Back To Rice Cooker
I think I might have just found a nice solution for hot weather cooking.
I mean, this isn't something new on this blog, but it just didn't strike me as hot weather cooking until the other day when I was at my wits end trying to come up with something to feed our little princess. She was fed up with all the weird food coming out of my kitchen and I was fed up with the crazy weather.
Cooking everything in rice cooker does not generate much heat in the kitchen and also it is really just one-pot cooking. No fuss, no clean-up. Only happiness in a bowl.
When it comes to rice, I will always turn to my Japanese cookbooks first. So far, I have managed to dissect the rice section into 9 parts: takikomi gohan (炊き込みご飯), maze gohan (まぜご飯), okowa (おこわ), sushi (寿司), donburi (どんぶり), omu rice (オムライス), curry rice (カレー), onigiri (おにぎり), and ochazuke (お茶漬け).
And if you frequent Japanese food establishment often enough, you will no doubt find most of them familiar, with the exception of the first three.
The rice in the picture belongs to the first category of takikomi gohan, which basically involve cooking all ingredients together with the rice in a rice cooker. Here I cooked the thinly sliced beef, carrots and shiitake mushrooms with the rice. The combination is endless and it is a whatever-that-takes-your-fancy kind of cooking. So I try to incorporate a balance of vegetables and meat to make it a standalone dish. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for this since I made it based on pure estimation.
If you interested to see an example of how takikomi gohan is made, check out this video by cookingwithdog.
This is a frugal dish as it requires small amounts of ingredients to go with a big pot of rice. I used to buy 250g of sliced beef to cook the usual beef bowl for our little princess which she will finish most of it in one seating. For the same amount of beef, I cooked a whole pot of rice which gave us a big bowl each for dinner and many rice balls for lunch the next day.