1 cup white rice (long-grain, but not precooked)
4 cups water ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1- Bring the rice, water and salt (if using) to a boil in a large heavy pot (or a rice cooker)
2- Turn down the heat to low, cover, and allow the rice to cook for about 20 minutes. You may have to take off the lid and let it cool down another 5-10 minutes.
3- When the rice is cooked (but not too dry), turn off the heat and let it sit until it is cool enough to handle.
4- Using a potato masher, a strong wooden spoon, a heavy glass, or something similar, mash the rice until it is fairly smooth.
5- Fill a cup with cold water and put it next to the pan. Wet hands or dip an ice cream scoop or spoon into the water, then scoop up enough of the rice to shape into a ball, like a snowball. If the balls will not stick together, put the rice back on the stove to dry it out slightly.