I have an aversion to odd numbers; but good things come in threes, or so I’ve heard.
I’ve recently discovered that there are three things that prove to be a life-saver in an under-stocked kitchen environment: a heat source, cooking bowl and thermostat.
The rice cooker combines these three incredibly simple elements in such a way that Yoshitada Mizami, the man who cooked up the electric incarnation of this mighty device, remains a surprise absentee from Nobel Prize listings at the like.
The original rice steamer dates back to 1250BC, made from ceramic, and no doubt fashioned as the result of an experiment conducted by a male or female who had far better things to do than stand around waiting patiently for a pot of water to come to the boil.
So a rice cooker; designed to boil and steam rice, an item that up until a few weeks ago I had never subscribed to using. Laziness of the highest order, I had always thought.
Of all the challenges that we face in life, putting a pot of water on to boil, adding rice to said water and waiting patiently for it to cook isn’t exactly a difficult task.
But here I am, waiting for the generator to kick in, when both the ceiling fan and rice cooker can be cranked to the proverbial 11, sitting patiently in an excited lather of tropical sweat for the subsequent time to pass.
My life has now changed, I’ve had a moment. Religious, somewhat. The simple, humble rice cooker has given my life new meaning.
So far I’ve fried eggs, boiled eggs, even poached eggs in this magnificent beast. I’ve boiled pasta and made pancakes, baked bread, and baked a cake. I’ve steamed vegetables, and leafy greens have been simmered in coconut milk. I’ve even cooked rice, on several occasions, amongst many more things in this incredible contraption.
The ‘Keep Warm’ setting on the rice cooker I have keeps items at a steady 65 degrees. This essentially means you can cook the perfect egg in a rice cooker, as molecular gastronomy types have spent years in kitchens determining that the white of an egg begins to coagulate at around 63-65 degrees, while the yolk remains runny as it doesn’t harden until 67 degrees +.
I’m eating a lot of eggs, it seems.
So I now take back every bad word I have ever said about rice cookers, and their users. Consider me the first disciple to preach at the church of the electric rice cooker. What a piece of genius.