Rice is a perfect food from many perspectives. It’s tasty, can go with any other dish whether vegetables or meat, can be made into and eaten as a spicy dish by adding various spices and herbs, and it’s healthy and makes one feel full. However, many people find it problematic to cook perfect rice because of its inherent stickiness. Rice cookers are a nice solution to this problem. So, let’s learn about making perfect rice with a rice cooker.
How does a Rice Cooker Work?
Making rice in a rice cooker is very simple. You just have to mix rice and water in the cooking pot, stir them well together and make even layers, place the pot inside the cooker, close the lid and choose the relevant program (if applicable) and press the “Start” button. Once all the water evaporates, the rice cooker will automatically turn off. Cooking time will vary according to the type and amount of rice.
Rice cookers may sometimes splatter because of starch buildup. This can be prevented by rinsing the rice before cooking and follow the maximum capacity instructions. You can prevent splattering even by adding fat such as oil or butter to the cooking pot with the rice.
Tip for Making Non-sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker
The key to making non-sticky rice in a rice cooker is to let the rice sit undisturbed for 10 minutes after the cooker is done. These valuable ten minutes will let excess water to be soaked gently without overcooking. The rice will cool slightly and firm up a little in this way.
After ten minutes, fluff the rice layer by layer with the included rice paddle. Because most rice cooker pots are nonstick, it’s recommended to use a plastic rice paddle and not a metal one that can scratch the pot.
However, never stir the rice while it’s cooking; otherwise it will surely become dense, gluey and starchy.
Why does Rice Become Sticky?
Rice can become sticky either due to using excessive water or not rinsing before cooking. By rinsing the rice, the excess starch is washed off; otherwise, that starch creates stickiness. Best results can be achieved by rinsing the rice until the water runs clear.
Also, it should be noted that the most common water to rice ratio of 2 parts water and 1 part rice may not work well for all the rice varieties. Sometimes you may have to add less water and sometimes more. For example, brown rice often needs more water than white. This usually comes with practice.
Flavoring the Rice
To add flavors to the rice, you can add spices and herbs to the rice-water mixture in the cooking pot before cooking. You can even add salt, sautéed onions and garlic.
Once the rice is cooked, you can season it even more with more spices or a dash of acid, such as tamarind or lemon. You can even add chopped vegetables, even chopped fruit like mango or pineapple before or after cooking.
Versatility of Rice Cooker
Rice cooker doesn’t need to be limited to making rice. First of all, it’s versatile enough to cook all types of rice, such as white, brown, short-grain, long-grain, basmati, jasmine and wild rice.
Next you can use your rice cooker to make various other grains including oatmeal and quinoa. You just have to adjust the water to grain ratio. You can do it easily if your rice cooker has multiple settings.
You can even make various mixed dishes by making layers of chopped vegetables or proteins on top of rice.
Also, you can place a rack or basket inside and keep veggies like potato, tomatoes, or other foods in it and steam the foods.
So, are you now excited to make perfect rice with your rice cooker?