Soak the rice in cold water to cover by 2 inches for 3 hours up to overnight.
Drain the rice and transfer to a bamboo steaming basket, or a colander or steaming basket which can be suspended over boiling water. Set aside.
Fill a wok or saucepan with water. Place a rack or tray at least 1 inch above the water, cover the wok, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Uncover the wok and place the rice filled steaming basket on the rack over the steam. Cover and reduce the heat to maintain a steady steam, and cook until the rice is sticky enough to be squeezed into small lumps, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Add boiling water to the pan as needed to maintain the original level.
When the rice is done, turn it out onto a large baking sheet. Wet a wooden spoon and quickly and gently spread the rice out into a shallow layer to help release some of the steam. When the rice is cool enough to touch, gather it into a large lump and place it into a basket or on a serving plate. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved