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How to cook standard Japanese rice that many housewives do not know

To find out why the Japanese have to soak rice before cooking and how long to soak rice to make it soft and delicious, here is the answer.

Why do the Japanese soak rice before cooking it?

Soaking rice is not only for cooking sticky rice, in fact, the method of soaking glutinous rice and glutinous rice is the same when cooking. The soaked rice will absorb the water. When cooked, the heat will go all the way through the rice grains. Gelatinization occurs (gelatinization causes the starch granules to expand maximally until the rice is soft, fluffy, and delicious). This is different from unwashed rice, or not absorbing enough water so that the heat does not reach the center of the rice. Therefore, the rice is only soft on the outside and still hard on the inside. Soaking rice before cooking is the secret the Japanese use to cook soft, chewy, and very flavorful rice.

Soaking time to make rice soft and delicious: Soaking rice in water usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour. The grain absorbs up to 80% of the water after about 30 minutes of soaking, which is enough to transfer heat to the grain and soften the cooked rice. However, the time it takes for water to penetrate the rice grains will vary depending on the season and climate:

Summer 20-30 minutes.

Winter 60-90 minutes.

Spring and Autumn 45 minutes.

In addition, the soaking time depends not only on the season but also on the type of rice. If it is a recently harvested rice with a lot of moisture in the grain, the soaking time will be less than that of normal rice that has been stored for a long time. And if it's old rice, it may be necessary to increase the soaking time.

Should I drain the water after soaking?

After washing the rice, the Japanese usually add water depending on the amount of rice and leave it to soak for a certain time. Then press the rice cooker to cook normally. However, some brands of rice cookers may have a soak process without adding water, you can set the soak time to your preference. If it is a Japanese rice menu or cooked in a clay pot, you may need to add more water and then cook as usual.

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