I wanted a small, fancy-pants rice cooker. After browsing Amazon, I decided to take a trip to DonQuijote in Pearl City. DonQuijote, in case you didn’t know, is a large retail chain with roots in Japan, which also happens to have taken the place of the beloved Daiei, here in Hawaii … which had taken the place of the beloved Holiday Mart stores from way back in the day. As a kid, I remember the Pearl City location the most, and to this day I still believe it has the best electronics section of all the locations on Oahu.
There was a Tiger brand cooker on sale for $99.99: far cheaper than anything I saw on Amazon; Tiger is a brand I trust. I also like Zojirushi, but their cookers tended to be more expensive. It’s my understanding Zojirushi has been around longer and is considered the top brand in Japan, but that Tiger is also respectable.
My Tiger model is the JAY-A550. A big plus: I’m able to make 1/2 a cup of rice, and not have it come out dry. As a minus: It took a lot longer than the sticker on the canister which stated 1/2 cup would only take 19 minutes.
After my success with basic white rice in the new cooker, I tried two more dishes: Congee (rice porridge) and a Blueberry pancake. I’ll post the recipes below. It’s been fun experimenting so far. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make pancakes in my cooker since most online recipes are for the larger, 5 or 10 cup models, but I just adjusted them best I could. While some cookers have a “steam” and/or a “cake” function, mine does not. I have the following settings to choose from: Plain white rice, brown rice, germinated brown rice, quick cook, mixed rice, and porridge.
Blueberry Pancake made in 3-cup rice cooker:
1) Use brand-of-your-choice (I used Krusteaz) pancake mix, following instructions on the box; (I added some milk instead of water)
2) Add frozen blueberries to mix
3) Pour mix into rice cooker and set menu option to “plain rice”
4) Press Start button
5) After it stops, check with a toothpick. If toothpick comes out clean, pancake is done. Otherwise, continue to cook again, checking periodically with toothpick until it comes out clean
6) Dump pancake out upside down on a plate and top with syrup, butter, or any of your desired pancake fixins.
Jalapeno, Avocado, and Cheese Rice Porridge in 3-cup rice cooker:
OK. This might sound gross, but I liked it because these are foods I commonly eat. In retrospect, I should have added salt.
1) Add 1/2 cup rice to pot and rinse with water until it runs clear
2) Add water to porridge water line in pot, hard or soft is your choice
3) Add desired amount of jalapeno slices
4) Set to porridge setting and press Start button
5) After it is done, pour pot contents into a bowl
6) Add desired amount of parmesan cheese
7) Added sliced avocado
8) Stir, and you’re ready to eat!