after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

An Ode to Rice Cookers (and white rice!)

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t says: Time for number 2 on the list.  Meet “Li’l Red” … our rice cooker.

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that ..."

g and I love starch.  If we had to go Atkins, we’d be really really grumpy – our meals need pasta, bread, or rice.  Of the three, I’d argue that rice is the most versatile.  Bread requires effort to make and gets hard quickly.  Pastas might be quicker to make than rice, but are seldom served plain.  Rice, on the other hand is very simple to make, cannot be overcooked in a rice cooker (unless you put too much water in it), and goes with nearly every meat and veggie.  It also tastes wonderful on its own.  Actually, one time, when k was over, we made white rice – she was surprised by its flavor and asked if we doctored it with anything.  As you might guess, we go with rice quite frequently.  And, using a rice cooker, it doesn’t take up valuable space on our stovetop and is foolproof.  g also likes that it’s red …

Li’l Red was cheap (<$20) and makes enough rice for 6 servings.  Making 2 cups of rice (which inflates to about 4 finished cups of rice) works out well for me and g to have enough rice for 2 meals, each.  So critical is a rice cooker for successful rice cookery that I’ve even added this post to our “recipes”.  Some tips and tricks:

1)  Prepare the rice according to the rice cooker’s instructions.  g made it once following rice’s instructions – yea – it was not good.

2)  There are actually different kinds of rice out there.  We like short grain rices – our favorite is koshihikari short grain rice (we like Tamaki Gold as pictured, but there are other good ones out there).  My mom’s favorite, which is also delicious, is Kokuho Rose (it has a pink emblem on the package).

3)  Mom sometimes adds other things to white rice to make it more nutritious.  For instance, you could use barley, beans, peas, or even brown rice!  Brown rice might change the cooking characteristics – I don’t know – I’ve never tried it.  If you want to be a purist, add nothing to rice – no seasoning, vanilla, or even oil.

4)  If you’re making white rice, you must wash the rice thoroughly before cooking.  Basically you need to rinse the rice in water as many times as it takes for the water to run very-nearly-clear.  Basically, do it until you think you’re done, and then rinse it three more times.  I’ve done it by hand in the included rice pot or using a fine sieve – the latter works faster.  No matter what you do, this super-secret step is super-vital.

5)  When the rice is done cooking, fluff it with the included paddle and then replace the lid until ready to eat.  To “fluff” the rice, drag the paddle across the surface of the rice (kind of like how you would scrape a water ice with one of those wooden spoons) and lift up gently.  Keep doing so to get a nice fluffy pile.  When fluffing the rice, you want to avoid packing it together (e.g. you don’t want to do what they do with Chinese takeout white rice).

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

21 March 2010 at 1:17am

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