Measuring & Washing
The square wooden measuring cup, masu, became established as the standard vessel for measuring rice during a time in Japan’s history when rice was a common form of currency. Masu come in a variety of sizes, based on a historical Japanese unit of volume, gō; a common size of masu is 1-gō which represents one serving, or 150g, of short grain rice.
After measuring the desired quantity of rice, the first step is to thoroughly wash it. Japanese rice must be washed before cooking, to remove the starchy coating from the surface of the rice grains and allow the best possible flavour and texture to be achieved. Akira recommends washing the rice in a stainless-steel bowl by covering it with cold water and carefully stirring by hand. Discard the cloudy water using a sieve. Repeat the process until the water runs clear. Uncooked rice absorbs water very quickly, so avoid letting it sit in the water for too long during the washing process.