Tag Archives: rice

Versatile Rice

5 Sep

It’s only been about two weeks since I started cooking in a college setting. But in those two weeks I have learned something valuable: rice is very versatile. I don’t just mean what it can be eaten with but also how it can be made, especially how leftover rice can be used to make different dishes for other meals of the day.

The issue of leftover rice first presented itself when I realized that the rice cooker I owned needed a minimum amount of rice to cook properly. However, this minimum amount of rice was more than I could eat in one meal. In other words, I would always end up with leftovers that I had to save for later.

This is where the versatility comes in. There are plenty of ways to use leftover rice to make entirely new meals. The simplest is porridge for breakfast. Just throw the leftover rice in a pot, add water, and let the water boil. The result is a warm porridge that can be eaten with any variety of salted or pickled dishes (radishes, tofu, etc.). Using leftover rice to make porridge also has the added benefit of being much faster than making porridge from uncooked rice. With uncooked rice, it can take half an hour for the rice to soak up the water and become soft. Using leftover rice, however, the rice is already cooked and soft, so it’s only a matter of adding water to change the consistency.

Another way I use the leftover rice is to make fried rice. After stir-frying it, the rice is flavorful and fresh. What’s more, with fried rice it is easy to add eggs, vegetables, and meat to the mix, making for a balanced meal. It is also much faster than making a fresh batch of rice just to be stir-fried.

These are all things leftover rice can be used to make. Rice from dinner can be used to make meals for breakfast and lunch the next day—and all in quick and easy ways, too! Now, I even intentionally leave some leftover rice so that I can make porridge and fried rice easily later.

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Student-style fried rice

3 Sep

When one thinks of fried rice, images of Asian restaurants generally come to mind.  It’s quite common to eat fried rice which contains beef, pork or chicken, in addition to scrambled egg and an assortment of vegetables.  However, for college students cooking for the first time, a comprehensive dish of fried rice featuring vegetables and meats may seem prohibitively expensive for frequent consumption.  Thankfully, a little bit of thinking outside the box can help here.

The first night my roommates prepared dinner, plenty of my years-old perceptions of food were shattered.  My greatest shock wasn’t when my roommate put rice and noodles in the same dish.  (He said it was because there weren’t enough noodles to go around.  I wonder why we bothered with the noodles at all then.)  It was when he said he was going to slice up some chicken and put it in the wok with the rice and noodles.  I wondered, when and how did we come across cheap chicken?

Well, it turned out the chicken would come from our Dino Nuggets.

A bite full of chicken nuggets, rice, and broccoli sounds like a strange combination.  If you taste it, you’ll probably think it an unusual texture as well.  However, it was an adequate dinner which covered the food groups.  Our filled stomachs certainly didn’t complain.

Thankfully, we have refined the recipe for cheap fried rice.  Sliced hot dogs have turned out to be a much more scrumptious type of meat in fried rice than defrosted, sliced breaded chicken.  Packs of hot dogs are certainly cheaper to buy than packages of fresh raw meat.

-Duke

Underground rice paddies in Otemachi

16 Aug

Source: Japan Times

Otemachi is normally known for suits and skyscrapers, not farming. The Japan Times did a little legwork, and found out that the urban legend of the underground rice fields is actually true.