- In a large bowl (large enough to hold at least twice the volume of rice, about 6 cups) cover rice with cold water by 2 to 3 inches. Soak rice 8 to 24 hours. Alternatively, soak rice in warm water (about 110F) 2 hours. The longer soak allows more flavor to develop.
- Drain rice and transfer to a Southeast Asian rice steaamer basket or lined sieve (see note). Set steamer basket or sieve over several inches of boiling water in a large pot or deep kettle. It is important that the rice NOT TOUCH boiling water. Cover rice with a lid and steam, checking water level occasionally to make sure pot or kettle doesn't boil dry and adding more boiling water if necessary, 25 minutes, or until rice is shiny and tender.
- Transfer rice to a basket or bowl, breaking it up into smaller lumps, and immediately cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel. (rice dries out if exposed to air as it cools, so keep covered until serving.)