Sep 12, 2007

Rice Cooker Tips

My rice cooker review is a popular post, so I thought I'd share some tips for using one.
  • If you eat rice often enough to need a rice cooker, then buy good quality rice. Asian markets in particular will have several brands. Personally, I'm partial to the Koshihikari variety (of rice, not brand).
  • If you want to eat healthier but don't like the taste of brown rice, try what the Japanese call "haiga-mai" or "haiga"-style rice, which is an intermediate version that's healthier than white but not as dense as brown.
  • If you want to eat brown rice but don't like the taste, try cooking it with diluted vegetable broth.
  • Before cooking, wash the rice with water to remove the surface starch. Simply measure the rice into a bowl, cover with water, and use your hand to agitate the rice. Many recipes will say to repeat the process until the water runs clear but that would take forever - three to five times should be sufficient.
  • For the best flavor, drain the rice in a colander and let stand 30 minutes (you can also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the washed rice for a day or two until you are ready to cook it).
  • You'll have to experiment to achieve your preferred texture, but I like to add a little bit more water than is marked on my rice cooker.
  • Unless you live in a particularly hot and humid climate, the rice should keep for a day after cooking if left in the rice cooker with the lid closed. Leftovers can also be frozen.
Also, if you have a Zojirushi rice cooker, you can order replacement parts by phone. I needed the little rubber piece that fits in the steamer and couldn't find it online, and they did not respond to my email. However, I called their customer service line ((800) 733-6270) and was able to order the part from a live rep. It cost less than $2 including shipping (the part was tiny), and it arrived promptly.

No comments: