How to cook rice using a MICROWAVE OVEN
1. Wash and drain rice in a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Add enough water for the rice. The general rule 1 cup rice = 1.25 – 1.5 cup water. But that will depend on the type of rice you are using. Short grains need lesser water as compared to long grain. If you want to learn the Asian way of measuring water (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), then check out this video.
3. Cover with cling film leaving a small gap at the corner for the rice to ventilate (otherwise it will explode – no joke!)
4. Set the microwave to high and cook the rice for 10 minutes
5. Remove the rice and fluff it before returning it into the microwave to a further 5 minutes. Remember to cover the bowl with the cling film again and leave a small gap for it to vent.
6. Your rice is done.
Why not cook rice with a dedicated rice cooker?
So you might ask, why not just use a rice cooker? Well, actually when I first arrived in uni, I only had a microwave (mainly to heat up my food) and only got my first rice cooker 3 months after getting my first pay working on a project with the university. Thing is, most people here in the UK don’t own a rice cooker simply because rice is not a staple food in this part of the world. Conveniently, you can also get parboiled rice (rice that are partially cooked) in a bag and all you need to do is heat it up in the microwave. I have personally used the saucepan to cook my rice before learning that I can cook using the microwave. But yes, I did not follow Hersha’s method not because I didn’t have a colander but because I was still accustomed to the ancient way of cooking rice regardless of how rebellious I became over the years. Hahaha. Hence, no matter how I cook my rice, I will always rinse it until the water becomes clear before cooking. This is to remove any dirt, dust, bug, and excess starch.
Similar food, made differently, enjoyed equally
Are any food out there that are more or less the same but cooked and served differently? Well, here’s what I found:
1. Jiaozi (China)
- Usually boiled or steamed and enjoyed with fresh ginger slices and black vinegar.
2. Gyoza (Japan)
Usually pan-fried on one side before filing the pan with some water and cover with a lid to further cook it. Gyozas are normally enjoyed with ponzu sauce or chilli oil.
3. Ravioli (Italy)
Boiled with water and served with olive oil, butter, or a tasty pasta sauce.
1. Boba tea (Taiwan)
Milk tea served with tapioca pearls
2. English breakfast tea (UK)
Black tea served with sugar and semi-skimmed milk
3. Teh panas (Malaysia)
Milk tea sweetened with condensed milk.
Cooking is fun and innovative
You might say that these are essentially different dishes and Hersha was actually making an iconic Oriental dish. But without people like Hersha, how would many Asians learn about things how others cook and enjoy things that are quite universal. And with new techniques and preference comes a new invention. For example, did you know that Chicken Tikka Masala is actually a British invention? Let’s leave that topic for another day.
Why not let me know how you normally cook your rice in the comments below? Is there a common dish that you make differently in your family?
Stay safe and well 🙂