Cooking Japanese Rice in the Rice Cooker: Ensuring the Best Flavor

  • CULTURE
  • As Japan prides itself for producing rice of the highest quality all over the world, it is no surprise that the country also produces top of the line rice cooking appliances.

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    Japan also ranks number 50 in terms of rice consumption worldwide and the demand for steamy, hot fluffy rice has been the norm since the Yayoi Period (300 BC to 300 AD).

    The Development of Rice Cookers

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    Rice cookers have indeed come a long way in the development of a new rice age in Japan. Since the introduction of this electric home appliance in 1955 by Toshiba, the latest innovations can be seen from the numerous settings that every rice cooker of various brands offers.

    Some rice cookers have a built in metric system that determine the amount of time the rice needs to soak. Other models also have an alarm that gives you a beep when the rice is already cooked and steamed.

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    Since there are numerous varieties of rice that are cultivated in Japan each year having different cooking requirements also, it is very important to check the automatic functions of your rice cooker. If your rice is not cooked well, the problem could be traced in the time of soaking, and the amount of water that was used. Of course, there are rice cookers that come with a measuring cup for rice brands that do not require washing.

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    Thus, it is only imperative to be mindful, that cups designed for no-wash rice should not be confused with the same methods to cook regular rice because the amount of water that will be used is different, making the rice unpalatable.

    Getting Your Desired Fluffy Texture

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    There is one final step that people tend to forget when cooking and steaming rice and it is the most essential step in making delicious steamed rice. This step is called fluffing. To make your rice fluffier, it is important to stir the rice softly using the rice scoop to bring the rice from the bottom to the top of the pot. This process helps in the redistribution of moisture to each rice grain as well as in locking the flavors in. Expect that the rice grains on top of the pot will be dry and lose their flavor while the rice on the bottom of the pot will be mushy when the final process is skipped.

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