If someone asked me what’s my favourite fruit, I would say apple. I mean, I love most fruits, and in the autumn kakis, or Japanese persimmons, are irresistible, but can you think more versatile fruit than an apple? There are many fruits that are sweeter or more exotic than the apple, but the humbleness of the apple gives us almost unlimited variations with cooking or baking.
As a reader of my blog might have noticed, I like to try out new ways of using a rice cooker. Thus when I found a recipe for Tarte Tatin made with a rice cooker, I immediately wanted to try out.
Tarte Tatin with Rice Cooker (3合分)
2 middle sized apples
30 g butter cut in 1 cm cubes
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
15 g butter
35 g almond powder
20 g sugar
15 g plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
*liquid from the apples
1) Peel the apples and cut them in 4 chunks. Cut out the core with seeds.
2) Wipe some butter to the bowl of the rice cooker, and put half of the butter and sugar (for the filling) in it. Arrange the apple chunks in the bowl so that the round side faces down. Add rest of the butter and sugar, sprinkle lemon juice over the apples, and turn the rice cooker on.
3) Make the tart dough. Melt the butter in the microwave, and let it cool down a bit.
4) Mix almond powder and sugar in a bowl, add egg and mix lightly.
5) Mix flour and baking powder, and add to the dough using a sifter. Mix lightly, but don’t knead. Add the melted butter and mix well.
6) When the rice cooker finishes, pour out the liquid to a separate bowl. Be careful, as the rice cooker bowl is hot! After cooling the liquid down a little bit, mix it to the dough.
7) Check that the apples are neatly at the bottom of the bowl, and crush them lightly to make the surface even. Pour the tart dough on the apples, and turn the rice cooker on again.
8) When finished, turn the bowl over to get the tart out.
Khao Man Gai, the Thai version of Hainanese Chicken Rice, has been in the media a lot lately, as the first Khao Man Gai restaurant straight from Bangkok opened their first shop in Shibuya last month. I decided to try it out at home, as I found out it could be easily done with a rice cooker.
Khao Man Gai (for 2 persons)
1 chicken thigh (250 g, boneless)
Hint of salt
Hint of white pepper
1 1/2 go (180 cc) rice
1 tbs sake
1/2 tsp chicken broth powder
1 tsp nam pla fish sauce
3 slices of ginger
5 cm leek
1/2 cucumber sliced diagonally
Some coriander leaves
1 glove of garlic (peeled and minced)
1 cm piece of ginger (peeled and minced)
1 tsp nam pla
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs water
1-2 red chilis
1) Wash the rice and let it stand in water for 30 minutes (depending on the type of rice you use, this might not be needed).
2) Cut out excess fat from the chicken, and sting the meat thoroughly with a fork to make it tender. Rub some salt and white pepper to the meat.
3) Cut the ginger (leave the skin on) and leek. Crush the leek a little bit with the side of a knife.
4) Put the rice, sake, chicken broth powder, nam pla, as well as sliced ginger and leek in a rice cooker. Add a little bit less water than usually.
5) Put the chicken on the top of the rice and turn the cooker on.
6) Mix the ingredients of the sauce. Adjust the saltiness to your liking by adding more soy sauce and miso, and hotness by increasing the amount of chili.
7) When the cooker finishes, take the meat out (be careful, as it is hot and really tender) as well as ginger and leek. Mix the rice well and divide to serving plates.
8) Cut the chicken to slices and put on the top of the rice. Garnish with cucumber slices and coriander leaves. Serve with the sauce.
I used brown rice for health reasons, even though white jasmine rice would look nicer with chicken. I also made some daikon salad in som tam style to go with the chicken rice; if you can find green papaya you can try to make the real som tam.
This is called 豚の角煮 (buta no kakuni) in Japanese, and it is basically pork belly cubes boiled in broth until they become really soft. Normally it takes the whole day if you are cooking it in a traditional way, but it can be done quick & easy with a rice cooker!
Buta no kakuni with a rice cooker (for 4 persons)
500 g pork belly block
4 boiled eggs
green part of 1 leek
1 cm of ginger sliced
400 cc water
100 cc sake
4 tbs soy sauce
4 tbs sugar
1) Peel the boiled eggs. Cut the daikon 3-4 cm thick rounds. Cut the pork also in 3-4 cm blocks.
2) Put some vegetable oil on a frypan and fry pork cubes lightly so that they get some colour.
3) Put water, pork cubes, sliced ginger and leek in a rice cooker and start the cooker.
4) When the cooker is finished, the pork should be soft. Take leek and ginger out and put daikon and boiled eggs in the cooker.
5) Add water so that the ingredients are under the water. Add sake, soy sauce and sugar, and turn the cooker on again.
6) When the cooker is finished, kakuni is ready. Eat with some karashi (Japanese mustard) & rice. Goes well with beer too!
This baked cheesecake can be made without an oven. Instead, it’s baked with a rice cooker!
Tofu-Cheesecake (for 3合 sized rice cooker)
200 g cream cheese
100 g silken tofu
5 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp wheat flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
6-8 drops of vanilla extract
1) Soften cream cheese in microwave (600 W for 20 sec.)
2) Put all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well with a whisk.
3) Pour the mix to the rice cooker bowl, and tap the bottom couple of times to get the excess air out. Turn the rice cooker switch on. When finished, test with e.g. a chopstick if dough sticks to it. If yes, put the rice cooker on again. You might need to repeat this couple of times depending on your rice cooker.
4) Take out of the bowl when cooled down a bit.