The best way to savour the subtle complexities our heirloom Kokuho Rose® is to steam your rice in an electric Japanese rice cooker. Steam cooking encourages the development of the full aromatic bouquet, the ever so slightly sweet flavor, and the tender texture of individual kernels.
Automatic Rice Cooker – recommended
Automatic rice cookers ensure consistent cooking results by closely regulating the four main variables that achieve perfectly cooked rice. These factors are the amount of rice to be cooked, the precise quantity of water needed to cook that rice, the steaming temperature, and the length of cooking time. The correct amounts of water and rice are easily determined with automatic rice cookers, and their steaming design retains the ideal amount mositure while allowing excess steam to vent correctly.
Washing, rinsing, and draining of the rice in advance of cooking is traditional, though not essential. In olden times, washing and rinsing was absolutely necessary to remove bits of debris and chaff. Wetting the rice prior to cooking also enhanced the overall quality and finished result.
If you choose to wash your rice, then follow these quick and easy steps. Measure the appropriate amount of rice into the cooking container. Add water to cover the rice, and agitate the grains using your fingers. You will notice a cloudy whitish color that is simply naturally occurring rice starch. Drain the rice and repeat this process 2 or 3 times. The rinse water should be mostly clear now, and the water should be drained completely. Let rice rest 10 – 15 minutes (this step may be omitted if you’re pressed for time). Now the rice is ready for the rice cooker.
All rice cookers have makers’ recommendations for the correct proportions of water to be added. Follow these guidelines. Purified water is recommended since any odd odors or tastes in tap water will transfer to the rice.
When the rice cooker switches to the “off” position, do not open the lid. Unplug the appliance to cancel any further cooking or “warming” functions. Let the rice rest undisturbed for 10 – 15 minutes. This rest period will allow the cooker to vent any excess steam and moisture.
At this time, open the lid and allow any residual steam to escape. Carefully savor the initial bouquet wafting upwards. What you’ll experience in this initial fleeting moment is the culmination of years of effort to preserve the unique and sought after essence of our heirloom Kokuho Rose.
Wet a “shamoji” (shah-MOH-gee), a rice paddle, to fluff and turn the steamed rice. Loosening up the rice allows it to breathe. Close the lid and if time permits, allow the rice to rest an additional few minutes. The rice is now ready to serve.
Preparing Heirloom Kokuho Rose on the Stove-top
Cooking Kokuho Rose on the stove-top yields decent results, though not as satisfactory or consistent as those achieved with an electric cooker/steamer.
Yield: approximately 3.5 cups cooked rice
Combine 1.5 cups of raw rice and 2 cups of purified water in a medium saucepan. Ideally, you should use a heavy-bottomed, non-stick pan with a tight-fitting, glass lid if available (the better to observe, as you do not want to remove the lid during the cooking process). Let the rice stand in the water 20 – 30 minutes. Do not drain.
Place over heat and quickly bring to a boil. (The water will be bubbling around the circumference of the contents.) At this point, cover the pan with the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. (The rice will look moist, and the contents will be still be bubbling just a bit.)
At this point, remove the pan from heat, lid intact, and allow the rice to rest undisturbed for a minimum of 15 minutes. Remove the lid, and gently fluff with a fork. Replace the lid and allow rice to rest for another 5 – 10 minutes. (These rest periods are helpful in the development of an overall uniform texture).
Instructions for Preparing Heirloom Brown Kokuho Rose Rice in a rice cooker
Rinse desired amount of rice (measured with cup supplied with cooker). Soak the rice in purified water to cover for approximately 20 minutes then drain. Place rice in cooker and add purified water to corresponding measurement line (which is conveniently impressed on the vessel’s inner surface). Start the cooker. After the appliance completes its cooking cycle (depending on the individual cooker and amount of rice, ranging anywhere from 25-40 minutes), unplug it. DO NOT open the lid. Allow the rice rest undisturbed for a minimum of 15 minutes, and as long as 30 minutes. Open the lid, and gently fluff rice. Close the lid and if time permits, allow the rice to rest an additional few minutes. .
Instructions for Preparing Heirloom Brown Kokuho Rose Rice on the Stove-top
1 cup rice (yield: approximately 3 cups cooked rice)
salt, to taste
Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water. Bring 2 quarts (8 cups) water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir briefly, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour contents of pot into a strainer over the sink. Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, situated away from heat. Replace pot lid and allow to steam 10 minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt.