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General questions about cooking rice


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I use a rice cooker, along with 99% of the Japanese, and find it makes quite good rice, but you can can also make good rice quite easily on the stove. However they are many variables in the rice that can make it less then perfect each time. Things to pay attention to:

All rice is different!

Japanese style rice grown in the US needs a little bit more water then Japanese grown rice, because most American rice farmers use the dry field method, while in Japan everything is grown in wet fields.

If the bag is marked 新米 shinmai (new crop) the rice needs a little less water as it is fresh out of the fields.

When cooking more then 3 cups the water to rice proportion gets slightly less.

If you like your rice a little harder (firmer) add less water, if you like it softer add more.

If you are using a made in Japan rice cooker read the manual carefully to find out the size of the cup!

In Japan when they are referring to a cup of rice, it is only 180cc (an American cup is 250cc), so the cup lines on the inner bowl of the rice cooker may be referring to the Japanese cup! (180cc is the old cup measure of Japan, and I think it is pretty much used only to measure rice , the common everyday cup is 200cc)

Washing the rice:

this is a very important step that is often over looked.

the rice need to be washed until the water is no longer milky.

Place the rice into a bowl (I use the bowl of the rice cooker) and add enough water so that it is covered about twice over, give it a couple swirls with your hand and then dump out the water.

Next put a little water (just enough to cover the rice) and mix it around with your hand (lightly rubbing the grains together) for a good 30 seconds, pour it out and repeat until until the water is clear. this can take up to 5 minutes.

Then drain the water completely or pour the rice into a colander and let sit for 30 to 40 minutes, this "rest" can make all the difference between a decent rice and a really good rice.

If you are not sure of how much water to add, place your hand flat on top of the rice and the water should be just enough to cover your hand, using a little more or less for the different variables mentioned above.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you will use it in the next day or 2 put it in the refrigerator, any longer and you probably should freeze it.

Heat it up in the microwave.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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actually rice frozen quite soon after being made and then reheated in a microwave tastes almost as good as the freshly made stuff. AND 100 times better then rice that has been sitting in the rice cooker on the keep warm function for a day.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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You could also roll it out into a log, wrap in foil, and boil for about an hour. Slice them about an inch thick: lontong! Good cold with a chile dipping sauce. Better fried with eggs.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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  • 1 month later...
  • 9 months later...

I usually cook genmai with some slices of carrot, bamboo shoots cut into matchsticks, and some shredded fresh mushrooms (usually oyster and/or shitake). I also add a little shoyu and sake to the water.

What do you do with your genmai, when it is the central ingredient in your dinner?

-- Jason

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't eat genmai (brown rice). I know how nutritious it is, but I just can't bring myself to eat it because hakumai (white rice) is much, much more delicious. And there is another aspect of genmai: No matter how nutritious it may be, it is actually bad for your health to keep on eating genmai. It won't harm your health if you eat it just occasionally, though.

An example of a website that warns against keeping on eating genmai:

http://www.global-clean.com/html/akude-min...ubusoku_02.html

(In Japanese only)

Sorry I can't give you a genmai recipe.

Do you know sprouted brown rice, or hatsuga genmai (発芽玄米)? It is gaining popularity among some Japanese. But I don't eat it, either.

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/okomeshop/473628/465557/#418981

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Well, you know, a certain food has a number of functions, not just one function.

Brown genmai is nutritious, and has the capability of preventing endocrine-disrupting chemicals from entering your body, but it also has the capability of preventing minerals from entering. I'm not saying that brown rice is bad for your health. It is dangerous to continue to eat only brown rice for a long time, believing that brown rice is good for your health. I guess this is true of almost all foods. Fish are a typical example. Fish are good, make your brain work better, but contain mercury. It is dangerous to continue to eat a large amount of fish every day.

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Of course, everything in moderation, too much of anything is bad for our health.

I thought that you actually meant that there was something wrong with brown rice...as if it were toxic or contaminated.

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Well, pesticide residues are another consideration. I had run through several websites on the subject, but found that pesticide residues were not at an alarming level, so I didn't mention them.

You are absolutely right. Everything in moderation. But I think there are people out there who stick to some specific foods only.

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I have to admit like Hiroyuki I prefer the taste of white rice. I have also avoided brown rice up until recently because I just couldn't afford it, it was quite a bit more expensive than the cheap white rice I have normally bought. Though I do have some now I rarely use it just by itself, I normally mix it with white rice and maybe som other grains. It is starting to be more popular here, but I don't know anyone who eats it large amounts of it, except for one American friend of mine (who eats it exclusively) but she also still insists on margarine over butter.... :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I'm aware of the "genmai is dangerous" argument that has developed in recent years, because my brother in law read a popular book, and took to his bed for a week because I "poisoned" him by serving genmai twice in as many months. (Mind you, he takes to his bed for weeks for a variety of reasons...)

So I looked into it. I'm willing to admit that there may be reliable evidence that genmai is harmful, but I'm having a hard time finding it! I also admit that I haven't searched exhaustively. Neither have I looked much into the argument that genmai is manna from heaven and a cure-all for every ill. It's food...

I'm sure that genmai is best avoided by some people - those with irritable bowel syndrome are likely to get a stomach ache, and they certainly won't absorb much nutrition if their digestive systems are constantly irritated. Likewise the elderly who can't chew, and who have weak peristalsis -- any high-fiber food could be dangerous for them.

The article that Hiroyuki mentions comes from a website run by Mr. Asai, health-food shop owner and one-time chiropractor. He describes the dangers of genmai as known to "lots of healers and practitioners of traditional Asian medicine". But no names are given.

Some anecdotal evidence of acids in brown rice harming teeth are given, and a simulation of the effects of eating brown rice vs. white rice over 40 years using the "O-ring" test are given. The test is described in the site below...I would dearly love to see this test in practice, though I would find it hard to accept it as a substitute for 40 years of data!

I like genmai with curry, and I like it cooked with hijiki...but since I didn't grow up eating rice (and I'm actually somewhat allergic to it, so I eat boring stuff like mugi most of the time), it's not a battlefield for me. Hope I didn't offend, just didn't feel that that particular article was a great argument for the anti-genmai position.

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  • 4 months later...

While researching online, I ran across the website for MitsuiUSA. In addition to their numerous agri-business ventures, they own a few restaurants and concepts including the overpriced Kua 'Aina burger shop in Santa Monica. Their newest concept is a restaurant called Trafuku in West Los Angeles.

http://www.torafuku-usa.com/

They also state having a couple of locations of Trafuku in Tokyo.

The concept of the restaurant is based around Kamado cooked rice. They claim this ancient method of cooking rice produces the best qaulity end product.

My question is if this is hype and marketing, or does this cooking method truly produce a better rice. Let me know!

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last year there was a huge "boom" in the kama style rice cooking, the kamas (the pots) were for sale everywhere you went including tons of infomercials and may of the new rice cookers proclaimed their rice was as good as the kamado style.

They do produce a very good tasting rice and my husband and I have regularly been going to a small local kamameishi-ya. Kamameishi is a type of rice dish cooked in a kama usually with a variety of ingredients added, my favorite is the crab one at this restaurant.

At Imai-ya, the restaurant we had our egullet get together at, the final course of steamed rice and many small dishes was served with rice straight from the kama.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thanks to reading this thread, I just noticed a store in Akihabara that was selling onigiri with kama-cooked rice. They had a large kama out on the counter.

Taken from the Torafuku web page:

The Method - Boil, Steam and Bake. These are the three major steps taken when we cook our rice. First, the rice is boiled on very high heat to create space between the rice so that the grains do not get smashed together. This process produces the fluffy texture of the rice. Then the rice is steamed at very low heat. The stone portion of the oven provides excellent heat retention and allows the steam to blanket the rice. Finally, we turn the heat back up for a brief period to add a nice baked aroma. The rice is then carefully mixed and served.

Kristin (or anyone), can you shed any light on this statement? Is this how the rice in a kama is always cooked, or is it something specific to this store. In particular, I'm wondering how they both boil and steam in the kama. Can they move the kama around instead its oven, allowing them to sometimes boil, sometimes steam, sometimes bake the rice?

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I have seen quite a few rice recipes that call for the heat to be turned up to high at the end.

I also found this:

You can enjoy the taste of traditional kettle cooked rice with our firewood-like high heating power!

LG's IH pressure cooker operates at a firewood-like heating power twice as high as other conventional rice cookers. (from here:)

http://www.dreamlg.com/en/cook/useful_features3.shtml

but they list their cooking method as:

soaking, heating, boiling, and steaming

This Japanese site (http://mpn.cjn.or.jp/mpn/contents/00001921/html/faq.htm )

lists:

(煮る)水で煮て米を立てる

(蒸す)蒸気穴(浮動した空間)から上昇してくる蒸気で、蒸し水分を吸収し、膨潤してゆく。

(焼く)飽和蒸気は、焼く(強火)ことで過熱蒸気になり、ご飯粒の表面の余蒸水分を飛ばす。

    水分62~65%含むご飯になる。

as the best way to cook rice. basically it says simmer (boil)--steam--bake

Another site that was selling kamas gave different cooking processes depending on if users like okoge (crunchy "burned" rice on the outerparts), they said to either serve the rice when the steaming is done or to put it back over high heat to "bake" it a bit.

So in all it sounds like personal preference to me....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My question is if this is hype and marketing, or does this cooking method truly produce a better rice.

Cooking rice in a kama is recognized as the best way to cook rice, provided that the following steps are taken:

はじめちょろちょろなかぱっぱ、じゅうじゅうふいたら火を引いて、赤子泣いてもふたとるな

Hajime choro-choro, naka pappa, juu-juu fuitara hi-wo hiite, akago naitemo futa toruna

(Low heat first, high heat in the middle, turn off the heat when it says ‘juu-juu’, and never take off the lid even if your baby cries (for hunger).

This is a phrase that every Japanese is familiar with, although the ‘juu-juu fuitara hi-wo hiite’ part is often dropped. This is the authentic way handed down from generation to generation. In fact, there can be no other way to cook rice in a kama. It is also common practice to put a handful of straw at the end of cooking to burn the rice at the bottom and make okoge.

Can they move the kama around instead its oven, allowing them to sometimes boil, sometimes steam, sometimes bake the rice?

Once placed in a kamado, a kama is not moved until the rice is cooked.

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  • 2 months later...

I recently went to a Tonkatsu restaurant in Kyoto (I think its a chain) that was quite good. One thing that impressed me was thier rice, which they said was "Barley Rice". It looked like good quality rice with a sublty different flavor, so the question is, what is this dish and how is it made?

Is it rice cooked with barley? would that be barley grains, barley water, barley tea, barley extract?

Or is this some sort of barley that just looks like rice?

:blink:

I would love to learn how to make this!

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I love barley rice.

All you need is regular rice and oshimugi (pressed or rolled barley just like in the picture Hiroyuki posted). To make it just add the barley to the rice (I usually use about a 1 (barley): 4 (rice) proportion) before washing and wash them together, then let rest in a colander for 30 minutes or so and then cook as normal.

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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