How do you cook rice? For those of you who don’t answer with “a rice cooker,” you’re missing out. Rice cookers are omnipresent among Asian households—you even see them in K-dramas from time to time! They allow even the klutziest people to cook rice without burning it, making them appealing to people across the spectrum of culinary abilities.
Rice cookers rely on water and heat to boil and steam what is put into it. This makes them capable of doing much more than simply cooking rice - if you’re willing to get a little creative, there are a myriad of foods that you can prepare in your rice cooker. Ranging from breakfast foods to side dishes to desserts (and more), the possibilities are truly endless. Let’s take a look at some of the recipe options!
Did you know that you could make japchae in your rice cooker? Japchae is a traditional Korean side dish that consists of glass noodles and colourful vegetables. Much like other recipes involving a rice cooker, japchae is easy to make. After soaking your noodles in water, add it to the rice cooker with your sliced vegetables, water, and olive oil. After cooking, add in sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Mix and serve!
- Kimchi Fried Rice
Rice cookers can be used to make a variety of main dishes, including kimchi fried rice! This makes it great if you want to mix things up and eat different foods, but don’t have the culinary skills or appliances to do so. Essentially, you have to put a heated mixture of all of your ingredients into the rice cooker and cook. How much easier can it get? There are a myriad of other Korean (or non-Korean) recipes out there for you to try, so definitely do some digging around on the internet.
- Japanese Pancake
If there’s no Japanese pancake store near your home, all you need is a rice cooker and a few simple ingredients! Japanese pancakes are light and fluffy and are much thicker than an ordinary pancake. Using a rice cooker may be the easiest way to make this dish—all that you need to do is throw your ingredients into the cooker, mix, and press the start button. For those of you who aren’t the best at flipping pancakes, this just might be the new adventure for you.
Rice cookers can be used to make a variety of side dishes, including meatballs. This makes it great if you want to mix things up and eat different foods but don’t have the expensive culinary appliances to do so. Additionally, side dishes made using rice cookers can be eaten alongside rice! Other side dishes include shumai (Chinese dimsum), curry, and salads.
Tiger Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer that is known for its rice cookers, has a lot of rice cooker recipes on their website that are free for you to try out!
- Chocolate Cake
Many of the most popular recipes fall under the broad category of “cake,” mainly because using a rice cooker provides such a drastic change inconvenience. All that you need are four ingredients—flour, sugar, egg, and milk—then, you need to mix them together and pour it into the rice cooker. In less than an hour, your cake will be complete!
The multiple different foods that you can make in this one appliance makes it especially handy if you prefer not to (or are not able to) follow orthodox culinary methods, or if you don’t have a lot of space. There are definitely more rice cooker recipes floating around elsewhere, so be sure to take a look if you are interested!
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Written by Lynn Lee