I have a blog post today! I know, it's amazing. I've been wanting to do this for a long time but just haven't gotten around to it. Today I'm going to share with you how to make Japanese sticky rice. If you haven't had it before, it's nothing like the minute rice you get out of the box. First, you need to get the right rice. Real Japanese rice is japonica and it's sometimes referred to as sushi rice. Now, you can use that, but when you see the price tag for a small container you may be put off. I like to use Botan rice. I assume you can get it just about anywhere because I get mine at Wal-Mart (around $6 for this large bag). It's extra fancy...it says so right on the package.
So now that you've got your rice, you need to wash it. Yes, wash it. You'll want to put 1 1/2 cups of rice into a large pot and put it in the sink. Slowly run some lukewarm water into the pot. While the water is running, swish the rice in your hands like you are polishing rocks or pebbles.
Let the pot fill up about half way with water. This is what you have left. See how milky the water is? You can drain out the water and repeat the process again, but it's not really necessary.
Drain the rice in a strainer and let it sit there for 30 minutes. Don't skip this part.
After your rice has drained, put it back into your pot and add 2 cups of water. Cover it with a lid and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. You can let it sit for up to 3 hours, but you'll get the same results either way.
Now, here's where you have to follow close instructions! Leave the lid on your pot and don't remove it until I say to. Put your pot on the stove and turn it on high for 1 minute. I know the pot won't get very hot in that 1 minute, but it doesn't need to. After 1 minute, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 4 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes are up you now have permission to remove the lid. Take the pot off the heat and cover it with a towel or dish cloth. Let it sit for another 10 minutes. Don't stir the rice until the process is complete.
Now you have sticky rice! And it's really sticky. I like to serve mine with any kind of curry. This is also the base recipe for making sushi rice, but I like to leave my sushi to the professionals.
You can also make onigiri or rice balls using the sticky rice. Grab a small bowl and fill with warm water. Add some salt and dip your hands in it. Scoop out a handful of rice and form into a ball. You'll understand why you need to salt water. It really helps to keep your hand from being completely covered in rice. The great thing about onigiri is you can shape it in many ways. You can use cookie cutters to mold it into different shapes or do the traditional triangle shape with a little strip of nori at the bottom. It's a perfect snack or accompaniment for lunch boxes.