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For jasmine, I use 1 cup rice to 1 and a little (less than 1.25) cups water. I don't use the measurements on the rice pot, not even for short grain rice. My mother prefers drier rice, so she uses the

Actually, you really need rice skills. But, I use Japanese rice for: Onigiri! And seasoned as "sushi" rice: For Chirashi! No raw fish was harmed - the tuna was seared, obvio

For basmati (the how much) I followed instructions located on their web site  and in a few books/online, etc. To whit, their directions state: 2 cups (rice measuring cup) basmati rice  and 3

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1 hour ago, Anthony Bonner said:

how do Rice Cookers do with things like basmati rice? 

They explain it pretty well on this page...

https://www.zojirushi.com/grains/nszcc10.html

Quote

Various types of rice cook differently. Zojirushi rice cookers were designed to cook short and medium grain rice. However, we understand that you may want to cook other types of grains such as long grain rice and steel cut oatmeal. Because these types of grain cook differently than short/medium grain rice, we have provided in the following pages the best way to cook these grains, and to ensure that they do not overflow or be undercooked.

 

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2 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

But let's say, like me, there's maybe a football game on, or an election result coming in. So the pot is on the stove over high heat - I run into the other room to see a TD scored, or an insane 1 minute of a speech from a president, and by the time I get back into the kitchen, shit is boiling over - rice essentially ruined.

Definitely understand and empathize.    My solution to burned rice and its many siblings was to offer up a kitchen corner to a small TV.   

Screen_Shot_2020-11-16_at_6_47.50_AM.thumb.png.836324e2b198f7ba435bd14d6712bb24.png

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36 minutes ago, joethefoodie said:

@Orik serious question.  From your experience living in Japan, does practically every home cook have a rice cooker?

Because I'm thinking cultures where rice is a main component of the diet do.

Many people have them, of course. It's a bit hard to talk about "practically every" and "home" in the context of how many Japanese people live, but you'd definitely expect to find a rice cooker in a middle class kitchen. 

I use ours any time I want to make Japanese rice or okayu and I'm sure that happens far more often than it would if I had to cook the rice in a pot. For other uses (risotto, arroz meloso, basmati, etc.) I prefer traditional methods. 

A typical Japanese kitchen in an apaato (apartment, the lowest grade Japanese urban dwelling) for illustration. Note the lowered counter under the hood where you are supposed to place the iwatani burner you brought with you. 

 

東京都 1棟アパート キッチンの事例|賃貸経営のパートナー探し「大家さんの味方」

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3 hours ago, Orik said:

Many people have them, of course. It's a bit hard to talk about "practically every" and "home" in the context of how many Japanese people live, but you'd definitely expect to find a rice cooker in a middle class kitchen. 

I use ours any time I want to make Japanese rice or okayu and I'm sure that happens far more often than it would if I had to cook the rice in a pot. For other uses (risotto, arroz meloso, basmati, etc.) I prefer traditional methods. 

A typical Japanese kitchen in an apaato (apartment, the lowest grade Japanese urban dwelling) for illustration. Note the lowered counter under the hood where you are supposed to place the iwatani burner you brought with you. 

 

東京都 1棟アパート キッチンの事例|賃貸経営のパートナー探し「大家さんの味方」

Sounds like how I'll use mine mostly, even though they show recipes for paella and other rice dishes, I can't imagine making paella, risotto, etc. in a rice cooker.

Are you saying a typical apaato doesn't even come equipped with anything to cook on?! Not even electric?

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Nope. Often you can rent a mini fridge or burner from the management company.

One quality step up (mansion) will typically include a fridge, a couple of burners and a fish grilling drawer, while the equivalent of a luxury condo will have a full western kitchen (although never a dishwasher). 

 

I did try the risotto recipe once and was not convinced.

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11 minutes ago, Orik said:

Nope. Often you can rent a mini fridge or burner from the management company.

One quality step up (mansion) will typically include a fridge, a couple of burners and a fish grilling drawer, while the equivalent of a luxury condo will have a full western kitchen (although never a dishwasher). 

 

I did try the risotto recipe once and was not convinced.

Did you?  I know people who love making it the Modernist Cuisine way - parcooking via a pressure cooker, but that's a whole other area I've never wanted to get into (and mostly used by professional chefs, I think).

https://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/pressure-cooked-vegetable-risotto/

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The first time I lived in Japan, I lived in a Leo Palace, which was definitely not a palace. It came with a fridge (smaller than bar-sized) and a single built-in electric burner. The living space was 6 tatami (just under 10 sq m), but I had a little loft which was maybe 3 or 4 tatami. I think the entire apartment, including kitchen and unit bath, was about 12 tatami. And for this palatial space, I paid ¥66,000/month, or just over US$600. And while it was in Kyoto, it wasn't even downtown or somewhere nice. It was in Katsura, and it was a 20-minute walk from the train station.    

I think the same apartment now rents for <¥50,000/ month. 

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So because I let this site spend my money for me much too much, I got a Zojirushi rice cooker.  I thought I'd eat rice more often if it required less attention.  (Rice in the Instant Pot has proven to be a non-starter, I'm afraid.)

I got the model with a pressure cooker built in.  That might have been a mistake:  it limits the things you can cook in the unit to rice (and steel-cut oats:  another key reason I decided to get a cooker is I KNOW I'll have more Anson Mill Steel Cut Oats -- which I just adore -- for breakfast if I don't have to actually cook them then, but can just push a button).  Only grains, in other words, and no cereals.  But after all, the reason I wanted this thing was so I could cook rice (and steel-cut oats).

Another lurking problem:  I generally eat Amurrican long-grain rice, not Japanese short/medium grain.  And even the manufacturer admits this unit does not excel at long-grain.

So I'm relieved to tell you that the long-grain rice came out better than it does when I cook it on stovetop.  Moister, plumper -- but not gunky.

Is this really easier than stovetop, though?  You have to go through this rinse/wash routine before cooking that to me is a total pain in the ass.  But maybe that's part of why the rice is so much moister than as cooked on stovetop (by me, at least).

Also, while the cooking is pretty attention-free once you've gotten through that initial wash/rinse process, it takes a much longer time than stovetop:  an hour and change, generally.  Since tonight I had three shows I wanted to watch (on my desktop) lasting till 10 -- two concerts and a dance performance -- and I didn't want to wait on an hour of rice-cooking once the last show ended, I initiated cooking before the first show and then made use of Zojirushi's vaunted (by themselves) "Keep Warm" function (I figured that had to be better than using the timer function and having the rice sit in a pool of water for a couple of hours before cooking).  And I have to say the rice didn't seem dried out at all.

I'm not sure I'm convinced this unit was worth its very high price.  But it's certainly well made:  it made the Instant Pot steaming some broccolini next to it look shoddy.  At the very least, I don't feel ripped off at all.

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You must not be using the fast cook setting. If your rice cooker is taking more than an hour, it's likely including soaking time, but there is probably another setting that doesn't include soaking time, so you'll get cooked rice much more quickly. My rice cooker (Tiger brand) takes about 20 minutes, maybe 30.    

Also, you should probably be washing rice regardless of the cooking method you are using. We've always washed rice, but we generally eat jasmine rice. Maybe American-grown rice is different? 

You might already know this, but I didn't until maybe 20 years ago, so I'll tell you anyway... When your rice has finished cooking, let it sit for about 5 minutes maybe, then fluff it up with the rice paddle, and close the lid. Then before you actually eat it, fluff it up again. It makes the rice nice and light, and not so dense. You don't really have to do the second fluff, but at least one fluff is good.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Is this really easier than stovetop, though?  You have to go through this rinse/wash routine before cooking that to me is a total pain in the ass.  But maybe that's part of why the rice is so much moister than as cooked on stovetop (by me, at least).

As @prasantrin says, don't you wash all the rice you cook (well, except risotto, paella, Basmati) before you cook it?

Regarding is it easier - well, you don't have to be there when the rice comes to a boil in order to minimize the heat? It cleans up so much easier than cooking rice in a saucepan, at least to me. It always comes out perfect (so far), whereas I fucked up quite a few batches of sushi rice.

I think you might enjoy trying short-grains and medium grain rices. And even partially milled brown rices.

6 hours ago, prasantrin said:

Also, you should probably be washing rice regardless of the cooking method you are using. We've always washed rice, but we generally eat jasmine rice. Maybe American-grown rice is different? 

You might already know this, but I didn't until maybe 20 years ago, so I'll tell you anyway... When your rice has finished cooking, let it sit for about 5 minutes maybe, then fluff it up with the rice paddle, and close the lid. Then before you actually eat it, fluff it up again. It makes the rice nice and light, and not so dense. You don't really have to do the second fluff, but at least one fluff is good.

The instructions for these rice cookers do say to fluff the rice immediately when it's done. But instructions aren't always meant to be followed to the letter, are they?

I don't understand the inability to cook cereals?  Like what cereals are we talking about? The rice cooker is smart, but does it really know if you're putting a cereal in it, vs. steel-cut oats? 

I took this book out of the library (actually, I downloaded this book from the library onto my iPad)...

The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings, and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker

And while (as has been discussed elsewhere) I won't be making paella, risotto, pilaf etc. in the rice cooker, there are lots of recipes not based on rice. 

8 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

(If you're my age, you can't help but think it's funny that "MADE IN JAPAN" is now a sign of quality.)

YES! (It was probably good quality back when we thought it was funny!).

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1 hour ago, joethefoodie said:

I fucked up quite a few batches of sushi rice.

I have no trouble making sushi rice on the stove, but I wouldn't mind using the rice cooker. I have this very basic one:

image.png.395703274a81ada1a0379f84001381d1.png

which doesn't have a measuring line for "sushi rice." What water/rice ratio would you recommend? For stovetop I use 1:1.

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19 minutes ago, small h said:

I have no trouble making sushi rice on the stove, but I wouldn't mind using the rice cooker. I have this very basic one:

image.png.395703274a81ada1a0379f84001381d1.png

which doesn't have a measuring line for "sushi rice." What water/rice ratio would you recommend? For stovetop I use 1:1.

I had that one for many years - it's a fucking classic! And when we had our little apartment in DC, it's the one I got for Significant Eater to use.

I think 1:1 is good for the rice cooker as well.

The most confusing thing as I have tried to learn about Japanese short-grain rice, sushi rice, etc. etc. is what I learned from using the donabe and the donabe books I was reading.  And that's that a Japanese rice cup (I think called a "go?"), is actually 3/4 of a standard dry measuring cup. In the donabe book, she calls for a 4:3 ratio of water to rice - by weight!        

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