Hoeing in the noon time under the hot sun
Sweat drips onto the earth
Each grain in your dish is the work of hard labour
Tang Dynasty Poem


There are many recipes for cooking rice and yet a lot of people have problems. This is Hailin’s way, which though it might seem illogical works, and is super simple.

But first a little about rice: In Asia there are basically two types of white rice, northern cold climate rice, and southern rice.

For northern rice think Japanese rice, it is grown in North China, Japan, and Korea. The grains are slightly rounder than southern long grain rice (though not as large as Italian Arborio rice which we use for rice puddings). It is sticky when cooked. It benefits from soaking in its cooking water for a few hours. This is not essential but the rice is softer.

Southern rice is grown in the south of China, Thailand, and India. The grains are long and thin. It is the most common rice, eaten in Indian and most Chinese restaurants

You need one cup or small mug for two people.

1. It’s not necessary nowadays to rinse the rice in a colander to get rid of the starch, but you can if you want.

2. Add rice to a saucepan which has a tight fitting lid.

3. Fill with cold water up to the inside line of the first joint on your index finger (see photo), about 2 cm of water above the rice.

Dip your finger in the water to the line of the first joint of your index finger (about 2 cm)

4. Place on a hot flame and cook until boiling. It is important that you watch it, because as soon as it is really bubbling and steaming, you should immediately place it on the lowest heat your cooker can achieve, with the lid firmly on.

5. Wait twenty to twenty five minutes. It is important that you do not take the lid off. Then turn the heat off but do not remove the lid.

6. Wait 10 minutes after you have turned off the heat and then remove the lid. The delay was so the rice would contract and not stick to the pan. It should be perfect. Fluff up with a fork and serve.