You can wash your rice and set it aside for 10 to 30 or 60 minutes before you cook it. You can soak your rice overnight. You can wash and soak first thing in your morning. Also, you can skip soaking.
If you are preparing white rice, long soaking is not necessary. 10 minutes will do. Brown rice, however, will be so much more delicious and digestible if soaked for longer times, an hour, six hours, or overnight.
Your cooked grain will be delicious every way.
Your washed and drained rice is ready. When you are cooking rice in its soaking water, you want to be sure to soak the rice in the correct amount of water for cooking, not more or less.
If you are measuring, add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water per cup of grain (or the amount of water you need for the texture you want your grain to be when you eat it. This part you will get a feel for and learn more about in the How To Cook experiments later on in the Cooking series.)
I measure the water with my finger. Once I’ve poured water in my pot for cooking, I set my index finger into the pot to touch the top of the grain that is layered beneath water. I look for the water to be as high as my first index finger joint.
Place a bamboo sushi mat (or a towel) over the top of your rice and soak for 6–8 hours or overnight before cooking.