Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Stubborn Lady and her rice... A True Story.

I'm on a mission... A rice cooking mission.

I've always wanted to make sticky rice. About a year ago my aunt bought me some "Thai Sweet Rice" from the Asian grocer in her area and I bought myself a rice cooker. After several failed attempts at cooking ALL types of rice in the rice cooker I gave up and stowed my cooker away in the darkness of defeat, (you know, the cupboard above the fridge with the sushi cookbook and fancy 10-in-1 slicer dicer grater chopper). Well darnit, I want to make my own damn rice and this time I'm not giving up!

Last night was my first attempt at cooking this tricky Thai rice. I called my Mom who swears that she's made it before and she rambled off this much too easy seeming list of instructions for me to try. Despite what I'd heard she swore that you do not need to soak the rice.

You need to soak the rice.

We ended up with a gloppy, gluey, disgusting mess of white goo which resembled nothing even remotely close to rice. Now she says she doesn't remember. Convenient? I think so...

So, after that debaucle I took it upon myself to begin research. I started by asking all my Asian friends how they cook sticky rice. I mean go directly to the source, right? Of course, none of them have cooked Thai sticky rice which I guess is different but is what I am trying to cook. Then I began a long and confusing internet search. Many websites suggested that you steam the rice in a basket over a special pot. But I don't have a special pot, or an even slightly irregular one for that matter. Since I do have a rice cooker I thought maybe I could steam the rice in the specific cooker for which it was created. But of course that didn't work. After soaking the rice for 5 hours then rigging it into a special homeade basket for steaming, the rice cooker did absolutely nothing. Aparently rice cookers are not meant for "steaming" rice, but more for boiling it. I threw the damn rice cooker away, then got it back out of the garbage can, because I'm stubborn and I figure perhaps someday I could use it for something... not cooking rice mind you, but maybe something. Any ideas?

I found a recipe that uses a regular pot and other everyday type items that I have in my house and don't have to order online to make my rice. As we speak now I am patiently awaiting tender kernels of chewy rice for my pure enjoyment. I just checked on it and so far the rice is still not cooked at all, but I say that's better than the rice being a ball of glue.

Well after about 30 mins of steaming in my homeade rice steaming device I turned the water off, covered the rice and left it to sit and steam. Hours later I came back to check on it and yes, in fact it had worked! I made thai sticky rice!!! Here's what I did.

I used a large pot and filled it about half full with water. Then I put a steamer basket over the water and lined it with a piece of raw cotton that I had on hand. You could of course use cheesecloth but I didn't have that, so I used cotton. I put the soaked rice in the lined steamer basket, and covered it. I then turned on the water and let it boil for 30 mins and then just let it sit until it was time to eat it. I checked it a few times throughout the day and it was getting dry so I just sprinkled it with a little water and stirred it. We ate the rice with some chicken, and then I made rice balls out of the rest which my kids enjoyed later.

So, I mastered the thai sticky rice. Boy was it sticky too. Not just to eat, but the whole process. Next I think I'll try making jasmine rice. I hear it's much easier, and perhaps I can even use my rice cooker... We'll see. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Mojo Jojo said...

So, you haven't successfully made ANY rice in your cooker?...what kind do you have? Can I have it? I'd put it to good use. My mom makes sticky rice, but I don't think it's the same thing.