In Malaysia and many other parts of South-East Asia, rice is such a staple that a life without rice seems like something out of The Twilight Zone.

Thankfully, rice is also quite possibly one of the easiest things in the world to cook. Of course, this ease of cooking is largely due to the presence of rice cookers, which have become must-haves in most Asian homes. But not all rice cookers are created equal and some rice cookers produce overcooked, crusty rice or worse still, slimy-soft undercooked rice.

But with the Panasonic IH (Induction Heating) Rice Cooker (SR-HB184KSK), all manner of rice-related problems are no longer problems at all. Panasonic first introduced the IH rice cooker in 1988, and it became the world’s first induction heat rice cooker. The appliance has since been updated in keeping with modern technology.

The rice cooker’s most appealing quality lies in the five-layer induction heat that surrounds the pot with uniform heat, and traps secondary heat for fluffy rice. The heat is generated from the lid, upper side, centre, lower side and bottom, which in turn ensures each kernel of rice is cooked consistently.

The cooking process in the rice cooker involves a steady, informed pattern: pre-boiling on low heat, sustained maximum heating and boiling, boiling on medium heat, boiling on strong heat for a brief period and finally, steaming and warming.

Then there is the seven-layer Diamond Kamado inner pan with diamond ceramic coating. The hardy pan can take a lot – it can withstand brushing up to 110,000 times or more! This also means you can wash the rice right inside the cooker, and to top it off, the lightweight function makes it easy to hold even when it’s filled with water.

The diamond coating also has another added attribute – it generates finer bubbles during the cooking process. The bubbles produced in this rice cooker are 2.5 times finer, and there are lots more bubbles too! In a conventional cooker, only about 6,000 bubbles are produced while the diamond coating enables about 16,000 bubbles to be produced. What this translates to in reality is that the rice mixes with all the bubbles and is heated evenly. This basically means each rice grain is guaranteed to be fluffy, so you can enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked rice at every meal.

In large families, everyone tends to come home at different times, especially adults working unpredictable hours. Which makes the rice cooker’s Keep Warm function such a boon – it can keep your rice warm and toasty for up to 12 hours, so you’ll always come home to warm food.

While you might naturally have a liking for certain types of rice, it’s always nice to switch things up once in awhile and you’ll also find that your rice predilections are liable to change, especially if you’re cooking rice for a special occasion or celebration. The IH Rice Cooker is prepared for any challenges you throw in its direction, as the machine comes equipped with separate menus for cooking long grain and short grain rice. There are also menus for cooking brown rice, multi grains, making soups and steaming food.

The parts that make up this ingenious rice cooker are also ingeniously easy to clean and maintain. The inner-lid, for instance, can be detached with just one touch and washed easily in water. The stainless-steel frame of the appliance is also easy to wipe clean, ensuring that your rice cooker is always spotless and ready for repeated use.

So, if you’ve been looking for a rice cooker to serve your family’s needs and produce perfect kernels of rice every single time, the 1.8-litre Panasonic IH Rice Cooker is a sure-fire winner.

The Panasonic IH Rice Cooker SR-HB184KSK is priced at RM1,739. For more information about the product, go to Panasonic.com.my or head to your nearest Panasonic dealer.

Go to the Panasonic Cooking website for ideas, recipes and the latest news and happenings.


BLACK RICE PUDDING

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup black glutinous rice
¾ cup white glutinous rice
2 pandan leaves
2 litres water
50g palm sugar
50ml warm water
pinch of salt
1½ cups coconut cream
1 mango, for garnish

To make: Rinse both the black and white glutinous rice thoroughly under running water; drain. Place the rice, pandan leaves and water into the rice cooker to cook.

Use equal parts of palm sugar and warm water to dissolve the palm sugar. Add a pinch of salt into the palm sugar syrup, stir to combine. When the rice pudding is ready, remove the pudding from the cooker.

To serve, swirl the coconut cream in pudding. Slice the mango and put it around the pudding as you like.