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Old 03-08-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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Soy sauce steamed rice?

I'm making Teriyaki Cornish game hens for dinner tonight. Im Going to steam basmati rice on the side in my rice cooker. My question is is if I put soy sauce, mirin, and Ginger in the water before turning on the rice cooker would it absorb into the rice giving it flavor? Also, I was considering pouring in a little bit of egg whites into the rice after it is cooked to give it a fried
Rice feel. What do you guys think?

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Not sure about the egg but the others should serve to flavor the rice.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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Personally, I follow 3,000 years of tradition and add sauces after the rice is cooked, but that's just me. I figure if adding sauces to the water the rice is steamed in was a successful recipe, 1,000,000,000 Chinese and other Asians, and another 1,000,000,000 Indians would also be doing it, but they don't. However, other cultures, Latin Americans for instance, do it successfully for dishes such as Spanish Rice.

Steamed rice has a softer and wet feel to it, unlike fried rice which is fluffier and a chewier, drier texture with a nutty flavor. Egg white added to steamed rice might just turn into a soggy mess... but trying it is the only way you'll know for certain.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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hmm, never tried it, but you can always try and see what happens. I wouldn't add the egg whites, it sounds mushy..if you want to do a fried rice you may just want to make the rice plain and then fry it with the soy,mirin, ginger and some egg whites. that will probably come out better.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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When I've seen fried rice cooked, the egg is always added first and fried up before the rice was added. Adding egg to warm rice will just coagulate and coat things and you will wind up with a sticky clumpy rice.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
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Provisionally, yes you can. First, it depends on your rice cooker, whether it's approved for use with liquids other than water. And that usually depends on the vent system. Older, simpler cookers without a vent at all, I wouldn't recommend it, in part because your mirin will burn on the bottom. Or, a rice cooker with an enclosed venting system, again, I wouldn't recommend it because you don't want steamed soy sauce trapped and dried inside it. Otherwise, go ahead, don't put too much of your three flavor components and you'll have a tasty teriyaki flavored rice. And you can cook, chop up, and toss egg whites into it for extra pizzaz.

But that begs my question and suggestion. Why same flavor for both bird and rice. I think dinner would have a better taste balance if you left the rice plain. JMO.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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While I tend to err on the side of tradition when cooking as antiquated of a staple of human life as rice, I give you credit for recognizing the flavoring potential inherent to its steaming process - it's often overlooked in my experience.

While there are no rules in cooking as far as I know, besides maybe respectfully representing your ingredients, you'll find that the traditions for flavoring steamed rice all adhere to universal principles of maximizing flavor, texture and last (and probably least) plate appeal.

My all-time favorite rice dish with certain Chinese, South-East Asian and Caribbean meat dishes is coconut rice. If you were to make this by adding liquid coconut flavorings to cooked rice, you would not only alter the texture of the rice, but these flavors would not be given the opportunity or time to permeate the rice.

This is similar to the age-old, "yesterday's tastes better" story - herb, meat and vegetable flavors seep into the broth of soup or stew, spices further aromatize rice pudding and so on.

The quintessential example of a rice dish that requires flavors to permeate rice is risotto. I haven't had day old risotto but I can guarantee you that the flavor will be all there and then some. (It's not such a great reheater I don't think.)

And besides my mom, from Kuwait, where rice is a fairly diurnal form of sustenance, says never add liquid (besides maybe some oil or an acid) to rice after it's cooked or it'll become soggy, so there! (I feel like Adam Sandler's character in that college football movie he did.)

When I make coconut rice, I steam the rice with coconut milk and water, and fold in coconut butter and fresh grated toasted coconut just before serving to embolden the coconut flavor and add a textural as well as visual counter-point respectively. If I added these ingredients before cooking this wouldn't be possible.

When my Mom makes biryani, she adds slivered almonds, raisins and fried onions but as a dressing for cooked rice.

All cultures, including my Mom's, also understand the importance of accentuating flavors in ingredients and this is why you see (or hear) rice dishes that start with a sizzle at the bottom of a rice pot, where a flavor base is built.

In the case of Chinese fried rice, this occurs after the steaming because the flavoring elements are not just there to flavor the rice, but are components of the dish unto themselves, that look better, taste better and have better palate feel when flash fried, rather than steamed.

Many Arabic, Indian and Caribbean rice dishes steam rice with whole spices, such as cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon to infuse the rice with flavor not dissimilar to the way you infuse water with flavor when you make tea. That said, they are not then served with a dish that only contains these flavors, so to not have the two dishes clash. I agree with Spork that you'd be better off serving naked white rice than using teriyaki flavoring in it, if that is also what you're serving on your birds.

While a steamer is handy when you are serving a crowd, I adhere to the tradition of cooking my rice over the stove so I can have every opportunity to build a flavor base or steam it with liquids other than water. If I'm in a hurry I break with tradition with a pressure cooker.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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I frequently add flavors to my rice. But I too cook my rice in a sauce pan, on top of the stove. Brown or White rice can be enhanced with chicken soup base added to the cooking water, along with a little five-spice flavor to compliment your birds. Onion and garlic can also be added, but not so as to taste them, just to affect the final flavor of the rice. Celery is also useful for the same thing. Adding wild rice to the white or brown rice also gives the final grain interesting color and textural contrast.

These ideas are better utilized by cooking your rice on top of the stove. I hope tonight's meal is an unqualified success.

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Old 07-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #9
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Just a thought that occurred to me while reading this thread; how about if rice was soaked first in a flavored liquid, and then dehydrated to dry again?

I wonder if this would flavor the rice and let the rice cook just as normal rice is in a steamer. That would incorporate the flavor into the rice itself, and not in the water while steaming.

I think I'll try it and find out. (Unless someone else has done so and found it to fail).
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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I prefer plain rice especially with a teriyaki entre.
As for flavoring the rice, I prefer to add flavors after the rice is cooked.
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