A rice cooker is an appliance that can be found in almost every Asian kitchen. Whilst its main purpose is for cooking rice, it can be used to make a variety of culinary delights that have nothing to do with rice! Here, we run through five items that can be made in the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker that will dispel the notion of a rice cooker being a ‘unitasker’ or a single-use kitchen gadget. Of course, it helps that the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker has specially-designed functions for many things one would want to cook in a single pot. So here goes:
A One-pot Meal
It is no surprise that versatile one-pot meals can be made in a rice cooker, as creatives ways have evolved over time to cook a whole meal in a single pot with minimal use of other appliances and utensils. As the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker has different cook-times under different settings, it enables more precise cooking of different ingredients accordingly. For example, a meal that contains seafood can be cooked using the ‘Quick’ setting, whilst a meal that contains chicken can be cooked using the ‘Regular’ setting. Meals of Hainanese chicken rice, nasi bryani, one-pot chicken rice and even paella can be made in the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker.
The Panasonic IH Rice Cooker comes with a separate steaming basket that allows two items to be cooked at the same time, for example with Hainanese chicken rice, the flavoured rice can be cooked in the inner pot whilst the chicken is steamed in the steaming basket.
A Stew / A Casserole
Throw meat and vegetables into the rice cooker to cook a stew or a casserole. If the correct quantities are used, there will be no spill over and no mess. It can be a hands-free experience once the start button is pressed. Unlike cooking on the stove which requires frequent monitoring, the regulated cooking in the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker provides pretty fuss-free cooking when it comes to stewing or braising.
A Soup (savoury or sweet)
Savoury soups or sweet soups like ‘tong sui’ or ‘bubur manis’ can be boiled just as well as rice or porridge in the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker. Just ensure that the liquid level stays within a safe limit and there will be no mess and spills to handle.
One-pot pasta has been trending since a while back. The idea is to cook the pasta in a sauce that has enough liquid to hydrate the pasta, but that liquid should reduce and thicken as the cooking progresses so that at the end it becomes a sauce. It helps to use large-sized pasta which can withstand longer cooking and allow time for the sauce to develop. It may take several attempts to get the quantity of liquid right, or try following some recipes for one-pot pasta. Stock may be used instead of water as the liquid component, and adding flavourful aromatics and herbs usually give good results. Some grated cheese may be added at the end of the cooking for taste, and to thicken the sauce.
By now, many people may have discovered that cakes can be baked in a rice cooker but the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker has a purpose-built function for this. The sides and bottom of cakes turn out nicely golden and releasing the cake is a breeze with the inner pot which has a non-stick diamond ceramic coating. This function is particularly useful for people who do not have a convection oven and yet wish to bake cakes.
There are many more Items that can be cooked in the Panasonic IH Rice Cooker besides those mentioned. So, when kitchen space limited and there is room for only one or two kitchen appliances to handle cooking needs, you may find that a Panasonic IH Rice Cooker quite nicely fits the bill.