Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rice-cooker Meals

Soon after I moved into my current apartment last fall, we realized that our ancient monstrosity of a stove was leaking gas. It took just over a month for our landlord to acknowledge that there was a problem and buy us a new stove. In the meantime I had to figure out how to make home-cooked meals without a stove.
I've had a rice cooker for about a month at that point, and although I tried cooking all kinds of grains in it, I didn't add anything else. One day desperate for some home-cooked food, I put some diced chicken pieces that I had marinated in soy sauce along with the rice. The result was fantastic! The chicken (I used skinless thigh meat) was steamed and tender, the rice took on the flavor of the chicken. Since then I experimented with adding various ingredients to the rice cooker. Tofu and black wood-ear mushrooms are my favorites to add along with chicken and I like to add oregano and Old Bay seasoning to enhance the flavor. In the few months that I've had the rice cooker I've discovered that it is a wonderful appliance; able to cook not only rice and other grains to perfection, but also porridges and whole meals including meat. The one I have is made by Zojirushi and I am very happy with it.