Stashing cooked rice

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Stashing cooked rice

Boston Globe, October 30, 2007

Watching squirrels gathering and stashing nuts for the winter reminds me of Japanese and Korean friends filling their rice cookers to maximum capacity to make small packets of cooked rice for the freezer. When it’s time to eat, they microwave the rice until it’s steaming hot.

Recently, a Korean guest did just that. She made a mixture of short-grain white and brown rice, and after it was cooked, added black beans (at home she would have used black soy beans). With a salad and soup it is a perfect light meal with little effort.

Short grain rices work best because they are sticky and hold together when packed. The cooking methods are completely different than the long grain varieties. Cook the grains separately because brown takes twice the water and twice the time of white.

When the rice is done, stir both together, add canned black beans, and freeze the mixture in plastic wrap sprinkled with a little salt. Many Asian cooks don’t add salt to the cooking water because it detracts from the delicacy of the rice. The little packets will be welcome on a busy day as a nutritious side dish for supper or a quick lunch at the office. When it’s time to forage, just open the freezer door.

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