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How to Make Japanese Rice Without a Rice Cooker (Video)

Craving Japanese rice but don’t have a rice cooker? No worries—I’ll guide you on how to prepare it in a pot. It’s as easy as pie!

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’ve probably encountered recipes calling for Japanese rice. Whether it’s gyūdon, oyakodon, sushi rice, omurice, yakimeshi (Japanese fried rice), or hayashi, today I’m sharing everything you need to know to prepare this fundamental component without a rice cooker.

Japanese rice, so similar and different

If you’ve attempted to make rice for onigiris and it didn’t turn out, the cause might be one of these three:

  1. You’ve chosen the wrong type of rice.
  2. You haven’t washed the rice thoroughly.
  3. You haven’t cooked the rice as they do in Japan.

What type of rice to use:

Choosing the right type of rice is crucial. For these dishes, you want to use rice of the japonica rice, known as uruchimai in Japan and sushi rice in the West. If you can’t find this type, a close alternative is arborio rice for risotto.

Katsudon - a delicious Japanese specialty with breaded pork and egg - homemade katsudon recipe.

Wash the rice

Thoroughly washing the rice before cooking is vital. Japanese rice has more starch than other varieties, and washing removes excess starch, achieving the optimal texture in cooking. Avoid letting the rice soak in cloudy water, as it absorbs starch, yielding the opposite effect. This step is essential for both pot and rice cooker methods.

Cooking method.

Traditionally, I associated cooking rice with boiling it in a pot, similar to pasta—until I learned the Japanese method. Japanese rice is cooked using the absorption method, with a key focus on the correct water ratio and precise cooking times.

How much water do I add?

For most dishes, add 1 1/4 cups of water for each cup of rice. The exception is sushi rice, where a 1:1 ratio is recommended.

Check out the video recipe for a delightful sushi rice preparation. Enjoy your Japanese rice adventure!

How to Make Japanese Rice Without a Rice Cooker
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Want to enjoy Japanese rice, but don’t have a rice cooker? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to prepare rice in a pot. Easy as pie!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Accompaniment, Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Easy | Easy, Rice
Cooking method: Olla
Servings: 4 Portions
Calories: 342kcal

Recipe Equipment

  • Olla
  • Espatula de madera
  • Nuestro libro


  • 2 Cups Sushi Rice
  • 2,5 Cups water See note


Wash the rice

  • Put the rice in a bowl. Add a little water and using your hand, wash the rice. When the water turns whitish, remove it and repeat this process about 3 or 4 more times, until the water starts to come out clear. (see note 1)
  • Let the rice soak for about 30 minutes.

Cooking the Rice

  • After 30 minutes, strain the rice and let it rest for a few minutes to release the excess water. This one has gone totally white
  • Add the rice and the same amount of water as we put rice. Cover and cook over high heat.
  • When it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for about 12-13 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed.
  • After this time, turn off the heat and WITHOUT lifting the lid, leave it for about 10 more minutes. If you have a vitro, I recommend that you set it aside.



  1. As Japanese rice contains much more starch than other varieties, it needs to be washed to remove excess and achieve optimal rice texture. Don’t skip this step, it’s very important.


Calorias: 342kcal | Carbohidratos: 76g | Proteina: 6g | Grasa: 1g | Grasas saturadas: 1g | Sodio: 12mg | Potasio: 71mg | Fibra: 3g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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