It is safe to assume that every house in Hong Kong has a rice cooker. As rice is our staple food, it goes without saying that we love our white, starchy seeds. Incredibly, rice is known to be a natural source of energy. Although we prefer our white rice, brown rice and wild rice are more nutritious. These variants of rice are also packed with fibres and nature’s goodness to maximize our food consumption.
Rice is also popular thanks to its easy preparation. In fact, the traditional way of cooking rice doesn’t even need a rice cooker. But with a rice cooker, the process becomes simpler. Simply rinse the rice in cold water, drain it, put it in the cooker, add water, and turn it on! That’s great and all, but did you know that you could use a rice cooker to cook dishes other than rice? Here are some dishes you can prepare with rice cookers.
1. Mac & Cheese
The famous pasta dish is one loved all over the world. Even here in Hong Kong, Macaroni & Cheese is thought to be a comfort food that is easily prepared. Now with a rice cooker, it’s easier! The recipe is made in a similar way to rice. But instead of adding cooking it merely with water, you would also add cheese, a little salt, and pepper. Chuck all the items in and set it to cook. Voila! You’ve got Mac & Cheese!
2. Baked chicken
What? Can you bake chicken in a rice cooker? Yes! One recipe that does this is the Dijon Chicken. Much like preparing any baked chicken, you would marinate your favourite piece of chicken, preferably lean meat (breast) and leave it overnight. Once taken out of the refrigerator and left to thaw, place the chicken in the rice cooker. Add all the other ingredients such as shallots and mushrooms and set the cooker to the regular setting. Cooking time should be no less than one hour so give yourself ample time to prepare.
3. Stir-fry veggies
You would imagine the term “stir-fry” includes a wok and a whole lot of tossing and stirring. But put a rice cooker in the picture and you get a near-effortless cooking process. Like you would with any other vegetables, start by cleaning them by rinsing with running water. Next, add some oil and a salt along with your other favourite seasonings. Throw in the veggies to the rice cooker and set it on medium/regular setting. 15 mins is all you need for your vegetables to turn slightly brown.
I don’t have a rice cooker
If this is what you’re thinking, what are you waiting for? Go on and shop for one. A rice cooker is the biggest investment you can get for your kitchen. Start by looking at the biggest rice cooker makers in Hong Kong. Brands such as Philips, Khind, Panasonic and Toshiba. You could also check out a wide variety of other appliances to go along with your kitchen.