December 24, 2014

Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯

Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer
By Published: 2014-12-24
In the past I have always been astonished that people would want to steam rice in a pot instead of using a rice cooker.  Why, I would wail, would anyone want to add more work into cooking a Chinese dinner!  After all, if you wash your rice out well and are careful with the measurements, your rice cooker cooked pot of rice is a beautiful thing.  However, recently we decided to try to Cook Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯 and I realized at the moment I first tasted the perfect, perfect steamed white rice, that it was soooo worth that little bit of extra effort!

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer

What then is different about the steamed rice cooked on the stove?  Why, it's tastier than rice cooker cooked rice, that's what!  Don't know why, exactly, maybe because we used ceramic bowl and bamboo steamer to cook with, maybe the metal of the rice cooker pot affects the taste of the finished rice.  One of the reasons we decided to try to cook stovetop steamed rice was because our rice cooker pot was aluminum and we didn't feel comfortable anymore cooking with aluminum.  But who knew it would taste so good!  The fragrant rice flavors were in full bloom and each grain was beautifully separated from but just ever so lightly clinging to the next grain.  Perfect texture.  Incredible rice flavor.  And there was a nuttiness about the stovetop steamed rice that had never come through with rice cooker rice.  It tasted so good that we couldn't stop eating the rice!  

The other amazing thing was that the rice didn't stick to the bowl it was steamed in!  If you use rice cookers like us you will know how the rice always sticks a bit just at the bottom.   Well, if you steam rice on the stove, no sticking at all!  You can eat your way through every single grain!  This would make my dear Grandma smile for sure.  She used to remind us constantly to be sure to eat up every last grain of rice in our bowls because each grain of rice is the equivalent of a drop of sweat from the laborer who worked the rice fields.

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer

And of course you'll be  needing a good rice grain to cook with.  We've been buying the Golden Phoenix 金鳳香米 for a while now and really love the taste of it!  But be careful when buying rice as there are fakes out there in the supermarket shelves where another manufacturer creates packaging that very closely matches a famous brand so that unwary consumers buy their brand thinking that it is the real deal.  If you've got a favorite rice brand to recommend, we'd love to know!

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer

And to cook your perfect rice on the stove top, find yourself a wide ceramic bowl like the one in our photo.  (Do not use metal!)  The one that we are using is the traditional chinese bowl used to cook rice in the old days, also know as a "beggar's bowl", a roughly made ceramic bowl with a brown glaze that you can get for dirt cheap in chinese kitchen supply stores.  I believe that these ceramic bowls used to be used literally as begging bowls because they were so cheap to procure.   Irregardless of haphazard beginnings, if you don't have one of these you must get one!  These bowls are steady and strong enough as long as you don't drop it.  It's semi porous the way ceramic is and so steams up evenly.  The ceramic doesn't affect the flavor of your food at all (and actually improves it, I swear!) and so you taste the flavor of your food in all of its original glory.

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer
Chinese Beggar's Bowl
Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer
Bamboo Steamers
We love to use a bamboo steamer for our steaming needs which is perfect for enhancing that subtle rice flavor.  The less metal the better for the flavor of that which you steam.  The bamboo has a very subtle fragrance which will permeate your steamed foods.  Also the bamboo steamer prevents drips on your food as you steam.  If you look at your bamboo steamer lid after steaming you will see that all the water is absorbed into the bamboo matting on the lid so that no water drips on your steaming rice.  Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove everytime!

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer

Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove  完美的蒸米飯
(makes approx 10 bowls of rice)

Ingredients:

2 "rice cooker" cups rice 
2 "rice cooker" cups water
1 beggars bowl

Directions:

Use the measuring cup that comes with your rice cooker, not your usual measuring cup as they are not the same, to measure out the rice.  Pour rice into large strainer and run water through rice until quite clear.  You are rinsing the starch out, allowing the final rice to be fluffy, each grain of rice separate but still gently clinging to each other.

Put washed rice in rice pot and add water.  The rice cooker measuring cup corresponds with the measurement markings for water level on the inside of the rice cooker pot.  So if you put in 2 "rice cooker" cups of rice, you add water up to the 2 mark.  Using the rice cooker measurements will allow you to make perfect rice every time with minimal effort.

Note:  If you don't have a rice cooker, I suggest to use a 1 1/4 cup water : 1 cup rice and tweak the results to your taste. 

Pour measured water and rice into 7" by 2" beggars bowl.  Steam covered in bamboo steamer over highest heat for 10 minutes, turn heat to medium low and steam for 15 minutes, and finally turn heat to lowest possible and steam for another 15 mins.  Perfect Steamed Rice!

Note:  This steamed rice recipe is courtesy of my 老公's Grandma, who is 94 years old and still going strong!


      

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