Japanese Rice

Japanese rice cooked the traditional Japanese way.

1. Start with Japanese white rice. You can't make Japanese rice with Uncle Ben's.

2. Put 1 to 1-1/2 cups of rice in a 4 qt. saucepan (to serve 3 or 4). A heavy gauge saucepan is better.

3. Briefly rinse rice in cold water to reduce odor, then drain off most of the water.

4. Scrub rice by hand using the remaining few ounces of water (about 30 motions).

5. Rinse (fill, stir by hand, and drain off) about four more times until the water is clear.

6. After fully draining, add 1 cup of water for each cup of rice.

7. Let stand 10 to 30 minutes.

8. Cover and place on high heat.

9. When it reaches a full boil, reduce heat to medium. If it boils over, clean it up later, but under no circumstances remove the cover! It will bubble around the cover and minor splattering should be expected.

10. Continue cooking about 7 to 8 minutes. Your cue: bubbling around the cover will cease.

11. Turn heat to "warm" position. Continue another 10 minutes.

12. Remove from heat. You haven't lifted the cover yet, right? Good for you.

13. Okay, now you can open the cover. Stir, turning the mass of sticky rice over about three times with a large spoon. The bottom layer will be glued to the bottom of the pan and may be slightly burned. (For some Japanese this is the best part, like pudding skin. Don't stir this bottom layer into the rice, especially if burned. If not badly burned, after removing the rice, try it. A little hard and chewy, and perhaps a bit carmelized -- a real treat.)

14. If you like it this way, relegate your rice cooker to steaming vegetables.