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Single Shot Rice

A cast iron skillet and a pressure cooker were two of the first kitchen utensils I purchased when I began cooking for myself back in college. I still have the same two tools, and the vast majority of the things I cook involve one or both of them.

When considering the pressure cooker, the original appeal was that it seemed like an easy way to cook rice while being more versatile than a dedicated rice cooker. This assertion turned out to be true, but the 4-quart volume of my pressure cooker meant that I always had to make multiple servings of rice at a time. Cold, leftover rice is unappealing, which meant that the volume limitation of the pressure cooker diminished the frequency of my rice consumption.

Some years ago the internet came to the rescue, suggesting that a single serving of rice could be cooked in a pressure cooker of any size. Instead of placing the rice directly in the pressure cooker, the rice and water are put in a metal bowl, which is then placed into the pressure cooker on an elevated tray. Additional water is poured into the pressure cooker, outside of the bowl. My pressure cooker didn’t come with a tray, so I purchased an Instant Pot Silicone Steam Rack, which drops right into my pot. For the metal bowl I use a Snow Peak Trek Titanium Bowl, but any metal bowl of roughly the same size will work.

Pressure Cooker Rice

For white rice, my procedure is:

  1. Add 1/2 cup of white rice, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into metal bowl
  2. Add 1 cup water into pressure cooker
  3. Place metal bowl into pressure cooker on top of steam rack
  4. Bring to pressure on high heat, about 5 minutes
  5. Keep at high pressure for about 4 minutes, then remove from burner
  6. Natural pressure release for about 6 minutes

For brown rice, I adjust the quantities and time:

  1. Add 1/3 cup of rinsed long grain brown rice, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into metal bowl
  2. Add 1 cup water into pressure cooker
  3. Place metal bowl into pressure cooker on top of steam rack
  4. Bring to pressure on high heat, about 5 minutes
  5. Keep at high pressure for about 15 minutes, then remove from burner
  6. Natural pressure release for about 6 minutes

To rinse a single serving like this, I use my FORLIFE Tea Infuser. It’s the right size for this amount of rice, and has a lid in case you want to shake it around a bit while rinsing the grains.

Rice Rinsing

The result is a perfectly cooked bowl of rice in a short period of time, with almost no effort. The cooked rice is consumed directly from the metal bowl, and the pressure cooker itself requires little more than a rinse at the end, so dishes are minimized. The simplicity of this process makes rice and furikake one of my go-to dishes when I don’t have the time or inclination to cook an actual meal. I also frequently cook a fresh, hot serving of rice to mix with cold leftovers, which makes them much more appealing.

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