Using a Rice Cooker
If you’re making any type of Asian rice in a rice cooker, it’s pretty fool proof. The general rule is a 2 to 1 measurement- 2 cups of water to 1 cup of uncooked rice. This varies slightly depending on exactly what type of Asian rice you’re cooking. For long grain Jasmine rice hailing from Thailand and Vietnam, the 2 to 1 ratio is a good rule to follow.
For cooking Japanese rice though, I prefer slightly less water to ensure that the rice is moist and perfectly sticky rather than mushy. I use a 1 ¾ cup water to 1 cup uncooked rice. Seems like a small difference but remember, most of the time you’re going to be cooking more than 1 cup of rice at a time so the lesser increments of ¼ cup add up to a significant amount of water.
Many people I know like to rinse the uncooked rice 2 to 3 times before adding the final cooking water. Personally, I like to rinse the rice only once to preserve the natural nutrients. I’ve never actually encountered Asian white rice that was so dirty it had to be rinsed multiple times.
Making Rice Stove-top
While making rice stovetop is a little more complex than using a rice cooker, it’s still easily manageable with a few key tips to follow.
One of the most important factors in making perfect stovetop Asian rice is the pot you use. Easiest of all is to use a pot that has a non-stick coating. If you don’t have such a pot, then obviously just use whatever you have as long as it’s not a plain aluminum pot. A plain aluminum coated pot renders the bottom of the rice burnt and the entire batch ends up tasting funny.
When cooking rice stovetop, a good ratio to use is 3 cups water to 1 cup uncooked rice.
- Add the rice and cold water into the pot and bring to a vigorous boil on high heat. Allow the rice and water to boil on high for just a few minutes.
- Then lower to medium heat and cover the pot.
- Using a wooden spatula, stir the rice occasionally, about every five minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so no rice gets burned. Cooking about 2 to 3 cups of rice will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes total.