I am a big fan of rice. But not of the time it usually takes to prepare it. A few years ago, I bought a rice cooker from Costco. It took over 45 minutes to steam just a couple cups of rice that I wanted to have for dinner. Everything else in my meal was ready long before. I found this unacceptable. The rice cooker went back to Costco.
So, in 2006, I purchased a pressure cooker. This is a 6qt model from the Fagor Splendid line. It is relatively inexpensive, and made in Europe. I bought it at a local retail store in Santa Clara.
Having remodeled my kitchen the year before, I was the proud owner of a Kenmore 30" induction cooktop model 42800. I decided to experiment with the pressure cooker and this cooktop to get rice much faster than any steam rice cooker can. This article is about my current recipe. The total cooking time is only about 6 minutes.
1. rice . I chose some Basmati rice from Costco. I have been using 1 to 5 cups with this recipe, I haven't really tried more.
2. water. With the rice I chose, I use 1.5x the volume of rice. This will vary depending on what type of rice you purchase. But once you know the correct volume, you need to measure exactly, as measurement errors are sure to make your rice either burn or be wet.
3. chicken broth cubes, 1 to 2. I use some Knorr brand.
4. PAM cooking spray
5. herbs. I use some thyme mostly.
6. olive oil .
1. spray the bottom of the pressure cooker with PAM . This is very important to avoid sticking. If you forget, washing will be much harder.
2. measure water volume and pour it into the pressure cooker
3. put the pressure cooker on the strongest burner and start boiling. On the Kenmore unit, this would be the top-left one. I use the highest P booster"setting.
4. mix in the chicken broth, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme
5. while the water is boiling, wash the rice.
6. since induction is so fast, the water will probably be fully boiled in 1 minute, before you are done washing the rice :) Pour the rice into the boiling water as soon as you can.
7. put the lid on the pressure cooker and close the valve
8. wait until a significant amount of steam starts to release. This will take about one minute typically.
9. turn down the cooktop setting a little bit, to the 9 setting (non-booster) and let cook for exactly 2 minutes. Don't use an analog timer or watch for this. You need to be exact and use a digital one.
10. turn down the setting a little bit more to 8, and let cook for exactly 2 minutes. Again, use a digital watch.
11. turn off the cooktop. steam should stop releasing immediately.
12. turn the valve to release all the steam. This will take about a minute.
13. open the pressure cooker
15. clean the pressure cooker. This is the worst part, since it is not dishwasher safe.
Personally, I find the resulting taste and consistency of the rice to be much better than what I obtain in the rice cooker. And of course in less than 10 minutes of total preparation, versus over 45 minutes with a rice cooker.
I have a lot of asian friends. Not all of them agree that this rice tastes better than when made in a rice cooker. Some cannot tell the difference.