April 14, 2015

New Rice Cooker!/新しい炊飯器!

I bought this IH (induction heating) rice cooker in 1999 for around 15,000 yen, when my previous "maikon" (microcomputer-controlled) rice cooker broke.
It still functions normally, but part of the coating inside the inner pot is peeled off.
So, I decided to purchase a new one. The only drawback of this particular IH cooker was that the inner lid was not detachable. As a matter of fact, when I purchased it, I had no idea that there were such products. I had assumed that the inner lids of all rice cookers were detachable.
というわけで、 新しいのを買うことにしました。このIH炊飯器の唯一の欠点は、内蓋(うちぶた)が外せないでした。実際のところ、購入した際は、そんな製品があるとは思いもしませんでした。炊飯器の内蓋はどれも外せると思い込んでいました。
I searched for an 1-sho IH rice cooker with a detachable inner lid in the price range of up to 20,000 yen.
1 sho is equivalent to ten go and 1,800 ml.
1升は、10合、1,800 mlです。

I got this one for less than 15,000 yen.

As you can see, the inner lid is detachable.
The inner pot is black, and has a round bottom.

These two cups came with this product.
The left one is for measuring non-wash rice.

Also supplied was the rice paddle on the right.
The left one came with the previous IH rice cooker.

Although embossed rice paddles like the right one are very popular these days, because they are touted as being free from sticking of rice, I will continue to use the left one. One reason is that an embossed rice paddle is hard to keep clean. Besides, I have never had any problems with the left one; no rice sticks to it.

I'm not going to dispose of my previous rice cooker. I think I'll use it for sous-vide recipes.


Sissi said...

Thank you so much for this interesting post. I didn't know these brands. I've had a European rice cooker for the last 9 years and it started to burn rice recently, so I thought it was a good moment to buy a good quality one.
Last November in Tokyo I was very tempted to buy a rice cooker (surprisingly there is a big choice of 220v devices! I guess many foreign tourists appreciate Japanese rice cookers). I had no idea the prices would be so high though... I have never had such an expensive kitchen appliance and was worried it would get broken during the trip. I'm still tempted though because the rice is so good in Japan. I'll maybe buy one next time. In the meantime I bought a small (4cups) Swiss brand's rice cooker.
I wonder only why even such expensive rice cookers keep on using a coating which eventually peels... I hate when it starts peeling.

Sissi said...

Oh, I see now it's Zojirushi! The brand I'm most tempted by (I thought IH was the brand name).

Sissi said...

I am really distracted today... Of course induction heating... Sorry. I had no idea such rice cookers existed. Why did you choose this technology? In Europe we have many kitchen stoves with induction heating, but apart from being safe to touch I never really tried to get information about their advantages.
It's interesting to see the two different cups. I never wash Thai "jasmine" rice (I think it's prewashed because the water is really clear and I've abandoned washing after first attempt) but I cook it with the same amount of water. I guess I'm wrong.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Three separate comments!? I can see you are really distracted (laugh)!

An "IH" cooker cooks rice much better than a "maikon" (microcomputer-controlled) one. For the former, the inner pot itself is directly heated, while for the latter, the inner pot is heated with the heater beneath it.

In present Japan, there are roughly three types avaiable on the market: Maikon, IH, and atsuryoku IH.
Atsuryoku 圧力 means pressure.
Believe it or not, high-end atsuryoku IH rice cookers can cost 100,000 yen, so my 15,000 yen one is not very expensive by Japanese standards.

Yangsze said...

Ooh! Last year I too bought a new Zojirushi rice cooker - my previous one was a wedding gift 15 years earlier from a Japanese friend who sent it from Tokyo. I LOVE my rice cooker - it makes such a big difference, especially since it has an umami setting. Here in California you can get surprisingly good Japanese rice that's grown here by Japanese companies. It's really something that I adore eating everyday!

Sissi - in SE Asia they still wash jasmine rice, at least 3-4 changes of water. I wonder whether your jasmine rice is different? Does it come from Thailand? The best jasmine rice often does :)

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: I understand that you Americans enjoy locally grown Japanese rice, and at much cheaper price than the Japanese do. I envy you!

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I am simply very talkative and if I'm also having a distracted day... well it results in three comments in a row, haha. Sorry...
Thank you so much for the explanation. Now I know what to buy if I ever buy a Japanese rice cooker. 100 000 yen???? wow! I must admit that we were shocked to see the most expensive rice cookers' prices, but rice is so important in Japan, I shouldn't be surprised...
Yangsze, we also have very good quality Italy-grown rice in Europe! (Italians are used to growing sticky rice for risotto and even though it's a bit different, the Japanese who control this production must do great job because all the Japanese I know who tasted this rice say it's excellent). It's called Yume Nishiki and I love it.
My favourite Thai rice comes from Thai fair trade system producers. It tastes better than the one sold in Asian groceries, so I stopped buying other brands (we have a lot of fair trade products in Swiss supermarkets), but I will try another brand one day to see if the water is also hardly "milky". I find it very strange too.