Compared to pasta, or a nice jacket potato, rice can be a bit of a mystery to cook. Those in the know probably use the “absorption method”, hoping that they time the cooking just right so that there’s not a horrible burnt-on sticky mess at the bottom of the pan and crunchy grains of rice at the top.
Unsurprisingly, the Japanese love affair with both technology and rice has come to the rescue, as a highly detailed article at Tech-On! proves.
Believe me, there’s not much you won’t know about cooking perfect, Japanese-style (slightly sweet and sticky) rice once you’ve read it — or indeed, how Zojirushi has perfected a machine to do it automatically.
There’s even a lesson in an old Japanese saying: “Hajime choro-choro, naka pappa, akago naitemo futa toruna.” means “First use low heat, then turn it up in the middle and never take off the lid even if your baby cries” and effectively refers to the best way to cook rice.
The perfect automated rice cooker sounds pretty complicated, with plenty of talk of internal pressure, artificially-enhanced pressure, starch breakdown, pressurisation during steaming, pressure control valves, and the like.
It’s all about the pressure, it seems. At least, it is if you want the starch to break down and form sweeter-tasting rice.
As if that weren’t enough, the new range of machines come with a ceramic-coated pot with 92% far-infrared emissivity. No, I’m not really sure what that means either.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to experience the joys of rice automation here, as the appliances are only for sale in Japan.