Shanghaied into cooking rice…

i was recently Shanghaied into making rice for a Japanese cultural event, these are my notes for myself for the following years’ conscripted duties… funny, it’s expected that anyone of a specific ethnicity should know how to (fill in the specific verb of misconception here: cook/talk/act/manufacture/translate/dance, etc) perform that ethnically unique task. in this case, being half-japanese automatically qualifies me to be an expert rice cooker.

ok, eye shoyu how make lice!

these instructions are specific to the kitchen@heiwa terrace, but could be easily transferred to another commercial kitchen with similar equipment, YMMV.

use the proper measuring container. this container is a 4ℓ container, measure 7ℓ of rice. wash rice of starch/talcum until water runs clear or 10-15 rinse cycles. after washing rice, drain in colander, use cloth to prevent rice from falling thru the big drain holes. washing rice and overnight draining is not necessary, washing rice immediately before cooking is acceptable, but increases overall prep time.

before putting rice in the cooking vessel, make sure to spray the container with oil. spread the rice evenly in the container, add enough water to measure to knuckles of your open hand when palm is flat on top of rice in middle of the pot*. or use the measure markings on the side of the pot, about 7ℓ. i personally prefer a slightly harder grain of rice and will decrease water next year slightly.

* measuring like this is imprecise, but that doesn’t mean it’s inaccurate. measurements based on the human body are unique and don’t translate accurately from person to person. it’s a generalization, so witnessing first hand is the best way to transfer these measurements.

place cooking vessel with rice and water into the commercial automatic gas rice cooker/oven(the one i used is a 3-tiered rinnai brand cooker). turn on the oven and prep the pilot by pressing and holding the pilot button for up to 20 sec. press the on button to start the cooking.

this oven doesn’t have a buzzer or bell, the only indicator is a tiny lamp that turns off when the cooking is finished, so it requires attention. cooking time is about 25 min. honestly there should be an indicator lamp for cooking(red) and finished cooking(green), or something that can be seen from across the room…

move cooking vessel  out of the oven and wait 5 minutes, then mix rice. the mixing helps the steam finish the cooking by providing more space for the steam to travel as opposed to firmly packed rice. don’t fucking forget the initial mix. and don’t forget cover the pot. if the rice looks like it’s not soft enough, now would be the time to add a skosh more water for a final steam. if rice is looking a bit soft, leave the cover off and allow for faster cooling to prevent further cooking.

wait another 5 min. after the mix to allow rice to finish cooking. impatient amelican! you wait 5 mo minute!

transfer half the cooked rice into a smaller container. pour vinegar mix on top of rice and use a cutting action to mix to prevent mashing of rice grain. use a fan to cool hot rice during mixing process.

seasoned rice is pressed into form and inserted into inari pockets in assembly line fashion.
as the important rice chef, no need to get involved in this function. watch and observe to make sure they are not running out of rice. 30-40 minute cook cycle means be prepared to make more rice and prevent idle assembly line. …also as important rice chef, you can taste broken inari that will not be sold.

filled inari pockets are transferred to transportation trays(two layers per tray), approx 100 pieces per tray when filled.

don’t forget wash up the rice from all cooking vessels when finished to avoid hardening like glue. lice grue berry sticky and hard to crean.

use the coffee filter to catch waste rice to prevent clogging pipes.


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