Cooking Korean

How to cook white rice perfectly [Hin-ssal-bab]

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Look at this beautiful snow white rice….doesn’t it look so yummy?
When I was a little girl in 1970s, there was a shortage of rice nationwide. The rice was expensive to many Koreans and not many people could afford it. Korean government even did the campaign nationwide encouraging people to cook rice together with other grains or legumes like Barley,beans,..etc
Every lunch time in my school, teachers went through students’ lunch boxes and anyone with white rice lunch box had to clean school restrooms or classrooms as punishment.
Every meal time at home, I was very careful to finish every single grain of rice in my bowl. Otherwise,my grandmother would yell at me “this is the rice your grandfather harvested only with one hand”.(My grandfather lost one arm by an accident) Nowadays,there is more than enough rice in Korea and everybody can afford it but many people try to cook rice with other grains not for economical reason but for health reason.
Still,white rice is a main starch in Korean diet and I would like to share a tip on how to cook white rice with velvety texture interior and shiny exterior.

*Ingredients (4 portions)
White rice: 2 1/2 cups
Water: 3 cups



1.Washing rice
Pour water in the rice and using your hand gently make circls around. Becareful not to rub rice grain so hard. Drain the water, get new water,and wash rice with a hand again. Repeat this process several times (at least 4-5times)until the water gets clear.
Many Koreans try not to wash rice too much for they believe that rice nutritions get diluted into the water. But thoroughly washed rice tastes much better and looks shiner. Save rice rinsed water and use it as a stock for stew.
You can rinse your face with rice water. It makes your face very moist.

2.Measuring water
The ratio of rice and water is 1:1.2.
After washing the rice, you can totally drain the water,put rice in a pot, and pour right amount of water on it.
However,it can be too much labor and wet rice can be stucked on your corander making it very difficult to get it off. What I do is, and many Koreans do this way, I simply wash rice in a pot I am going to cook rice in and measure water with my hand.,br> Put your hand on top of rice and fill the water until it reached border line of your finger and back side of hand. You can also use your index finger and fill the water up to first segment of the finger.
Leave it for 30minutes (You will see water has reduced because rice has soaked up water. Don’t add more water!)

3.Cooking rice [5-5-5 minute tactic]
If you have a electronic rice cooker, all you have to do now is to cover the lid and press the button “Cooking”.
If you cook rice in a pot,start with very high heat until boiling with lid on. Reduce the heat to medium and leave it for about 5minutes.
Open the lid a bit and take a look inside…has water almost gone?
Then,reduce the heat one more time to very very low and leave it for 5-7minutes
Turn the heat off and leave the rice on the stove for additional 5 minutes.
Open the lid and ,using plastic or wooden spoon, gently mix it upside down trying not to crush the rice.

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12 Responses to “How to cook white rice perfectly [Hin-ssal-bab]”

  1. Recipe Collector
    on May 24th, 2009
    @ 7:28 pm

    Cooking rice is not really that difficult. However, I suggest that you wash the rice 3 times only, because of you wash it more than that, the natural flavor of rice will diminish. Washing it 3 times is enough for you to make sure it’s clean.

  2. KattyBlackyard
    on Jun 14th, 2009
    @ 7:30 pm

    The article is ver good. Write please more

  3. GarykPatton
    on Jun 16th, 2009
    @ 3:02 am

    Hi. I like the way you write. Will you post some more articles?

  4. Caine rain
    on Jul 12th, 2009
    @ 8:18 pm

    Your article is very useful.I am cooking fan, In my blog you can find article about chinese food

  5. Whats for Dinner
    on Sep 16th, 2009
    @ 2:43 pm

    Wow. I didn’t know the ratio for rice to water was so exact! I was always taught that you put twice as much water in as rice! It always turns out fine, but maybe I’m waiting too long for the rice to cook. I’ll have to try it this way next time! Thanks a lot!

  6. thatflash
    on Dec 3rd, 2009
    @ 8:31 am

    Thanks this was a good read

  7. Arielle Taylor
    on Dec 8th, 2009
    @ 8:52 am

    Rice cookers are amazing kitchen appliances. It makes me wonder how we ever lived without them. Today there are several brands and models that also vary greatly in prices. You really won’t need the fancy ones.

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    on Dec 19th, 2009
    @ 11:16 am

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  9. Bikash Lawoti
    on Dec 19th, 2009
    @ 9:18 pm

    I belongs to Nepal and rice is widely grown here but production is not still enough for all people. Im 22 yrs old and student of humanities but also very much intrested in food preparation. I watch arrirang to understand korean culture and about the korean cuisine as here in nepal i haven’t found any place to learn korean cuisine. But this site is really helpful for me and others who wana learn korean cuisine………………thanx

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    on Jan 6th, 2010
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