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~ How to Steam Fragrant Rices in the Rice Steamer ~

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d21af85e970cMy electric rice steamer is one of my most used countertop appliances -- it's one of the best investments I ever made, and, it's something I just can't fathom living without.  I bought it because I cook a lot of fragrant rice, specifically basmati and jasmine rice.  Electric rice steamers come in all different sizes, and, depending on which one you choose, range in price from $25 - $125. They all operate basically the same way, and, they all make cooking rice foolproof.

Jasmine rice is a polished, long-grain silky, white rice known for its fragrance, aroma and scent. It was named after the sweet-smelling jasmine flower of Southeast Asia, and, as jasmine rice cooks, it releases its perfumy scent.  When properly cooked it is soft, white and fluffy.  Its very distinctive flavor complements all Asian fare in particular.  Basmati rice, which is also a fragrant, long-grain white rice, is aged before being sold and has a delicious, nutty flavor.  When properly cooked, it too is soft, white and fluffy.  While both rices cook the same (using less water than conventional long-grain white rice) to produce fluffy, slightly-chewy grains, I personally do not use the two rices interchangeably.  I prefer to use jasmine rice exclusively when I am serving Asian fare, and basmati rice exclusively when I am serving Indian or Middle Eastern fare. 

PICT3936When I need cooked basmati or jasmine rice for any reason, I use my electric rice steamer exclusively. Simply add the rice, add the water, close the lid and turn it on.  In about the same time it takes to cook long-grain white rice standing at the stovetop, this miracle machine does all the work.  It's completely foolproof -- as long as you read the instructions and follow them. There's more: ~ Steaming Fresh Broccoli or Cauliflower in a Rice Steamer ~, is just as easy.  And, if you find cooking rice the traditional way (on the stovetop) hard to do, it can be cooked in a rice steamer too, making a rice steamer the appliance for you.  Trust me on these points.

6a0120a8551282970b01774373855f970d 2Prior to cooking, fragrant rice should be rinsed under cold water.  Place it in a colander and while the water is running, move it around with your fingertips until the water running through it comes out clear.  Set the colander aside and let it drain a bit, about 5-10 minutes, before cooking:

2  cups uncooked jasmine or basmati rice, rinsed and drained as explained above

6a0120a8551282970b0176168dafd7970cStep 1.  Using the cup/measure from an electric rice steamer, place 2 cups of rinsed, uncooked jasmine rice in the steamer.  Using the same cup/measure, add an equal amount of water, or a 1-to-1 ratio of rice-to-water, + 1/4 cup water.  Briefly stir the rice, close the lid and turn the steamer on.  Do not uncover or stir during the steaming process.  When the steamer turns itself off or signals that it is done, the rice is done. Promptly unplug the machine.*

6a0120a8551282970b0176168dd6a2970c*Note:  If the machine is not unplugged, it will keep the rice warm for several hours.  While this is convenient, I find that if left on warm for too long a time, the rice tends to get sticky.

Step 2.  Uncover/open the lid of the steamer and fluff, meaning:  rake through the rice with a fork to separate the grains.

~ Step 3.  Plate or transfer to a serving bowl as serve immediately. 

Try my ~ Grilling & Chilling Rice-is-Nice Salad ~:

6a0120a8551282970b01bb0934b922970d"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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