One of my favorite companies is called Korin. It's a Japanese company based in Tribeca, New York, that is really the authority on Japanese knives and my go-to company when I need Japanese products. It's also the place where I learned how to properly sharpen my Japanese knives when I was 12. For chefs who are in love with knifes as much as I am, you really need to take the pilgrimage and visit this place.
However, today we are talking about one of the products they carry on their website and catalogue called the Zojirushi induction heating pressure rice cooker and warmer – the granddaddy of rice cookers. The demand for better sushi, or as I like to say, pan Asian fusion cuisine, has been really pulling at our culinary strings the past decade or so. In most cases, rice is at the heart of it all.
Some of the larger rice cookers out there can run a tab of 1,800+ euros. Those types would be great when you’re on a 70m+ yacht, cooking for 20+ crew with a lot of space. This compact beauty only costs around 300 euros and is perfect when you have less than 20 crew to cook for. Don't forget about shipping, and if you’re going to use an agent they will add their fee on top of that.
In today’s market you have as many different rice cookers as you do have different types of rice. One of the problems I see is that most chefs are not buying a good machine at all.
The company does both 110 Volts and 220 Volts and will not bleed the generators dry. Investing in a rice cooker for some of us chefs is a serious thing. We have to think about space. Even if your rice machine is compact, she will take up almost an entire cabinet or a shelf, and that is a lot of real estate to give up for something that only cooks rice – and it's not like I am feeding the crew or guests rice every day. In my case, it’s something I have to have and can't live without. Even if I have to store it in my cabin and spoon with it at night, it’s going to be on any yacht I work on, that’s for sure.
One of the things I struggled with the most when starting in yachting was loosing the hub or burner space to make rice and where was I going to hold it after it was done until service; issues I never had to deal with on land. Most of the smaller boats only have four to five burners on their stove top. Cooking rice over induction or electric stove tops isn't my cup of tea either. Trying to read all the different cooking ratios or methods on these packets of rice while bouncing around the world on a floating hotel wasn't easy at all. I needed something that would cook every type of grain and seed and something that would keep it moist and warm until service, without burning it, and something that didn't require my undivided attention or sweat when it came to cleaning it up. Now, I can set my Zojirushi and go off the boat and provision and clean up. It’s a breeze, since the insert is completely removable, non-stick and dishwasher safe.
In today’s market you have as many different rice cookers as you do have different types of rice. One of the problems I see is that most chefs are not buying a good machine at all. They are picking up the aluminum 30 or 50 euro rice cooker you'll find at your local Asian food store or, even worse, at your local grocery store. These rice cookers are dangerous to have on a boat and will never produce the best results for our high-paying charter guests and our wonderful owners, not to mention our hard-working crew.
Zojirushi is a sleek, sexy and easy-to-use, easy-to-clean machine. With its quick ‘set it and forget it’ buttons and display, you will never go wrong. You can cook any type of rice to perfection. It has a built-in cooking timer, removable inner lid, air intake duct to ensure optimum flow and a safety valve to ensure that this pressure rice cooker doesn't blow up in your face. Zojirushi is everything you will ever need in a rice cooker. The end product will always be more consistent than cooking your rice the traditional stove top way or in one of those cheap aluminum rice cookers. It removes clean-up from the equation completely.
Next time you’re making sushi or any type of rice for you charter guests, owner or crew, make sure you have a Zojirushi tucked away in your galley or even under your bed. She will exceed your expectations as she does mine. You'll thank me later.
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