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300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes

300_Rice_cooker_RecipesYou would think that with their long experience with cooking rice that Chinese cooks would not need any help. But whenever I have been in Asian department stores I have seen shelves packed with various brands of rice-cookers, so it seems that this book should fit appropriately into the Chinese New year time-slot.

I have a rice-cooker, and I cook rice in it. That's all, until now. But armed with the expertise of this amazing book I now know how to cook beans, risotto, polenta, lentils, soups, and just about any other grain or legume you can think of.

There are three hundred recipes in this packed-with-information volume. Some use the various functions on the more advanced rice-cookers (fuzzy logic included) but many are ideal for the plain-Jane versions such as mine. Other recipes use the steamer basket and when I saw this, suddenly my eyes popped open. Aha, so that is why there was a metal basket in my rice-cooker! The directions which came with my brand were strangely mute on what to do with that little extra.

Katie Chin knows, though, advising ways to heat rice underneath while steaming fish and vegetables up top. She tells us how to prepare dumplings and noodles, custards, oatmeal - even desserts, that way too.

And even if Chinese is not your family's favourite cuisine (although try a few of this book's recipes on them and you may be surprised) there are so many other cuisines featured here - such as beer steamed kielbasa and sauerkraut, for instance, Caribbean yellow rice, Israeli couscous with mint and fetta, and sensational curried squash soup.

There is every type of dish too from bean dip to paella, ginger chicken stir-fry and Thai sticky rice pudding. The directions are clear, stating whether you need a special rice-cooker or a standard one, and what size, and there are helpful notes and tips beside each recipe. The index is comprehensive, the pictures kept to a minimum (to allow more room for these recipes, I suspect) and the book opens, and stays open easily while you cook - always a great help.

Yes, of course, most of these recipes could be cooked using a pot for the rice and frypans and steamers for the other parts of the dish, but the greatest feature of the rice cooker is that it is one utensil that's easily transportable (think holiday homes or caravanning) and it is easy to store and clean, a plus for small apartments. Better still, most brands can be set to cook while you do something else.

So if you have a rice-cooker in the back of a cupboard or on a high pantry shelf, get it out, dust it off and try some of these recipes. I know I am going to be using mine a lot more now. 

300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes, by Katie Chin, published by Robert Rose, 2011, paperback, rrp US$24.95, ISBN 978 0 7788 0280 8.


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