How to Cook Rice with a Pot – How to Make Sushi

It is very easy to cook rice with a pot. A non-stick pot is recommended, but not necessary. If you get some rice stuck on the surface of your pot, simply put water in it and let it soak for about a half an hour, and it will easily come off.

The modern state of the art rice cookers that use induction heating, and special alloy pots can cook the rice fluffier, and chewier, but rice was always cooked with a pot before the rice cooker was invented. It just requires more attention while cooking it.

For sushi rice, less water is used than cooking ordinary rice, since sushi vinegar is added later. The rule of thumb to cook rice for sushi is to use 25% more water than the rice measurement.

So, if you are cooking 1 cup of rice, then use 1 1/4 cups of water. (New crop rice that are available in the autumn may only need 22~23% because they have higher water content).

Many people say that the water level should be at the ‘knuckle of your hand’, but that depends on the thickness of your hand, so it is better to stick to accurate measurements until you get used to it.

How to Cook Rice 1   How to Cook Rice 2
Begin by measuring the amount of rice you want to cook and put in the pot.  Add water
just enough to barely cover the rice.
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Wash (polish) the rice by rotating your hand around the rice, and  grasping it loosely. The
rice should escape through your fingers while scrubbing themselves. Repeat this
‘mix and grasp’  movement for about 10 sec.

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Rinse with water, and then discard water completely. (You can wash the rice in a fine
colander (right image) if you find it difficult to drain the rice.)


Repeat this two more times. (Recent Japanese rice does not require much polishing as before, for it is done by the manufacturer for most of them. They should be labeled “musenmai”or “non-wash rice”. Only quick and light polishing is required for these.

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Measure, and add water for cooking. Let the
rice soak for about 10 min.

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Place lid on top, and set on high heat. (If you have a hole on your lid for the purpose of
venting, try to seal it with aluminum foil, or anything that works.) How to Cook Rice 10
When the rice starts to boil (don’t worry if it
over flows), quickly set to low heat. Let it
simmer for 15~20 min.


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You have to be very alert near this point, or you will burn the rice if your timing is off. When
no more water, or bubbles are seen turn the heat off. You are now done cooking the rice.
(If you don’t have a see through lid, peak inside very quickly and try not to let too much
steam out.)

How to Cook Rice 14

*When cooking rice for ordinary use, roughly 3% more water is required. When the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and fold over the rice inside the pot and place the lid back on and let it rest for another 10 min.

Continue on to: How to Make Sushi Rice.

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