How to cook the perfect Korean rice (without a rice cooker!)
Want to know how to cook good Korean-style rice without a rice cooker? Well, look no further! Our new guest blogger, Jin Kim, is here to explain the best way to cook rice on the stove.
For my very first Korean food column, rice was first thing that came to my mind.
Rice is still a significant part of Koreans’ staple diet despite the Western influence in our food culture. Rice has many names in the Korean language depending on the texture such as jinbap (진밥), ggodubap (꼬두밥), whether it is roasted rice (nureunbap 누른밥), underdone (seorigeunbap 설익은밥), new crop rice (haebssalbap 햅쌀밥) or old rice (mukeunssalbap 묵은쌀밥). Asking “Did you have rice?” (Bap meokeotni? 밥 먹었니?) figuratively can be used a greeting expression and treating someone like ‘cold rice’ means mistreating or leaving someone out. As all this rice related language shows, rice and Korean culture are inseparable.
The kind of rice that Koreans eat is generally what is referred as short grain rice, sticky rice or sushi rice in the UK. There are millions of ways of way to cook rice depending on the moisture content of the crop and what kind of stove and pot you use. However, the best and most simple way to cook the rice is in the electric rice cooker. Once you figure out personal preference of the rice texture by controlling the amount of water you put in, electric rice cooker does the entire job with no mess on the stove and no burnt layer on the bottom of your precious saucepan. The recent trend in the rice cooking world is the electric pressure rice cooker that gives the rice perky and full texture and flavor that I use it in my kitchen which is compatible with cooking harder grains such as short grain brown rice (hyeonmibap 현미밥) or multi-grain rice (jabgukbap 잡곡밥) quickly and thoroughly. But today, I am not here to promote the greatness of the rice cookers since you can easily make good rice on a sauce pan. Before you start, just make sure your pan has plenty of room for the rice to puff up. So here it goes, the ultimate recipe for rice cooking that cooks on the stove or even in an induction hob if that is what you are equipped with in your cooking shrine.
Jin is a regular guest blogger for Beyond Hallyu who runs Korean cookery classes in the York area. She has her own website Korean Home Cooking by Jin where you can find details for all her classes as well as regular food blogs and recipes. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.