How to Make Japanese Rice in Rice Cooker?
The majority of Japanese people consume rice at least three times a day. Since it has been grown there for thousands of years, rice has played a significant role in the development of the nation and is the standard food for the Japanese people.
We consider every aspect—from the rice’s quality to the method of preparation—seriously.
Today I’ll share how to make Japanese rice in rice cooker. The most crucial factor is how we measure the water and rice to get the correct outcome.
How to make Japanese rice in rice cooker?
The Rice-to-Water Ratio for Short-Grain Rice
Over the years, my readers have frequently asked us why their rice always turns out dry. And we believe we understand the cause.
The majority of English-language web publications will inform you that the rice-to-water ratio for Japanese short-grain white rice is 1:1.
But here’s something you probably weren’t aware of:
- The golden ratio for rice to water in Japanese cuisine is 1 to 1.1 (or 1.2).
- That is an additional 10–20% water that you did not add. You will require 200 ml of water rather than 180 ml for 1 rice cooker cup (180 ml or 34 US cup) of rice.
- The rice must be steeped in separate water for 20–30 minutes (for that extra 10–20%) and well drained before adding the measured water at a 1-to-1 ratio if you still want to use that method. By doing so, you ensured that the rice received the moisture it required.
Most internet recipes skip this step, which deprives the rice of the additional 10–20% water it requires.
How Much Water Do You Need for Each Cup?
The 180 ml (about 34 US cup) plastic rice cooker cup that is included with the rice cooker. This sum is known as ichi go in Japan. According to the 1-to-1.1 (or 1.2) ratio, you need the following amount of room-temperature water for every rice cooker cup of Japanese short-grain white rice:
- Add 200 ml of water to one rice cooker cup (180 ml)
- 2 cups (360 ml) in a rice cooker equals 400 ml
- 3 cups (540 ml) in a rice cooker equals 600 ml
- 800 ml is equal to 4 rice cooker cups (720 ml)
- 1 kilogram is equivalent to 5 cups (900 ml) of rice.
- 180 ml multiplied by 1.1 (or 1.2) to get 198 (or 216) ml
You might also simply pour water till the indicated water line. Our family prefers to fill the rice cooker bowl with water beyond the water line (see below). The rice always turns out a little too dry when we boil it to the prescribed water line.
Therefore, everytime you switch the brand of rice or the area where the rice is harvested, we strongly advise you to test and adjust the water amount.
Important Tip: Never Skip Soaking!
Short-grain rice, unlike other varieties, requires constant soaking (20–30 minutes). Because they are rounder and thicker, the rice grains need a head start to absorb moisture to the center of the rice kernel.
A 10-minute “soaking” period is preprogrammed into the rice cooking option on more recent rice cookers. However, we don’t think 10 minutes is enough. For the rice to have enough time to absorb additional moisture, we would advise soaking it for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- When using a fresh crop (新米), cut back somewhat on the water.
- Each type of rice requires a slightly different amount of water.
- Not even a measuring cup? Use a cup to measure the exact same amount of rice and water. Drain the rice carefully after soaking it for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the measured water next (using a 1 to 1 ratio).
How Much Rice Do We Need to Cook?
To calculate how many cups of Japanese short-grain white rice to cook in a rice cooker, divide the required servings by two.
- 2 servings (7/4 US cups, 330 g) of cooked rice may be obtained from 1 rice cooker cup (180 ml, 3/4 US cup, 150 g) of uncooked rice. This is enough for three onigiri rice balls or two Japanese rice bowls (usually 150 g each). 180 g or 6.3 oz is the weight of 1 US cup of cooked rice.
- 3 servings of cooked rice (11/4 US cups, 495 g) are produced by using 3/2 rice cooker cups (270 ml, 9/8 US cups, 225 g).
- 4 servings (11/3 US cups, 660 g) of cooked rice may be obtained from 2 rice cooker cups (360 ml, 3/2 US cups, 300 g).
- About 6 servings (11/2 US cups, 990 g) of cooked rice may be obtained from 3 rice cooker cups (540 ml, 9/4 US cups, 450 g).
- 8 servings (22/3 US cups, 1320 g) of cooked rice may be obtained from 4 rice cooker cups (720 ml, 3 US cups, 600 g).
- 10 servings of cooked rice (55/6 US cups, 1650 g) may be obtained from 5 rice cooker cups (900 ml, 11/4 US cups, 750 g).
What Is the Best Way to Preserve Cooked Rice?
There are numerous ways to preserve cooked rice that is left over after a meal in your rice cooker.
- Option 1: Use the “keep warm” setting on your rice cooker
- Option 2: Keep at room temperature
- Option 3: Put it in the fridge
- Option 4: Put it in the freezer.
Which choice do you typically choose?
In my opinion, the easiest method to keep cooked rice is to freeze it. We do this even if we intend to consume the rice the following day.
Serve the cooked Japanese rice with your favorite dishes!
A common ingredient in many Japanese cuisines including sushi, donburi, and bento boxes is cooked with Japanese rice. It also pairs well with dishes that have a lot of sauce or broth, such as teriyaki chicken or beef stew. It may also be a tasty side dish for grilled veggies or meats. The possibilities are endless!
Why Should You Freeze Rice?
1. Remain succulent, flavorful, and moist
Numerous Japanese publications available online demonstrate that rice that has been frozen and then reheated tastes the best (by comparing various preservation techniques).
You may have attempted to chill rice, but the texture turns tough and dry. Refrigerated leftover rice doesn’t taste delicious, even the next day, unless you have intentions to create fried rice over the following several days.
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When using the freezing method, immediately put the freshly cooked rice and any steam or moisture in an airtight container. The rice is therefore moist, fresh, and tasty when you reheat the frozen rice, exactly like freshly cooked rice!
2. Keep for a month at most
You do not need to eat the cooked rice right away or for a couple of days because the freezing process enables you to preserve it for up to a month.
Compared to other methods of storage, the cooked rice lasts the longest as seen above.
- Option 1 (the rice cooker): Up to three hours (for the finest quality) or one day.
- Option 2: Up to 6 hours (summer) or 1 day (winter) at room temperature
- Option 3 (refrigerator) – 3 days.
- Option 4: Up to one month in the freezer
3. Save time and money
It might not be necessary to prepare rice every day if you just require 1 or 2 servings each day. Although eating freshly cooked rice is wonderful, doing so does not save you money or time. And cooking at least two cups of rice improves the flavor of the rice.
We thus urge you to prepare additional rice and freeze it. When you run out of frozen rice in this manner, you can simply make rice.
How To Freeze Cooked Rice
1. Pack right away
Ideally, pack away the amount of rice you do not need or want to store as soon as the rice is completed cooking. To keep the steam and moisture in the rice, be sure to load the rice with steam and cover the lid right away.
You occasionally didn’t intend to leave any leftover rice. Simply store the leftovers in that situation (you can add water before reheating).
2. Allow to completely cool
You don’t want your hot or warm rice to contaminate your frozen stuff. So, be cautious to allow the rice containers to cool before placing them in the freezer.
3. Put it in freezer
Up to a month, the rice’s quality will remain excellent.
How to Reheat the Frozen Rice
Here are the steps to reheat frozen rice:
- Remove the frozen rice from the freezer and let it defrost overnight in the fridge.
- You can put the rice in the microwave in 1-2 minutes if you need to quickly reheat it. Place the rice in a microwave-safe dish and sprinkle some water on it to prevent it from drying out.
- Place the rice in a pot with a little water or broth to warm it over the fire. Put a cover on the pan and cook it slowly, stirring occasionally, until it is well heated.
- If you want to reheat a large quantity of rice, you can use a steamer basket. When the rice is cooked, put it in the basket, cover it with a lid, and steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the rice is heated through, fluff it with a fork and serve.
My Favorite Rice Cooker
Although they are more high-tech and seem quite futuristic, Japanese rice cookers are also highly pricey. Many of my Japanese acquaintances had rice cookers, which would have cost $1,000!
We don’t have a lot of (fancy) options here outside of Japan. I’ve only ever used rice cookers from the Zojirushi brand—three of them—since moving to the US.
This is the Zojirushi rice cooker we currently own. This Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer holds 5.5 cups.
We rely heavily on a high-quality rice cooker to prepare the ideal rice for our family because we virtually always eat rice at home.
The Zojirushi rice cooker cooks rice using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and pressure cooking. It also includes a nonstick inner frying pan with platinum infusion, which brings out the rice’s inherent sweetness.
Other characteristics include:
- According to the menu choice, choose one of three pressure levels automatically.
- wholesome cooking alternatives settings for brown rice and GABA
- Some of the menu selections are white (regular, softer, or harder), umami, mixed, sushi/sweet, porridge, brown, GABA brown, steam-reduce, scorch, rinse-free, and speedy cooking.
- Made in Japan
We’ve never once had to be concerned about having dry or mushy rice thanks to this rice cooker. It is unquestionably one of the essential kitchen appliances that we cannot live without!
1. What proportion of rice to water should be used in a rice cooker to make sushi rice?
Stick to an easy-to-remember rice to water ratio of 1:1 to achieve the optimal sushi rice consistency. This suggests that for every cup of sushi rice, you must add one cup of filtered water.
2. Why does Japanese rice need to be soaked?
By soaking the rice, you can make sure that the moisture permeates each grain and that it cooks evenly and fully in a short amount of time without becoming mushy or leaving a firm uncooked center. The biggest distinction between a traditional and a Japanese rice cooker is its design. The typical rice cooker is a simple bucket warmer with an inside metal pot and a cover.
3. What distinguishes a rice cooker from a Japanese rice cooker?
The Japanese rice cooker uses steam pressure. The cover of the conventional rice cooker is fitted lightly. The design of the rice cooker is the main distinction between a conventional and a Japanese rice cooker. The conventional rice cooker is a straightforward bucket warmer with a metal pot inside and a lid.
4. How many cups of water are required for two cups of Japanese rice?
On average, 1 cup of rice should be diluted with 1.1 to 1.2 cups of water. I consistently get excellent results with 1.1 cups of water. But that quantity could need to be adjusted based on the rice.
5. Does Japanese rice require more or less water?
The majority of English-language web publications will inform you that the rice-to-water ratio for Japanese short-grain white rice is 1:1. But here’s something you probably weren’t aware of: The ideal rice-to-water ratio in Japan is 1 to 1.1 (or 1.2). That is an additional 10–20% water that you did not add.
6. Why does Japanese rice taste so great?
Other forms of rice don’t have the distinctive flavor of Japanese rice. Because of how it is cultivated and processed, Japanese rice is sweeter than other varieties of rice. Japanese rice has a chewy feel because it is stickier than other varieties of rice.
7. What makes Japanese rice cookers unique?
Until you’re ready to serve it, it will keep your rice warm and fresh. The majority of Japanese models come with “neuro fuzzy” or “micom” technology, which trains your cooker to react quickly to changes in variables like water level and temperature.
8. How many times should Japanese rice be washed?
Rice that is less than four cups should be washed twice. For rice that is between four and seven cups, wash it three times; for rice that is more than eight cups, wash it four times. Continue washing and rinsing if the water is still hazy until you can see the rice grains through the water.
9. What type of Japanese rice is best?
The Koshikikari kind of Japanese rice is the best, and you can purchase a range of brands at Japanese grocery stores. Here are a few Japanese rice brands we suggest: Shirakiku Rice is a Californian Koshihikari rice.
10. How do I create Japanese rice that is shiny?
Follow the instructions on the rice packet and add water to the rice after soaking it at room temperature for 30 minutes to two hours. This makes the rice fluffy and airy. If you have the time, you may let the rice soak in the refrigerator all night for even more shiny rice.
11. Why is rice from Japan superior to rice from other countries?
Rice’s roots get stronger and its ears develop more favorably when water is managed in this way, which results in rice that is delectable. Japanese rice places a greater emphasis on quality than foreign rice, which competes on price. Koshihikari, a difficult-to-grow yet tasty variety, is one that Japan cultivates as a result.
12. Do Japanese people consume white rice every day?
According to a poll done in November 2022, about 94 percent of Japanese consumers ate rice at least once each day.
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The solution to the query, “How to make Japanese rice in rice cooker?” is as follows. The easiest and most effective way to consistently get precisely cooked rice is to make Japanese rice in a rice cooker.
By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the right measurements, you can create delicious, fluffy rice that pairs perfectly with any Japanese dish. Remember to choose the right type of rice, measure the water carefully, and let the rice rest for a few minutes before serving.
With the help of these suggestions, you may quickly master the technique for preparing Japanese rice in a rice cooker and wow your loved ones with your culinary prowess.
Have fun cooking!