How to Cook Perfect Rice?

As I have mentioned with the previous post, we are going to learn how to cook rice in the appropriate procedure. Rice is an essential commodity in Asian’s life. It does not only provide carbohydrates towards the human body and generate sufficient energy, but

For the rice experiment, I use the Japanese brand, Nishiki’s New Crop Premium Grade Rice. This type of rice is good for normal white rice or sushi.

All you need is: a rice cooker and rice.

Steps are as follow:

Preparation: Wash your hands throughly. Maintain personal hygiene is very important. Nobody wants to get sick, right?

1) Use a measuring cup to take our the rice from the packet.(Usually it is provided together with the rice cooker.) This helps to ensure the amount of rice for serving. However, the amount of rice being cooked depends on the size of the measuring cup and the rice cooker. I am using a Panasonic rice cooker. This is used by my mother when she studied abroad in the United States. (Wow! An antique?!! Of course not, but it still works perfect like new ones!) Since it is a small size, I poured in one and a quarter mug of rice.

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2) Pour the rice into the rice cooker mental container and rinse it with water. I usually rinse it for 2-3 times in order to keep the rice clean. Then pour out the water.

3)Here comes the crucial part: Insert an appropriate amount of water into the container. One might pop up with a question: How much water should I pour in?

Well, here are 2 personal tip offer as help.

-> First tip: Use the measurement inside the metal container to obtain the right amount of water, then pour in 2 times of water to cover the rice level. Eg. I have a quarter of rice lay flat inside the container. It is approximately 1/2 cup of the container, add in 2 times of the water (until the level reaches to 1 cup). It varies from one to another rice cooker, so remember to look carefully how much water is needed.

Second tip:  Use one hand to measure the water level to ensure the accuracy. Spread out your fingers and place your hand on top of the rice. If the water covers to your more than half of your hands, that means you may proceed to the next step and cook the rice. If the water level is either too high (covers your whole hand) or too low (covers only the your finger tips), please adjust the water level by either pouring away or adding water.

4) Place the metal container into the rice cooker and insert the plug.

5) The last step is to push the button and a light should automatically turned on.

While we are waiting for the rice to be fully cooked, why don’t we look at some crucial points within the cooking process? The cooking time differs from how much rice needed to be cooked. For my little rice cooker, it takes around 20-30 minutes for the rice to be fully cooked. It depends on how much rice are inside the container. The appropriate amount water varies with different kinds of rice. Brown rice takes up more water and longer time to be cooked. In order to have a better grasp on how to mange the water and time problem, I researched on the internet and found the website AROMA. One of the features in the website offers the most frequently asked questions and answers. Question 5 is about “How long does it take rice to cook” provides a chart with rough water measurement and cooking time. In fact, this is a useful tool for beginners or rice lovers to take notice of.

6) When you hear a sound from the rice cooker such as “tick”, that means your rice is fully cooked. Some rice cookers feature the warm signal, which keeps the rice warm before serving. As I love to have a more chewy taste, I usually let the rice stay still for around 10-15 minutes to let it becomes less moisturize.

7) Use a rice paddle to loosen up the rice. This helps to maintain the rice in a better shape and not to stick below the container or together.

8) Ta-da! Your rice is ready to be served! Use the rice paddle to take out the appropriate amount that you want. Metal spoon or other utensils are not preferred for it can cause damage to the metal container, such as leaving scratches to the surface. The fell off mental materials might cause health problems. For the sake of good health, please DO NOT take any risk 😉

Here’s the final look ok the rice. You may serve it with Asian cuisines or your favorite dish. It comes with a lot of combinations.

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For health seekers, try to add some multi-grains before cooking the white rice. The above two images are some multi-grains taken from the Japanese grocery store Mitsuwa Marketplace mentioned in the last post. Another excellent method is substitute half white rice to red or brown rice to further create a healthier diet.

The last point is that I do not have a personal preference when it comes to rice cooker brands. However, to purchase a rice cooker is easy. Please visit any Chinese or Japanese grocery stores in your neighborhood. The two stores information are listed in the previous post. Please remember the steps to cook rice are not complicated at all. In fact, figure out the right water portion is the main factor to obtain a bowl of good rice. I wish all those who read this post would feel more comfortable when they cook rice.

Stephanie =)

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