Ask the Japanese Chef : How to Rinse Rice the Right Way


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Is there such a thing as the right way to wash rice??ーYes, there is!!

"Rice" is an indispensable food for Japanese people. However, even some Japanese do not know how to cook and rince them correctly, which is unfortunate. In this article, I would like to introduce a method of washing rice that I, as a Japanese chef, have been taught by senior chefs.

Types of Rice

There are three main types of rice grown and eaten around the world: japonica rice, indica rice, and javanica rice.

Japonica rice

Japonica rice is mainly grown in Japan, the Korean Peninsula, northeastern China, and parts of Europe, and is characterized by its short, almost circular shape and its stickness and luster when cooked. Recently, it has also been grown in the U.S. and Australia, but this is for export to Japan and other countries where rice is a staple food.

Indica rice

While japonica rice is the mainstream rice in Japan, indica rice is the most widely produced and major rice in the world. It is grown in a wide range of regions, including central and southern China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and the southern United States. It is characterized by its long, thin shape and its crispiness when cooked, making it ideal for pilaf and curry.

Javanica rice

Javanica rice, which is produced in small quantities and is relatively rare, is grown on the island of Java, in tropical areas of Asia, and in a small portion of Central and South America. It is characterized by its wide, large grain size and light, sticky flavor, and in the past was used as an ingredient in Awamori (Okinawa rice wine).

3 Points to Keep in Mind When Washing Rice

How to rince rice is the basic preparation. It contains the "secret to good taste" that is superior to the way rice is cooked. Here, I introduce the "wrong way to rince rice" that Japanese professionals never do.

Do not put too much pressure on it

I see some people washing rice with scrubbing and force. However, If you rince the rice with a lot of force with the paim of your hand, the rice may crack and the taste will be spoiled. However, old rice has deteriorated on the surface, so it is better to use a little force to rince the rice thoroughly.

Do not use a whisk or colander

This is also a common sight when working in restaurants overseas, but it is also said to be bad for the rice. The reason for this is to avoid damage to the rice, similar to the "don't use too much force" rule.

The only exception is no-washed rice, which should be stirred dry about 100 times and rubbed against a colander to make new scratches on the shrface to help it absorb water.

Do not wash rice in hot water

You may find it hard to wash rice in the cold winter and may be washing it in hot water, but it is best not to do so. Soaking rice in hot water raises the surface temperature and increases absorption. It may even absorb the bran's tastiness and spoil its original flavor. Also, if the rice is cooked in a rice cooker halfway through heating, it is easy for uneven heating to occur, and the surface of the rice grains may become soggy.

How to Rince (Wash) Rice?

Now let's look at how to wash rice together. There are a few important points to note.

・Place rice in a bowl. Do not use a colander at this time.

・Fill with water, let dirt float, and throw it away immediately.

Once the lightweight rice is placed in the bowl, pour in the water, stir a couple of times from the back, and immediately discard the water. Rice in a dry state absorbs more and more water from the moment it first touches the water, so proceed quickly.

The point is to do this process as quickly as possible. If the intial washing is done in a leisurely manner, dirt and other contaminants that fall out with the water will be absorbed back into the rice and cannot be removed.

・Wash with fingers up and without force as shown in the picture.

When the water in the container is almost completely drained, start to sharpen the rice. With fingers help up, stir the rice so much that you can hear the rice rubbing against each other. If there is water in the container, friction between the rice does not occur and dirt is often not removed.

The point is to sharpen gently for new rice and throughly for old rice.

・Rince off dirty water from washing rice.

Muddy water from the rincing often accumulates at the bottom of the container, so gently stir the water from the bottom before discarding it. Then add water again, stir gently, and discard the water. Do this (STEP3 and 4) two or three times to remove dirt from the rice.

Some people wash until the water becomes clear, but if you do, you will wash away the flavor of the rice. The water should be just a "light milky" color.

・After washing, soak in water for 60 minutes.

The rice becomes fluffy and glossy when it contains water. You may see rice in a colander, but leaving it in the colander for a long time can cause the rice to crack.

 Rincing rice is the basis of cooking delicious rice. Even if you buy  expensive rice, if it is not washed properly, its taste will be reduced  by half. Please review how to wash rice to cook delicious rice.

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