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Asian American Cooking Lesson 1: Cooking the Rice[edit | edit source]

Washing[edit | edit source]

Preparation is important. Some rice is packaged with labels that warn against washing because it will remove the added vitamins. Most do not and you do not know where it has been so it is a good idea to rinse it off.

Begin by measuring out the rice you wish to cook. Remember what this amount is because it will determine how much water you are going to put in. Dump the rice into a large bowl and fill it with water. Stir. Once the rice settles back down, dump the water out. Do this until the water is clear.

Cooking[edit | edit source]

There are several ways to cook rice. The easy way is to dump it into a rice cooker with an equal amount of water and ignore it for a while. Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the bottom of the removable pot is dry and clean. If it is wet, the cooker will make some strange popping noises. This is bad. Water and electronics do not mix well. If you hear sounds that don't sound like water boiling, unplug the cooker and wipe the inside with a towel.
  • Rice cookers usually come with plastic paddles. Use it. Scratching the bottom of the cooker is a bad idea because it may start to rust and rusty rice doesn't sound yummy.
  • Do not put too much water in or it may boil over. Rice cookers will stay on as long as there is water boiling inside. If you put too much water in, it will continue to boil until all the boiling water is gone.
  • If you don't feel like shelling out $40 or more for a good rice cooker with a nonstick tub and keep-warm function, there are smaller ones that sometimes go on sale for less than $10 and will do the job. The lack of a nonstick coating will mean that you won't get all the rice out and the cheaper models may leave some overcooked/slightly burnt rice on the bottom. Rice is cheap though, and it will come out easily if soaked for a while.

Other ways to cook rice include:

  • on the stove in a pan or pot - Remember to stir.
  • over fire in a hollow bamboo trunk - Not for beginners

Eating[edit | edit source]

After the rice is done cooking, carefully open the lid and fluff the rice with the plastic paddle. If the rice sticks to the paddle, it helps to dip it in water before using it.

Rice is traditionally eaten in bowls with the bowl resting on your fingers on the left hand, with the thumb up to help balance it. Chopsticks are held in the right hand. Place toppings/sauces on the rice. Raise bowl to mouth and start shoveling.

Lesson 2: Asian American Rice Toppings