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Clean and Strain Your Rice to Perfection

The product we used:

Journey to Rice Nirvana

A close-up of the rice washing bowl

So you've bought a cast iron rice cooker on our recommendation, you've embraced the lifestyle of a maximally handsome rice enjoyer by finishing your rice in an ohitsu, and you even prepare the most delicious and genuinely Japanese onigiri using a trusty sarashi or a special onigiri mold. Daily you decide to live the life you've always wanted and consume copious amounts of home-made sushi.

But, there's a problem: all this delicious rice needs cleaning and soaking. The tools you have now are sufficient, but not efficient. You feel like nirvana is within your reach, if only you could speed up the process of getting the rice ready for cooking.

Good news! Our friends at Fujii have what you are in search of.

Introducing the 3-Way

A close-up of the holes in the rice washing bowl Washing the 3-way rice washing bowl with a sponge

The 3-Way Rice Washer Bowl is a handsome little piece of shiny stainless steel. It's designed specifically for washing, rinsing, and straining rice, but can also be useful for other foods as well. The bottom of the bowl has two flat sides, allowing it to be tilted to one side for soaking, and tilting to the other side for draining. The perforations are designed to be easy to scrub with a sponge, and the lip of the bowl is rounded for maximum comfort. Of course, it's made in Japan by our friends at Fujii, so you know it's high quality kitchen gear.

Using the 3-Way for Rice

Washing rice with the 3-way rice washing bowl

The 3-Way Rice Washing Bowl is one of our most popular products, and for good reason. It's excellent at what it's designed to do: rinse, wash, soak, and strain rice. While some buyers wish the holes on it were just a little bit smaller, most people find it to be both a very useful and handsome tool. In our own testing, we enjoyed using it to prepare rice, and found it very easy to clean afterward. The experience of using it to prepare rice was a noticeable improvement over our usual back-and-forth dance of washing and straining with two different bowls. If you're a rice lover on your way to rice nirvana, preparing rice once or several times a week, you will be very happy owning a 3-Way.

Using the 3-Way for Other Foods

Straining a bowl of washed rice

Of course, it's just a bowl with holes in it. Obviously, you must be able to use it for more than just rice, right? Can this be your Japanese Army Knife for all things rinsing, mixing, washing, and straining?

It depends.

Why do you buy multi-use kitchenware? Typically you want to save time and space. If you can seamlessly move from doing one operation to another using one item, not only do you save time moving from one item to another, you also save time cleaning after you're done. If you can use one tool for multiple operations, then you don't need to buy and store as many tools. You also have the added bonus of reducing chances for error (spilling rice, for example).

So, the question is, does the 3-Way maintain the same economy of time and space when preparing foods other than rice?

The answer is: Yes, but with a catch.


Lettuce soaking in water featuring the signature tilting ability of the 3-way washing bowl

If you often rinse lettuce and mix it with dressing, you may find the 3-Way of some use. There are some caveats to consider, however. In practice, you'll find that you can't prepare as much salad as you imagine.


Because while the holes are very good for draining clouding rice water, they also will drain salad dressing. Obviously, that's why the bowl has its signature 3-sided bottom for tilting it. But, when you tilt it, you will lose a considerable amount of usable space. On top of that, if you don't want dressing draining out of the holes, you will probably need to reduce the amount of lettuce you try to prepare, and you'll need to exercise caution when mixing to avoid making a mess (the exact thing multi-use devices are supposed to reduce). You can prepare a lot of rice in the 3-Way, but you can't comfortably prepare very much lettuce for salad.

If you're on your way to salad nirvana, you're going alone.


Washing rice with the 3-way rice washing bowl

Strainers are almost essential for draining pasta. Sure, in a pinch you can use the pot lid to strain pasta, but especially when making a pasta meal for the whole family, you'll want a strainer.

So is the 3-Way a suitable replacement for a strainer? Probably not. However, under certain conditions, you may find the 3-Way useful for preparing pasta. If you are preparing a meal for one person, and you don't want to stir and mix your sauce or other ingredients in the pot you used to bowl the pasta because the pot has a delicate non-stick surface, then you will probably find some use with the 3-Way.

If you are on the stairway to pasta heaven and only occasionally dine on other sources of carbohydrates, you'll probably want to skip the 3-Way.

Quick Defrosting with the 3-Way

Mixing lettuce with dressing in the bowl

The 3-Way is a bowl designed for straining. Instead of fighting with the design, you're better off playing to its strength. One way to do that is defrosting frozen food.

To defrost frozen food, you can simply leave it out at room temperature. However, placing your frozen food under running water is a much faster way of defrosting food. When the water glides over the surface of the food, it transfers heat to the food. However, if you leave food in a bowl of still water, although it's faster than leaving it out at room temperature, the water will develop a thin colder layer of water around the food, slowing the defrosting process. Hence, running water is better at defrosting food.

The 3-Way allows you to place food in a bowl, while still allowing it to drain quickly to get the maximum effect from the running water. So, if you have frozen meat, fish, or vegetables in a plastic bag (with a minimal amount of air inside the bag), you might find it useful to place the bag of food in the 3-Way and run tap water over it to help it thaw faster.

A Rice Washing Bowl For the Enlightened (and Incredibly Handsome) Rice-Lover

Water draining out of the 3-Way rice washing bowl

To buy or not to buy? That is the question.

If you are planning to use it primarily for rice, stop reading. Run--don't walk--to get your wallet and grab that credit card and order from us, Globalkitchen Japan, exporters of the very best kitchenware Japan has to offer.

If you just kinda like rice, and are thinking of getting this for its multi-use capabilities, we recommend buying it and then gifting it to a loved-one on their way to rice nirvana.

The product we used: