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Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

If you are stuck in a home with no rice cooker, or are caring for a loved one who doesn't have one, I hope this how-to will help you rice-lovers to cope with your rice-related anxieties.

I learned how to make rice on a stovetop when I lived in Tokyo and worked at an izakaya. They were old school, and didn't use any electrical appliances. I was in charge of cleaning and cooking the rice there (and sometime grating the daikon). I must say that these skills have come in handy time and again - at AirBnbs (remember when we used to stay in them?) or when visiting a friend's house (remember them?).

The best thing about how I learned how to cook rice is that it doesn't matter how much or what kind of pot you are using, the method is the same, for white rice or haigamai (germ) rice. Learn more about different rice varieties in my post from 2010.

An added bonus if you cook rice in a donabe is the okoge – the slightly brown, crispy rice on the bottom of the pot. You won't get this in a stainless steel pot, but the rice will still be good. 

2 cups of short-grained white or haigamai rice
2 cups of water

*The important thing to note that the ratio is 1:1


1. Measure out 2 cups of dry rice and place in the pot you are going to cook the rice in.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

2. Wash the rice. Please refer to this post on how to wash rice.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

3. After you've strained out the water from the pot, add two cups of water.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

4. Close the lid to the pot and bring to a boil. You will know it's boiling if the lid jiggles, or you can hear it gurgling.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

5. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting.

6. Set a timer for 18 minutes.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

7. After 18 minutes, turn off the heat and let stand for at least 15 minutes.

8. When you open the lid, you'll find perfectly cooked rice! 

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

Mix the rice around to fluff it up.

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

9. Dinner is served!

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

10. Quarantine tip: top this deliciously fluffy bowl of rice with canned fish in our Protein Pack. Here, I used miso mackerel!

Umami Mart How to Cook Rice

Column: Japanify


  • Thank you. I’m a fan of Umani mart.

    NAtland on

  • Perfect timing! I was planning to do exactly this on Friday!

    Laurie Bramlage on

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