Steamed Rice is the our staple food. We usually eat it as it is, and it’s called “Gohan.” Also steamed rice is used for other foods such as Okayu (Porridge), Zousui, Takikomi Gohan and Char Han (Fried Rice) etc. I like making Zousui (Hodgepodge) after Hot Pot. Taimeshi (Sea Bream Rice) and Takenoko Gohan (Bamboo Shoot Rice) are one of Takikomi Gohan. We also use for Yoshoku foods such as Hayashi Rice (Hashed Beef Rice) or Curry Rice.
Steamed Rice is very basic Japanese food. However I have written many foods in this blog, I don’t know why I have not written about how to make steamed rice yet. As I mentioned above, it can be used for many different Japanese foods. So you can enjoy much more Japanese foods once you learned.
In Japan, most home has electronic rice cooker. But people who are reading this site may not have it. So today, I will introduce the method with a pan.
Ingredients (for 2 or 3 people):
- 360ml rice
- 360ml water
How to make:
|1) Rinse the rice with water. When you add water in a bowl, you should do slowly. If water power is too strong, rice may be broken. Some rice will float on the water first time, but wait for a moment, rice will absorb water and sink. Then throw away the water. This process will be repeated 3 or 4 times.|
|2) Stir rice in the water gently with your hand. If you stir strongly, rice may be broken. The water will turn to cloudy white, then replace it new water. This process will be repeated the water will become clear.|
|3) Once the water becomes clear, it is the sign rice is rinsed well. Leave the rice in the water for about 30min.|
|4) Place rice and same amount of water in a pan and place the lid. Then heat it on middle heat until boiled. Keep it for 2 min, then weaken the heat a little bit (between middle heat and small heat) and keep it for about 3 min. Then weaken the heat (small heat) and keep it until no water (it is about about 6 to 7 min). You can sometimes take the lid to see if the water still there or not.|
|5) When the water is disappeared, turn off the heat and leave it about 15 min. Please note that the lid should be placed on the pan. This process is to steam rice well.|
“Gohan” is an interesting word because it has two meanings.
One meaning is steamed rice, and another one is whole meal. Breakfast means “Asa Gohan (meal in the morning),” lunch means “Hiru Gohan (meal at day time),” and dinner means “Ban Gohan (meal in the evening or night).” When we use Gohan as meal, we use it even the meal doesn’t have steamed rice.
If we say “did you have gohan?”, it means “did you have meal?”
If we say “another gohan” at the dinner, it means “another cup of steamed rice.”
Normally, rice is sold as the form of polished rice. It is still have some rice bran, so we need to rinse it before cooking. Recently, we can buy rinsed rice which we don’t need to rinse it at super markets.
In the past, to rinse the rice is said “polish the rice” because it had more bran than now. And it was to rinse strongly. But now, the rice in the market is well polished already. So now unless rinse it gently, rice will be broken. It is not like “polish” already, and is just like “wash.” Sometimes older people complain if younger people say “wash the rice.” They will say “rice should be polished!” It is a typical case of generation gap which we can see sometimes in Japan.