Using a rice cooker to prepare rice is a very simple and convenient procedure. Rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates which is a good energy source. It is low in fat, low sugar, no additives or preservatives. It is also gluten-free so it is an excellent replacement for wheat, barley or oats. Furthermore if cooked correctly it tastes pretty delicious. Unfortunately most people are intimidated with the process of cooking rice. Fortunately modern rice cookers have made this process very easy. Read on further as I will outline a simple guideline on how to use a rice cooker so that you can avoid burnt rice and prepare delicious rice every time.
Do you need to prepare the bowl before cleaning?
Almost all modern rice cookers come with a non-stick pan so you do not need to prepare the bowl. Just wash the bowl with regular dish soap and water after every use.
How much rice do I need per serving?
The amount of rice person can vary depending on the person but generally you would need about a 1/2 cup of uncooked rice per person. Most rice cookers will come with their own cup and recommended amount. A good idea is to begin with the recommended amount and then adjust the amount as needed next time. Also important to note is that the cup size that come with a Japanese rice cooker is much smaller than in an American model.
Rinsing the rice
This is an optional process as rinsing will remove the excess starch agent off the rice and remove any dirt impurities. I found that it made the rice less gummy and sticky when it has been washed and it tasted better. The process is pretty simple, once you have the rice in a bowl pour regular tap water into the bowl and then use your hand to stir the rice around while it fills. You will notice the water become very cloudy once the inner bowl is filled up. Then you carefully pour the excess water out into the sink until only the rice is left. Repeat the same steps 2-3 times until the water becomes clear and then the rice is ready to cook.
Water to rice ratio
This brings us to probably the most important part of cooking rice. Which is how much water should we use? Most manuals would recommend a 2:1 ratio of water to rice but this can vary. If you like your rice drier then use lesser water but if you like your rice in the moist side then use a bit more. Many modern rice cookers now come with measuring lines on the bowl to mark how much water you need. The first line will be for 1 cup, second line for 2 cups and so on. If you are unsure then you should always read the owner’s manual for recommendations.
Cooking the rice
Once the rice is cleaned and you have the right amount of water in the bowl then you are ready to cook some rice. Just close the lid and press the switch and the rice cooker will do rest. Once the rice starts cooking it normally will take about 20 minutes before it is done so this would be good time to prepare some side dishes. You will know that the cooker is done when the switch pops back up and once it is done you can help yourself to the delicious rice.