9:58 PM

Inspired to cook

I know this is going to sound really weird, but I am ecstatic with my new rice cooker. Jamie and I went to Pacific Mall today to buy the cooker that I've been scoping out for 2 weeks now. Brought it home and tried it out, and IT'S AMAZING!!!

First of all, you have to understand that for the entire 28 year span of my life, I have only ever used one rice cooker. It belonged to my mother, and was a one button wonder. I mean, it's gotta be pretty hard-core to survive over 30 years of use and abuse. But as its one-button status would imply, it can only do one thing. However, I kept using it because it's nice and simple and is really a workhorse. Unfortunately, lately I've noticed that the pot of rice isn't getting cooked all the way through, leading to super-hard rice in the middle - not fun.

So, we decided to retire 'Old Faithful' and get a shiny new one: the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10. This puppy was expensive ($200 CAD), but comes with so many awesome features. Like re-heat; I never imagined that this would be something that I'd be really interested in, but it's going to make lunch prep so much better for me. I'd always wanted to make onigiri from left-over rice, but the problem was that I could never heat it up adequately in the morning in the little time I have. But now with this cooker, I can combine the use of the re-heat function with the timer, and voila! I can set everything up before I got to bed, and have it ready by the time I get up! I'm also looking forward to making congee with it too. But yes, the timer function is KEY. I see myself using it a lot.

Flush with our purchase at P-Mall, which included a quick stop-over at Market Village where I got some rice moulds, we headed to T&T. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, T&T is a Taiwanese chain of Asian grocery stores that has opened up in Canada over the past few years (though I think Ontario and BC are the only provinces with them. Please correct me if I'm wrong). The beauty of this store is that it's an Asian grocery that's clean like a Western grocery. Well lit, no offensive meat or dead fish smells, rotting veggies piled in the front - you know, all the things that usually turn you off an Asian grocery. And they have this huge section of cooked foods where you can buy stuff to take home. I wanted to buy a little of everything!

Anyway, back to my original story. Being surrounded by all the wonderful food-stuffs, I felt all inspired to make good use of all the different kitchen appliances and things that I have at home to make yummy, nutritious meals. About a year ago, Jamie's mom bought us a food steamer that we had never used. I pulled it out and made meatballs on one rack, and Chinese broccoli on the upper one. It's really easy to use, so I think I'm going to use it more often now, which I suppose is good because it means I'm frying less.

Sometime this week, I want to try my hand at making dango. And I think I'll make onigiri for lunch on Monday.


jylo said...

i'm glad to FINALLY find someone as excited about their rice cooker as i am!!! i have the NS-LAC05 and i love eating the rice that comes from it. too bad it doesn't have a reheat function, though, which would be nicer than microwaving rice.

mmm... makes me want to eat rice just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

I am in search of a rice cooker. This article was helpful but I don't know if I can justify the $200... I wanted to mention that there is a T&T in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta and it was there long before the T&T at Warden and Steeles. Ok, back to rice cooker research...