Eating rice has a number of benefits. It is an amazing side dish and even a main plate. In fact, in some countries, especially that of Asia, rice is their staple food. It can be eaten with just about anything from meat, fish to vegetables.
But how is it cooked?
Traditionally, rice is cooked on high heat until a rolling boil. Afterwhich, it is simmered with the lid on and steamed over the residual heat. But, nowadays, this task has been made much easier with the use of an electric rice cooker. The question is, is it worth it? Let’s find out.
How It Works
Using a rice cooker is very straightforward. All you have to do is to put the rinsed rice in it, add the correct amount of water, and plug it in. The light on “cook” should turn on. Once it is done cooking, the light will turn off. You will also hear a sound as it flips the switch up. It will then turn into the “warm” mode. It’s as easy as that!
Water to Rice Ratio
In general, the water to rice ratio is 1:1, which means that for every 1 cup of rice, you need 1 cup of water to cook. Keep in mind, however, that this may vary, depending on the variety of rice. Some may require more water, while some need less. Therefore, if you are using a new variety of rice for the first time, make sure to inquire about the correct ratio.
Making Fluffy Rice
Although the fluffiness of rice also depends on the variety, it also has something to do with how you cook it. Now, if you are utilizing a rice cooker, you should let the cooked rice sit for about 10 minutes keeping the lid on. This should allow the water to be absorbed without overcooking the rice.
Avoiding Rice from Getting Too Sticky
Cooked rice is generally sticky. But if you notice that it is too sticky, then you might have added too much water. To avoid this from happening, you should be accurate when measuring the water. And also, it is important that you rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Adding Flavor to the Rice
Rice has a bland taste, that is why it can be paired with just about anything. But if you want to add flavor to it, you are free to do so when cooking with a rice cooker. You can swap out the water with broth or stock. You can also add salt and spices.
Other Uses of a Rice Cooker
While the equipment is mainly used to cook rice, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can only cook rice in it. Here are other things that you can make using this small kitchen appliance:
That’s right, you can utilize a rice cooker to make a hot breakfast meal like oatmeal. Simply add the oats and water, and that would be it.
Soups or Stews
In case you run out of gas, you can use your rice cooker to make your favorite soup or stew without altering the recipe at all. Just make sure though that the ingredients can all be accommodated by your cooker.
Steam or Boiled Vegetables
Most rice cookers these days come with a steam basket. So, yes, you can certainly use this appliance to steam vegetables. You can also boil them if you wish to.
A rice cooker is very easy to use. Simply set it up and you can literally walk away. Plus, there are many things that you can make in it aside from rice. With that said, YES, a rice cooker is worth the price. It is worth having!