I think (my memory goes in and out for many things...) that a lot of Asians presoak their rice for a long time due to the cost of fuel for cooking (hence they came up with congee which could be left all night on a heater for a pudding in the morning) and pre-softening the rice does cut down on cooking time. Quoting: Lance Roseman From BC
Oops...and then the rinse is to get rid of extra starch.
Thanks! You're right it's like cooking, without heat.
But what to do with the water the rice soaked in? Rinse your hair with it!!
[link to www.medicalnewstoday.com (secure)
According to researchers, women in the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan had floor-length hair they kept healthy by bathing it in rice water.
A modern-day equivalent of this story can be found in China. The Yao women, who live in a village called Huangluo in China, are famed for having hair that averages 6 feet long.
In addition to its incredible length, the Yao women's hair is said to keep its color for longer, as they do not begin to get gray hair until they reach their 80s.
I don't like throwing out water.
Things we could be rinsing off the rice:
Talc, powdered glucose, or rice powder; vitamins and other nutrients, surface starch.. [link to www.chowhound.com (secure)