Hey, you! 🍚
For those who don't know us, we are a family of three currently living in France, but originally from the beautiful islands of the Philippines. When one thinks of the Philippines, one can usually think of white sandy beaches, bright sun, and of course ... rice. In the Philippines, we eat rice 3 times a day (for each meal basically). Personally, we eat rice for lunch and dinner, but from time to time we like to eat a nice Tapsilog for breakfast with lots and lots of garlic rice.
When our 13-year old daughter asks why we eat so much rice, we reply jokingly - "because rice is life!". This isn't wrong, because after a day or two of not eating rice, the Husband and I start looking for it. I don't think I could go on a week without rice. 😂😂
Anyways, in our household, our daughter S is in charge of cooking the rice. Our friends once ate at our house and later asked how we cooked our rice. They were so surprised when they found out that S prepares our rice. The secret is the combo of rice cooking tips + a good rice cooker.
Speaking of a good rice cooker - we bought ourselves a new one! It is the Yum Asia Sakura Rice Cooker (click here). It is a bit more tech-y from the one we used to have, but the rice comes out amazingly delicious. The rice, whether long or short grain is perfect every single time which is very impressive. The Yum Asia Sakura looks really stylish in our kitchen and is so simple to use, intuitive and very easy to clean. The ceramic inner bowl is an excellent addition as when I was looking for rice cookers, all of them seem to have teflon bowls which I'm not really fond of. Having a rice cooker will make it absolutely easier. Gone are the days of cooking rice in a pot from scratch.
One of the most important thing to do when cooking Asian rice is to wash it repeatedly until water is clear. Not washing the rice leads to smellier rice that spoils faster. Most importantly, this will remove the starchy coating which makes rice gummy. This is true to Asian rice. But washing is not necessary with all types of rice, like risotto rice for example. The starchy layer of the risotto rice adds to the creamy texture of the dish contrary to Asian rice.
The preparation of the rice is quite easy especially with a rice cooker. We add plus 1 cup of water to the cups of rice. So if we cook 2 cups of rice, that's 3 cups of water. Three cups of rice, that's 4 cups of water. But this is what we do with the rice we have the habit of using and the result that we like. I encourage trial-and-error until you get the desired result.
Aside from washing the rice, another important step is that you simply cannot skip to rice making is letting it rest. Letting the cooked rice rest is necessary to evenly distribute the moisture and to achieve optimum texture. When the rice has rested for at least 5 minutes then you can fluff it.
Rice is such a main staple in the Philippines that we learn very early in life on the importance of cooking it well. I always tell my French friends here that bad rice is equivalent to stale baguette. From the grimaces of their faces, I know they understand what I mean.