leftover rice, wrap one serving in cling wrap and keep them in the freezer. It will last up to one month.
- Portion: This recipe will make 4 servings for adults and 6 servings for children. 1 serving for adults is 150g for children is 100g.
- Japanese rice cup is 180ml.
- After steaming for 10 minutes, don't forget to stir the rice. If you don't stir, the rice will get hard.
Keywords: How to cook Japanese rice on stove, Japanese short-grain rice