Steamed White Rice [Gohan]

white rice

Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

gohan in Japanese


Rice, cooked simply with water, is the fundamental essence of Japanese cuisine. It may seem like a basic dish, but its significance runs deep. White rice, the staple grain, holds a revered place in Japanese culinary traditions. The art of cooking rice involves precision and mindfulness, as it requires finding the perfect balance of water and heat to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

Japanese rice embodies the harmony between simplicity and complexity. Its subtle taste and delicate texture serve as a canvas for a multitude of accompanying flavors and dishes. Whether enjoyed on its own or as a part of elaborate meals, rice forms the heart of Japanese dining culture.

Beyond its nutritional value, rice carries cultural and symbolic importance. It symbolizes sustenance, gratitude, and the connection between people and nature. The cultivation of rice has shaped Japan’s landscapes and lifestyles for centuries, fostering a deep appreciation for the grain.

So, while rice may appear deceptively simple, it holds a significant place in the intricate tapestry of Japanese culinary traditions, captivating both the palate and the soul with its humble elegance.

Cooking Japanese White Rice: Step-by-Step Guide

Rinse the rice

Measure the desired amount of rice and rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Gently rub the grains together to remove any excess starch.

Soak the rice

Transfer the rinsed rice to a bowl and add water, allowing it to soak for about 30 minutes. This step helps to enhance the texture and ensure even cooking.

Drain the rice

After soaking, drain the water from the rice using a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Let it sit for a few minutes to remove excess moisture.

Add water

For the proper water-to-rice ratio, use a 1:1.1 to 1:1.2 ratio, depending on your desired texture (less water for firmer rice, more water for softer rice). Alternatively, follow the instructions on your rice cooker.

Cook the rice

If using a rice cooker, simply add the rinsed rice and water to the cooker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If cooking on a stovetop, place the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Avoid opening the lid during cooking to prevent moisture loss.

Let it rest

Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest, covered, for an additional 10 minutes. This allows the steam to redistribute and ensures a fluffy texture.

Fluff and serve

Gently fluff the rice with a rice paddle to separate the grains. Serve hot as a base for various Japanese dishes.

Remember, mastering the art of cooking Japanese white rice takes practice. Adjust the water amount and cooking time based on your preferences and the type of rice you are using. Enjoy the delicious simplicity of perfectly cooked Japanese white rice!

Ingredients for This Dish

White Rice