We were misled. That meek appliance sitting at the corner is not just for cooking rice; it can do wonders. Because it’s been named “rice cooker,” we were all led to assume that this appliance is just for rice. While this may sound true for its makers, with people’s food enthusiasm folded with fund constraints added with a dash of innovation, rice cooker is no longer confined to the grains of rice; it can be used for other viands.
For instance, rice cookers could be used in boiling foods. It doesn’t take a genius to know how to boil foods using the rice cooker. Since rice cookers can provide the heat that could boil water, adding foods is the next easy step. After a few minutes, your foods, may it be chicken or egg, are cooked and can be eaten.
More than boiling foods, rice cookers are also reliable in making soups, stews, and chilis. Simply throw all of the ingredients into the pot. Stir a little. Simmer a bit. And there you go! Your pot of hot soup, stew, or chili is ready! Of course there would be times when tougher or harder ingredients would be placed first to ensure that all of the ingredients are well cooked; just follow your chosen recipe.
If you love to pair your rice with assortment of viands, then you could also use the rice cooker to steam meats and vegetables. While you cook your rice, steam vegetables and meats at the same time. Not only are you saving time and space, you can also add flavor of the rice with the meats and vegetables’ dripping going straight to the rice! Normally, rice cookers have instructions on how to use the steaming tray, but if there’s none, then please note that for vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower, the steaming time is 15 minutes, and for chicken and beef the minimum time is 25 minutes.
Once done with the main meal composed of the rice, soup, and the steamed meats and vegetables, it’s time for dessert, which you could also make in your, wait for it, rice cooker!
The rice cooker can actually imitate the oven when baking. For example, if you want a cheesecake, simply mix the ingredients, which commonly are cream cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, and flour, in the rice cooker bowl, switch on the normal rice cooking cycle, and wait for it to be done. In a few minutes, you have your rice-cooker cheesecake.
While only one course of meal was shared above, any time of the day, you can make snacks using the rice cooker. One of the common snacks is the mac and cheese. To make this using the rice cooker, place the pasta, chicken stock, and a teaspoon of salt in the rice cooker bowl, and cook for 15 minutes. Then, add the milk and cheese, stir to combine, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Since rice cookers cook at different heats, make sure to check once or twice. Then, voila! Devour your mac and cheese!
There’s just no stopping when it comes to satisfying our hunger (or craving) pangs, and it’s good to know that there’s a meek appliance at the corner who could serve us assortment of food from rice, to boiled and steamed foods, and to dessert and snacks.