This Southeast Asian staple comes to us by way of cookbook author Jeffrey Alford.
Place rice in a large bowl; cover rice with 2 to 3 inches room-temperature water, and soak for 6 to 24 hours. Alternately, soak in warm water for 2 hours.
Drain rice, and place in a conical steamer basket, or alternate steaming arrangement. Set steamer basket or steamer over, but not touching, several inches of boiling water in a large pot or a wok. Cover, and steam until rice is shiny and tender, about 25 minutes. If using an alternate steaming arrangement, turn the rice over after about 20 minutes so the top layer is on the bottom. Check pot during steaming, adding more water if necessary.
Turn cooked rice out onto a clean work surface. Use a long-handled wooden spoon to flatten it out a little, then turn it over on itself, first from one side, then from the other, to help get rid of any clumps. After several foldings, the rice will be an even round lump. Place it in a covered basket or in a serving bowl covered by a damp cloth or a lid. Serve warm or at room temperature. Keep covered until serving.