Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 8, 2021
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The Everyday Rice Cooker

Diane Phillips wants you to realize your rice cooker’s potential. The cookbook author lived in Japan for three years where she learned to make soups, stews and even stir-fries in her electric model. Back in California, she bought a similar rice cooker and used it to make one-pot meals like the ones featured in her latest project, The Everyday Rice Cooker, published by Chronicle Books.

A rice cooker uses steam, which can make fish and poultry bland, and veggies wimp. To obtain deep flavour, Phillips suggests marinating proteins first. For crisp-tender veggies, she recommends tossing them with olive oil, a few herbs or spices, or just salt and pepper, and adding them to the steamer basket during the final minutes of cooking a pot of grains in a flavorful liquid.

But the steamer approach — grain on the bottom, proteins and veggies on top — is not the only one-pot method. Another approach is to sauté and then simmer, as when making a soup or stew, or steaming the entire dish in the rice cooker pot itself, as you would pilafs and risotto.

Three easy examples from the crafty cookbook follow. (Note: All the recipes in the book have been tested in 5- to 6-cup/1.2- to 1.4-litre rice cookers).

Recipes from the book