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The secret alternative uses of rice cookers


Before the invention of the rice cooker, preparing this staple was a simple but time-consuming affair. Having an appliance that automatically brings rice to a boil, senses when to reduce it to a simmer then keep the result warm has saved many homemakers time and countless headaches over the years.

With some imagination however, the humble rice cooker can be so much more. If you don’t have the space for a full stove or a large kitchen in your living space, a rice cooker might be all you need to prepare everything from soups, stews and even cakes.

Types of rice
By IRRI images
There are tens of thousands of rice varieties in the world, each with their own unique texture and flavours.

Modern rice cookers like the Electrolux ERC2201 are more than up to the following tasks. With its 4-in-1 cooking feature, it is designed to go beyond just cooking rice to keeping dishes warm, cooking soups and porridge and steaming dishes.

Bread and cakes

You don’t need the dry heat of an oven to bake a cake. After all, the Chinese have been steaming cakes and stuffed buns for centuries.

If you’re looking for something sweet and chock full of chocolate, the rice cooker’s ability to steam is ideal for the popular chocolate lava cake. This moist cake comes with a molten centre that oozes liquid chocolate when cut into. And it’s as simple as mixing the chocolate batter and pouring it into the rice cooker bowl before setting it to cook.

The Electrolux ERC2201 rice cooker has a 4 in 1 rice cooking feature that can prepare rice any way you like.

For people who love moist, fluffy bread, the rice cooker is also up to the task.  Its warming function can help raise the dough, then cook the bread via steaming. Added ingredients like fruit or cheese can be mixed in for flavoured variations.  To top it off, a caramel sauce can also be prepared using the rice cooker to accompany the bread or cake.

Steamed meals

Simple meals like the classic mac and cheese can be entirely prepared in the rice cooker. Simply prepare the macaroni with some chicken stock first, then mix in milk and grated cheese with some vegetables or other ingredients if preferred. Cook for 20 minutes, or 25 if you love having a cheesy crust to go with the mac and cheese.

Stewed dishes heavy on gravy like this tofu and asparagus dish go well with rice. Simply chop up the vegetables and fried tofu, mix with oyster sauce, soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, mirin and honey, then toss it all into the rice cooker. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, and enjoy the extra time with your family.

Poached fruit

Want a classy dessert for your guests? Try poaching some fruit in the rice cooker. These wine-poached pears can be prepared with peeled, cored and halved pears. The use of a sweet or light, fruity wine with sugar ensures a soft, delicious dessert when accompanied with whipped cream and toasted sliced almonds.

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