If you’re like me, you think of rice cookers as somewhat one dimensional – they cook rice. After reading 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes, by Katie Chin, I realized that this is simply not the case. Rice cookers can be used for a wide range of culinary applications from cooking healthy grains and legumes, soups, steamed dishes, desserts, and one pot (slow cooker type) meals. Katie Chin draws upon her experience as a private chef and food consultant specializing in Pan-Asian cuisine, to create a diverse set of delicious recipes specifically designed for slow cookers.
Chin provides detailed descriptions of the three major types of rice cookers including simple on/off cookers, fuzzy logic cookers with complex self-monitoring capabilities, and induction heat models) as well as instructions on how to use them with her recipes. She also explores the different types of rice, grains, and legumes available along with cooking charts that describe how to prepare them. Each chart includes the type of rice, grain, or legume along with the amount of liquid, cooking time, and recommended settings to use for each type of rice cooker.
During our review of this book, we chose two Thai recipes, Thai Fish Curry on Jasmine Rice and Chicken with Fresh Mint and Basil. We also chose two European recipes, Risotto Milanese and Buttery Smashed Kohlrabi. Both Thai recipes were easy to prepare and had a perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavor. The choice of Risotto Milanese was a difficult one because Chin’s book includes seventeen different risotto recipes! All of which looked amazing and I’m sure we will try many of them in the near future. Anyway, the Risotto Milanese turned out great, had perfect texture and flavor along with a dramatic presentation with a bright yellow hue with crimson accents from the saffron. We pared this dish with Italian Meat Balls topped with a velouté sauce paired with a 2000 Chateau Pomerol – the dinner was 5-star! Risotto has a reputation as being rather labor intensive in its preparation, however, Chin’s recipe only involved adding the ingredients to the slow cooker and stirring the Abrorio rice three times during the 30 minute cooking cycle – SO EASY. We also wanted to try a recipe that involved steaming vegetables so we chose the Buttery Smashed Kohlrabi. This dish tasted similar to mashed potatoes and it could be used as a lighter, healthier side for a steak or chicken entrée.
We give Katie Chin’s 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes five stars out of five. The recipes that we tried seemed very well tested. We followed the measurements and instructions explicitly and all four recipes that we tried turned out perfect without any need for minor adjustments. Even more impressive, we achieved these results despite the fact that we were using a crude, 20 year old, on/off type rice cooker (see below). The book includes so many tempting, delicious recipes that it should appeal to most cooks regardless of their preference in cuisine. Katie Chin has drawn from both Asian and European classics to create the definitive collection of rice cooker recipes.