TU 1

While out shopping the other day, I picked up a bag of prewashed rice. The grocery store was having a sale, so it was just as cheap as the unwashed kinds, and I figured, “Hey, there’s no advantage to having to rinse it myself is there?”

But as it turns out, the water left over after you wash the rice, called togijiru in Japanese, is actually pretty useful, as shown by these five ways you can reuse it instead of just dumping it down the sink.

As handy as togijiru is, the very first rinsing should still go down the drain, since it’s cleaning off the rice itself. After that, though, pour each rinse into a bucket or saucepan, pick one of the options below, and reap the benefits of all the vitamin B1 and B2, starches, lipids, and other nutrients togijiru contains.

1. Cooking

TU 2

Although not as ubiquitous as rice, nimono, the catch-all name for stewed vegetables, meat, or fish, are a pretty common part of traditional Japanese meals. Some of the most common ingredients though, such as daikon radish, bamboo shoots, and burdock root have an astringent quality that most people want to downplay in cooking. Stewing your veggies in togijiru instead of water will help remove some of their bitterness while leaving behind the palate-pleasing sweetness.

2. Washing the dishes

TU 3

Unless you’re just scooping the rice directly from the rice cooker into your mouth with your bare hands, odds are you’re going to end up with some dirty dishes. Togijiru is especially effective for cleaning the tiny contours and crevices of earthenware pots, rice bowls and teacups. After giving them a good scrub with togijiru, let them soak in the liquid for another 30 minutes, and it’ll also help remove unpleasant odors.

3. Cleaning the house

You can either pour your leftover togijiru into a spray bottle, or soak a cleaning rag in it before wringing it out and wiping down the kitchen sink. Togijiru is also said to be great for giving a nice shine to your floors, shower, bathtub, or toilet.

4. Watering plants

TU 4

All those nutrients make togijiru an easy way to perk up the plants in your home or garden. Just be sure not to go overboard with it, as the starches in the liquid can attract bugs.

5. Helping your skin look its best

TU 5

Looking over the list so far, we can see that togijiru can make things clean, and it can make them healthy, which are both good qualities to have in your skin. Togijiru fans say its milder on your hands than tap water when washing them, and depending on how much you’ve got left over from your pot of rice, some people recommend pouring it into the bathtub for a revitalizing soak.

Follow up by using togijiru to wash your face, where it acts as a natural peeling agent, splash a little more on afterwards as a moisturizing lotion, and instead of just getting a meal out of washing your rice, you’ll have a clean home and good-looking skin too.

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: Setsuyakuzine
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