In case you missed it, I’m Asian. I was raised eating rice for every meal, and my parents had, and still have, a rice pot on their kitchen counter that’s always on. They’re either cooking a new pot of rice, or keeping rice warm just in case there’s a rice emergency. What kind of emergency? I’m still unsure, but they like having there, at the ready, for whenever they may need it.
As an adult, I find that my family doesn’t eat rice as often as I did as a child. It could be because my husband is not Asian, and is really not a fan. He’ll eat rice without complaint, but prefers potatoes any day. I still love it, and so do my kids, but I in no way need a giant rice pot going day and night. Plus, I just don’t have the counter space for it. My solution? A microwave rice cooker. Shocking, right? I found one by Pampered Chef at Goodwill a few years ago, and thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try for $1.99”. What a great deal! This thing is awesome! I’m able to make a beautiful pot of rice in a snap, and if there’s rice left over I just put the whole thing in the fridge. When I want to heat it up, I just sprinkle some more water over it and nuke it again. Simple to make with minimal mess, what more could I ask for?
The first thing I do is wash my rice in a strainer. I know there are some people that don’t wash their rice, and I never understood why. I just picture some Thai farmers walking around a rice paddy, transporting it, and who knows who else touching, stepping on, and handling it. That’s enough for me to want to give it a good rinse in a strainer until the water runs clear.
Next, I put the rice in the pot and add water. I know it looks like I’m really mad at, or making obscene gestures to the rice, but it’s how I measure the correct amount of water. The first line of my middle finger is the measurement for medium grain rice, a tad bit higher for longer grain, and just below for shorter grain rice. Just remember that the longer the grain, the more water you will need. Today I made long grain jasmine, that’s why you don’t see my finger line. It’s hiding right below the surface.
A pat of butter is added to the pot. Don’t worry, you won’t taste it in the finished product. It just keeps the rice from boiling over while cooking. Something about the oil breaking the surface tension of the starchy bubbles. Don’t forget this step or else you’ll wind up with a mess in your microwave.