Lemme tell ya - it's hot, DARN hot over here in Japan, and it's not even August yet. I'm so thankful that we have air conditioners in each room (no central air or heat in most homes and flats in Japan), but my eeny-weeny kitchen, poor thing, doesn't have an outlet for an air con (or a window that opens, either - designed by someone who never cooks, obviously).
So my life these days is all about cutting corners in the kitchen and doing whatever I can, however fast and cool I can.
That's where my rice cooker (suihanki) comes into play. I LOVE it, love it, love it. So versatile and obviously designed by someone who does cook!
I've made two complete rice-cooker meals in the last week or so, and this first one was based on a baked "Indian chicken" recipe in More with Less (one of my favorite wedding presents). Here's my rice-cooker version.
- chicken (I used boneless tenders, about 5 or 6, that I chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 onion, chopped
- minced garlic and ginger, to taste
- salt - start with 1 t. - probably enough, or more than enough with the bouillon and soy sauce, too
- 1.5 T. curry powder
- about 1/3 c. honey
- about 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 2.5 c. chicken bouillon (I use water and cubes that I mush up - about 2 cubes for 2.5 c. water) - play with the amount of liquid here 'cause I'm having a hard time remembering just how much I used - usually the rule of thumb with a rice cooker is equal amounts of rice and water, but with this complete meal, I'm pretty sure I added a bit of extra liquid
- about 2 cups rice
- can of chickpeas
- about 1/2 c. raisins
Put your rice in the cooker, then add all the other ingredients and stir. Then just push the button for the normal setting, go into the living room (leaving your apron on), and play with your kiddiewinks in the air-con. Wait till your 3-year-old hears the beep and announces that the rice is ready, go back into the kitchen, wipe your brow, plop some curry into bowls, and flounce into the dining room carrying a martyr complex on the food tray like you've been slaving for hours. The kids won't notice, but you'll feel better anyway.