Finding Some New Techniques For Using Your Rice Cooker

By Alex Williams | Kitchen

Aug 10

Rice is the basis of any number of traditional meals. It might be hard to imagine that there’s still amazing tricks which one can perform with such a familiar staple. Rice cookers have brought a whole new way to relate to rice though. This familiar staple item can be used in some uniquely delicious ways thanks to getting yourself the best rice cooker at home.

One of the first things to keep in mind is the safety of a rice maker. Any experienced cook knows better than to wander away from the kitchen when in the process of preparing a meal. Even if something is just simmering on the oven it will create a rather terrifying fire hazard. All it takes is a child or a pet who’s having a bit too much fun and a fire can start from the kitchen. It’s a smart habit to get into. At the same time, one should remember that rice cookers are automated cooking at its finest. There’s no need to wait around while the rice cooker performs the magic. This can free one up to get any number of different things done.

On the cooking side of things, it’s fairly common to toss the rice into the cooker right when starting out with food preparation. Tofu is one of the more traditional additions to rice based meals. A small rice cooker can allow one to start the tofu pressing right as the rice cooker begins. This puts two tasks which require time but no supervision into the same timeframe. Tofu generally takes about an hour to press. The average rice maker also takes about an hour to prepare rice. This is a good start to building up confidence and breaking habits. From there one can even combine trips to the store with the rice prep. Since the majority of rice cookers have a warming mode there’s not even any pressing need to get back in time.

This leads into some other optional additions which have become standard. One of the best additions to rice cookers is a steamer tray. The steamer tray takes advantage of the fact that rice cookers produce a large amount of hot steam. One can put vegetables into the steamer tray and get perfectly steamed vegetables to compliment the rice. They’ll typically even exchange a bit of flavor with each other. Some people even put a little bit of soup into a plastic bowl and place it onto the tray. This works best with soups that are traditionally eaten with rice such as miso based bowls.

The ability of a rice cooker to mix flavors together doesn’t stop with the hint of vegetables. One can also use a variety of different flavoring agents with the rice. A favorite among many people is soy sauce. Just a little soy sauce can go a long way to adding flavor to rice. This is ideal for Japanese or Chinese based dishes. If one is going for a more Mexican flavor than spices can be a great addition as well. Sriracha, in particular, is a great addition to rice due to the general solubility of the sauce. It mixes perfectly with water. One can basically just put water into the rice cooker and then add the rice in. From there it just takes enough squirts of sriracha to color the water a light or dark red depending on one’s tastes. From there simply press the cook button and the rice will come out with the sriracha flavoring infused right into it. In general this holds true for most flavoring agents. It’s one of the best ways to begin experimenting with the taste of rice from a rice cooker.