Ingredients ★ 300g rice (about 2 rice cup, good for 2 to 3 servings)
① Place 2 cups of rice into a basin (can be the rice cooker pot)
② Add plenty of water and swirl it around with your hand for about 10 seconds, drain away the water immediately. Repeat this step one more time. This step has to be swift to prevent the rice grain from absorbing the murky water.
③ Slightly scrub the rice grain with your fingers and palm. Be careful not to scrub it too hard until the grain is broken. The key is to let the rice grains rub against each other lightly.
④ After rubbing the grains in step 3, there will be some murky water. Rinse the rice with clean water for 2 times.
If the rice is new crop (new rice 新米, refer to the Momorice Tip at the bottom to find out what is new rice), the rice washing ends here.
If it is not new crop, repeat step 3 and 4, however this time reduce the scrubbing intensity by half.
⑤ Place the washed rice in a rice cooker and add the correct amount of water. As a simple guide line, for new crop, the water ratio is 1 : 1. In this case, 2 cups of rice needs 2 cups of water. For older crop, the water can be increased to 1 : 1.2.
⑥ Let the rice soaks for 30 to 60 mins at room temperature. After soaking, the rice grains will turn pearly white as shown in the picture. This soaking step is very important as it allows the grains to absorb the waters.
⑦ Cook the rice according to the direction of rice cooker.
⑧ When it is done, gently turn the rice with a spatula. This step is important to ensure water contents is evenly spread out among the rice grains. If not, the rice at the top of the rice cooker will be too dried and the rice at the bottom will be too soft and sticky.
What is new crop or Shinmai?
According to the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) rules set by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), rice can only be labeled and sold as shinmai if it has been processed and packaged for sale in the same year in which it was harvested. Rice harvesting season starts in Fall (September) in Japan every year. And although genmai (brown rice) is increasing in popularity for health reasons, shinmai, to most Japanese people, refers to polished, gleaming white rice. (refer here to the whole explaination on Shinmai)