Japanese rice cookers command a such a high price because they do so much more than a cheap rice cooker. Westerners tend to think of rice as, well, just rice. But eastern cultures use rice in many different ways. In truth, we westerners do too but we’re less in tune with the idea unless we’re a chef or a home cook that frequently makes different varieties of cooked rice. For instance sticky sushi rice is very different than rice used in rice pudding or in chicken and rice soup. Continue reading to learn more about Japanese rice cookers and various uses for rice.
Why do Japanese rice cookers cost so much?
Because they make perfect rice every time and they make it exactly as it should be for several different types of rice grains as well as several different types of rice dishes. Chances are if you had to ask why they are so expensive, you won’t have a need for one. If on the other hand you love rice but haven’t dove into all the ways to make it or been able to cook it perfectly then you may want to pull the trigger on one and see what you’ve been missing out on.
What kind of rice is used to make sticky rice?
Glutinous rice is an asian rice that is used to make sticky rice. Don’t be put off if you can’t have gluten, there is none in glutinous rice but there is a lot of starch. This is what makes it sticky. You also have to cook it just the right way for it to come out properly. Sticky rice should be steamed not boiled. This is one of the reasons a Japanese rice cooker is so expensive. You just put in the rice, put in a measured amount of water, and the cooker does the rest of the work. When it’s done you’ll have perfectly cooked sticky rice. If you’re looking to try your hand at sushi you’ll need sticky rice to do it. So go pick yourself up a good quality Japanese rice cooker.
What type of rice is used to make fried rice?
Jasmine or any similar medium or long grain rice is ideal for making fried rice. You don’t want to use a short grain, starchy rice. Fried rice needs to not clump and mix well with the other ingredients in the fried rice. Some of the most common ingredients of fried rice are onion, carrots, peas, sesame oil, soy sauce, egg, and pork or chicken.
What type of rice is used to make risotto?
Short grain Italian rices are they only ones that should be used for risotto. Some examples of short grain Italian rices are Arborio, Baldo, or Carnaroli. Like Asian short grain rices, Italian short grain rices have a high level of starch which is ideal for proper risotto.
What type of rice is used to make rice pudding?
The better rices to make rice pudding with are the starchier rices such as Arborio. Any short grain rice should do well. That said, you can use any white rice to make rice pudding but just know that a starchier short grain will produce better results.
What type of rice is used to make paella?
The Spanish use Bomba rice to make paella. It’s an ideal rice for paella because it can absorb more liquid than mosts other rices which means that it is absorbing the flavors of the ingredients cooked with the paella.
What type of rice is used to make rice pilaf?
The rice requirements for rice pilaf are not complex. Any long grain white rice will do just fine. Avoid short grain rices because the starch content is high and will cause the rice to stick together too much for a pilaf.
Understanding Why Japanese Rice Cookers are Expensive
So now you have a much better understanding of why Japanese rice cookers cost so much more than a simple rice cooker. I hope that you can better appreciate the difference between a cheap rice cooker that simply works on a pressure switch that’s triggered once enough water has evaporated and an advanced computer controlled rice cooker that can fine tune itself and automatically adjust to changing water requirements as well as be tuned to specifically cook different types of rice and different types of rice dishes. Rice is popular here in the United States but it is under appreciated. There is a wide variety of incredibly delicious rices and rice dishes out there to be enjoyed. With a proper Japanese rice cooker you can try them all out at home yourself as if you were a true professional Japanese chef.