Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Rice Cooker? No Problem!

This might come as a shocker since I make so much Asian food, but I don't own a rice cooker.  *gasp!*  (student + no job + outrageous tuition = no munnies)  And I know how much of a pain it can be to be making rice in a pot all the time, especially when you don't need that much.  Want to know why my recipes usually include 1/3 c. rice even though I don't eat that much?  Because I've found out that if you try to make any less than 1/3 c. rice in a pot, it doesn't cook right and has a funky texture.  I don't always have the time or patience for that. 

What's my solution?  Well, I can't take all the credit, I got the idea from http://justbento.com.  Basically, Maki, the lady who runs Just Bento, suggests making a ton of rice ahead of time, and then freezing it.  You can get Maki's directions on her site, but I'll give you a little run through myself:

Cook your rice as you normally would, but make a lot - maybe about 2 cups.  After the rice is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it sit with the lid on for 10 min. as normal.  Afterwards, divvy up the rice while it's still warm and steamy into about 3/4 c. portions and wrap each individual portion in plastic wrap.  The heat and steam ensures that the rice will have enough moisture to keep from drying out too much.  After you divvy up all the rice into packets, put all the packets into a freezer bag and pack into the freezer.  When you want rice, just pull out one of the individually portioned packets and pop it in the microwave, a steamer, or pot to thaw and reheat.  (Common sense, but be sure to remove the plastic wrap first if you're using a steamer or a pot.)

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