Most of the food you find in supermarkets in Japan comes in small packages, and people tend to buy just enough for a few days. You won’t find many supersized, bulk discount items at the local grocery store, with one big exception: Rice! Many families eat bowls of rice with most of their meals, so it’s easy to go through a few pounds a week.

But what happens when you overestimate and end up with bags of rice that go untouched for years? While it won’t exactly “go bad,” it will end up pretty stale. You could throw it out, but what  a waste that would be. Instead, try our lifehack to get your old rice tasting fresh and yummy!

The process itself isn’t too difficult, so just follow along below and your old rice will have a new lease on life in no time!

First, you’ll want to wash your rice and then let it sit in cold water for 30 minutes or longer.  In a colder climate, it will probably take more time.


Next, pour out the water and add 30 grams (one ounce) of ice for every 180 milliliters (6.1 ounces)  of rice.


Finally, add water, using the marks on the bowl as you normally would.


Now, just cook your rice!

In case you’re wondering, for this experiment, we used rice that had originally been bought in 2012. Yep, this is three-year-old rice, which normally has a shelf-life of one year (as you can see in the photo below, the use-by date was May 3, 2013 for this bag).


The rice lacked the typical glisten you’d find with fresh rice. It was also dry and had a “unique” smell, which is usually a strong indication that the food might not be in its best state.


But after using the method above, we were able to get the beautiful rice below! You would hardly think it was three years old, though the flavor wasn’t quite as good as new rice. But it was much moister than when cooked normally.


Even so, the rice wasn’t mushy at all, and every grain was plump and moist. It was basically just good sticky rice!


Now that you’ve revived your old rice, it’s time to chow down! Of course, you can eat it as plain rice with your dinner, but you also drop an egg on it for some nice tamagokake or add some seaweed for a proper Japanese dish.


▼ Check our video of the rice-revival process below!

▼ And here’s our reporter Meg enjoying a bowl of three-year-old rice.


Now you know what to do with that five-pound bag of rice you bought several years ago when you were trying to cook more. Don’t throw it out — just add some ice when you cook it!

All images © RocketNews24
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