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White Rice, Japanese Style

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings, depending on the side dishes


  • 1 1/2 cups seihakumai (Japanese polished white rice)
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon water


  • In a large bowl place the rice and cover with cold water. Using the palm of your hand, press down on the rice and swish it around in the water for 10 to 20 seconds. Pour off all water and repeat this process 3 or 4 times, or until the water does not turn cloudy. After the final rinse, drain the rice very well, then add the 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon of water and allow the rice to soak for half an hour in summer or for 1 hour in winter.
  • Nobu's tip: Place the rice and measured water in a heavy-bottomed 1 1/2 or 2 quart saucepan. (The saucepan should be deeper rather than wide, and should have a tight fitting lid.)
  • Place the saucepan over high heat, cover with the lid and cook until you see steam. As soon as you see steam coming out of the pot, turn off the heat and wait 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, turn the heat on high and count to 10. Turn off the heat, the rice will be perfect.