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not all rice is created equally

Monday. 05. 23. 2011.
My fuzzy logic rice cooker

My fuzzy logic rice cooker

I’ve had this rice cooker since my parents moved out. I was about 20 at the time.

I remember when I was a kid, asking my mother why we had to eat rice all the time. I wanted baked potatoes and other potato dishes like the dinners I’d see on TV. My mother’s reply was “Because we’re Chinese.” I might’ve muttered that I didn’t want to be Chinese. (There have been moments in my childhood when I wish I wasn’t Chinese.)

The rice in my life was also never seasoned. Rice tastes like rice. I remember my dad would frown when my brother and I would try to scoop the sauce from the dishes to mix with our rice. He would tell us that it wasn’t the “right” way to eat rice.

Occasionally my family would go out for dinner and my parents would complain about the rice at the restaurant. (We were eating nearly exclusively at Chinese restaurants.) They’d complain that the rice was too dry because the grains were too long and the rice didn’t stick together as it “should”. As it turns out, my dad preferred a slightly less sticky rice (jasmine rice) while my mother preferred more glutinous (Japanese rice). The rice at home would be a mix of the two.

The Chinese term for cooked rice is the synonymous with the terms “meal” and “food”.

A friend of mine in high school told me about visiting a friend in Australia. My friend is Caucasian and his friend is Chinese. He (my friend) told me that it blew his mind away to see a rice cooker, an appliance specifically for making rice.

A rice cooker was no stranger to me. I grew up with one in the kitchen. My mother doesn’t know how to cook rice on the stovetop. Rice was always cooked on a rice cooker. My grandmother taught me how to cook rice on the stovetop.

A friend once asked why one would need a rice cooker. I explained to her that there were always more than 1 dish at the table and cooking the variety of dishes required use of all the burners. Burners were limited property and you don’t want to have a pot occupying a burner full time. There was also no worry of burning the rice. The most basic rice cooker has it set up so that you never end up with burnt rice. God knows that once a single grain has been singed, it’s game over for the whole pot.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday. 05. 23. 2011. 9.10 am

    What a lovely story. It is nice to read about people who grew up with food traditions that consisted of more than a box!

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